Last weekend saw the introduction of Replay Events first Scottish venture; PLAY Expo Glasgow and by all accounts it was a great success.
Over the course of the weekend Braehead arena transformed itself into a haven for all things gaming and welcomed thousands through the doors eager to immerse themselves in the experience. Gamers old and young had a variety of titles to choose from, from old favourites to brand new discoveries.
After walking through the doors the first thing that struck me was the huge selection of games on offer and the sheer number of people. Row upon row of screens, arcades and pinball machines covered the hall all occupied by happy attendees. They had everything from the hugely popular Street Fighter V to Mario Kart for the N64. For me, the best part of the majority of game events is the ability to try out new Indie titles that are in development and get the chance to chat to the developers themselves. PLAY Expo had the added bonus of pinball machines which are just freaking awesome, but the Indie guys still get the biggest thumbs up.
The boys from We Throw Switches(@WeThrowSwitches), the people who run the great Games Are For Everyone events, were helping out showcasing the local talent. Among them were a few games that really stood out, well for me anyway. First up we had the Competitive Cuddling Simulator; the newest addition to Vaida Plankyte’s(@underskinnyhrt) One Game A Month mission. A fun little competitive or co-op game that two can play using one keyboard. Each player has four keys which randomly control the four limbs of the character in front of you. The object, at least in the competitive mode, is to match your characters limbs to the drawing shown before your opponent. I had a go with my partner and obviously came out as Queen of the Cuddles.
— ✨Vaida✨ (@underskinnyhrt) June 11, 2016
Up next was a game I’ve had a lot of love for since Dare 2015; Observatorium. For those of you who don’t follow me on Twitter or haven’t heard of it Observatorium is a gorgeous atmospheric puzzle adventure game from the Glasgow collective Capsule Three(@CapsuleThree).
Stunning, right? If you get the chance to see these guys showcasing their game before it’s PC release then I can’t recommend donning a pair of headphones and giving it a go more. The game has been incredibly polished since my first attempt last year and it only continues to get to better. Plus, they’re a super nice group of guys with good chat.
Last but not least the final game that really caught my eye was a little Indie number called Blue Revolver(@BlueRevolverSTG), which the team describe as ‘A manic shooter about a bunny-eared technical genius, a fancy weapon and a few million bullets’. It was actually their banner that initially drew me in with it’s gorgeous Japanese anime style artwork. That being said, who doesn’t love beautiful bunny eared Anime girls? Playing the game itself was a pleasure. It’s fast paced, it’s fun and as you can see below, it’s adorable.
Aside from video games, PLAY Expo also had a card game area as well as a healthy selection of merchandise stalls. Unfortunately I didn’t get a chance to go play anything in the card game area, something I made up for by heading to Settlers Hamilton(@SettlersShop) afterwards, who coincidentally happened to have a stall at the event. I managed to pick up a Tentacle Bento set for a great price from the ever lovely Shazz, the owner of Settlers. Tentacle Bento is the anime loving waifu collectors dream. You take on the role of a cleverly disguised alien hell bent on capturing your fellow students. Spoiler alert, they’re all total cuties.
— Science Punk (@5ciencePunk) June 11, 2016
As well as vendors selling a variety of board and card games there were also plushies, figures, art and of course, video games. The selection of retro video games was frankly astonishing and the prices even more so. I have never been to an event where the sellers didn’t have an absolutely horrifying mark up on their products, until now. My favourite of the bunch was Retro Plushy Games(@RetroPlushyGame). My partner and I had a good time raking through the vast selection on offer and while I only ended up buying one GameBoy game from them they’ll be my first port of call from now on for any of my retro gaming needs.
For it’s first venture north of the border, PLAY Expo got so much right and so very little wrong in my opinion. I for one am looking forward to next time.