The Play Expo event has come and passed in London. My feelings of excitement have calmed down, but in the inner child in me is still smiling as I write this, thinking back to all the arcade and retro marvels I got to experience.
One of the cool things about getting press access to an event, like Play Expo, is being at the premises before the doors to the expo are open to the public. A long queue was forming outside.
Inside, there was an eerie and calm atmosphere, like the calm before the storm. Most of the lights were turned off in the first spacious room as you walked in, almost solely lit up by the 100+ arcade games that were there.
And it was absolutely magical…The lights, the sounds, it all transported me back into being a kid in the 90’s in an arcade somewhere, furiously spending the coins I had that day on a variety of games to play. I had a big smile on my face as I noticed the retro Ninja Turtles arcade game, a favourite game from my childhood.
Before I knew it, the doors of the London Printworks opened, and there was a flood of people clamouring to get into the expo. Within minutes, every single arcade game was taken, and you had to wait in line to get to play.
The crazy thing is that it was like this for the whole day, so I guess it’s a good indication that the arcade section was a huge hit. Time Splitters 2 was unsurprisingly the most popular game of the day, even if it was just one of the two players that were active.
There were a couple of gyrating racing games to play too that drew a big crowd, right next to a dancing game that entertained the crowds throughout the day.
The indie game developer stage was pretty small but fun. One game that particularly caught my eye was The Mystery of Wooley Mountain – a point and click adventure, striking a resemblance to monkey island games – I was already sold.
I tried out the demo which lasted a few minutes, and really loved all the voice acting in it. The demo of the game came with a short comic, which also doubled up as a guide in case you were stuck in the game. the game will be coming to all major consoles and mobile too. If you want to find out more, please visit www.woolleymountain.com
As I was passing by the vendors, I spotted a person I can only describe as a mad scientist inviting me over to his stand. At this point, I just severely needed coffee and was feeling drowsy, but his enthusiasm was off the charts and convinced me to find out more. They had an escape room set up – but on the tabletop! I just had to find out how this was one, so I signed up and was eagerly anticipating
the rest of the teammates that will be helping me later. I have to say, I was amazed at how the experience of a regular escape room was so well replicated on this table-top game version! The excitement, the curiosity, the race against time to solve the puzzles – it was all there! I really enjoyed every minute of it, and if you would like to find out more, go to www.bewilderbox.co.uk
And then just like that, the excitement was over, and it was time to go home. It was a long day – part of me relieved to be going home and rest, but the kid in me wanted to go back into the arcade game section again to play all night. And that right there, that tells me this expo was and always is, a success. Until next time Play Expo… See you next year in London!!!
Were you at Play Expo? What did you think of the retro and other games on offer? Let us know below.