Here’s a scenario some parents and gift-givers might find themselves in this holiday season: You’re trying to find the right gift for your sci-fi/fantasy fanatic, which can sometimes be difficult depending on your familiarity with the genres, but you also want to shop locally and support small business during the coronavirus pandemic. 

A quick online trip to Amazon can seem like the easiest option to get their Dungeons and Dragons accessories or that one limited edition comic book to add to their collection.

But if you live in the Twin Cities area, you have options to shop locally and still find that gift that will transport someone to another realm.

Based on what you’re looking for, Diversified Games, located at 551 North Market Blvd., and Dapper Games, located at 1058 Northwest State Ave., should have you covered.

At Diversified Games, owned by Brian Guenther, who has owned and operated comic book/games stores for about 23 years in the Twin Cities area, you will find the shop lined with rows of comic books, board games, Dungeons and Dragons (D&D) accessories and plenty of other sci-fi/fantasy-related trinkets.

If you are specifically looking for comic books, you are going to have more success finding what you’re looking for at Diversified Games. From limited edition comic books that run up to $600 all the way to your run of the mill books that cost you $3.99, Diversified Games’ comic book collection is expansive.

“We have a little bit of everything,” Guenther said of his inventory, “obviously there are a ton of comic books out there.”

Guenther said if you are buying a gift for someone who is just getting into the fantasy genre, a surefire gift that never seems to disappoint is a D&D starter set — which typically comes with a 64-page adventure book, dice, a rulebook and everything a new dungeon master will need to get the game started.

At Dapper Games, co-owned by Skyler Templeton, Ian Richards and Davyn Reed, the setup is more catered to events like card game tournaments or D&D gatherings — obviously that has been put on hold during the coronavirus pandemic — but they still have a range of

inventory for Magic: The Gathering players, D&D enthusiasts and board game lovers.

And if it’s Magic cards you are looking for, it is Magic cards that you’ll find at Dapper Games. Though not quite as extensive as Diversified Games’ comic book collection, they have a range of limited edition Magic cards as well as your standard issue packs that run you $3.99.

“Some of the cards on display are not being made anymore, so that’s why they can go up to like $200,” Templeton said.

For the serious Magic players, both stores are anticipating the release of the Magic: The Gathering Commander Legends Booster Box that hits the shelves on Nov. 20 that will cost around $120 for the draft box and around $240 for the collectors box.

Similarly to Guenther, Templeton and Richards said a D&D starter set is a staple of the gift-giving season. And if D&D is simply way over your head but you’re shopping for a veteran player, the Dapper Games owners — being lifelong players themselves — can guide you in the right direction.

But perhaps you’re not looking for anything D&D related, then Templeton said a board game that can’t miss is Lords of Waterdeep, which he characterized as a “top 10 board game of all time.”

Of course, there is some crossover between the two stores in terms of the inventory they carry, so there’s a chance both could be carrying what you’re looking for. But whether you are a dungeon master or don’t know a lick about the genre, the staff at both stores will be able to take care of you.

Diversified Games hours of operation are 12 p.m. to 6 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday with Friday staying open until 8 p.m., and Dapper Games is open from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday.