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Who to see at UK Games Expo
Posted On 21 May 2019
As you will know by now, UK Games Expo 2019 is just around the corner – a week on Friday, to be precise. So the question is who you should go and see on your visit – assuming you’ll be there of course. There is no way that I can list all the over 400 exhibitors and their games, or mention all the events, seminars and other things that are going on at this amazing exhibition. However, I can focus on who I’m planning to see, bearing in mind that I’ll only be there on the Sunday. So it’s going to be a jam-packed day, but I just can’t wait.
UK Games Expo 2018
Birmingham NEC Arena
Photographer Ben Broomfield
First of all, let me mention my Patreon supporters who will be there. After all, it’s these people who spurn me on and who help me do more of what I love doing. Their support is invaluable and I always try and help them as much as I can in return. You can, of course, become a supporter as well – just check out my Patreon and Ko-Fi pages for more details. Anyway, enough self-promotion…
So I’ve already scheduled a demo slot with James Naylor to play Magnate: The First City, a game where you’re a property developer out to make as much money as you can in a city-wide property boom. I’m really looking forward to meeting James and playing his game on stand 2-T3.
I also have booked a demo with Paul Grogan from Gaming Rules! for Sanctum by Czech Games Edition, which is due to be released in the autumn of this year. If you don’t know him yet, Paul makes brilliant rules teach and other videos, works with a number of publishers on their rule books, runs a couple of his own gaming events and is generally very active in the industry and the community. I strongly recommend you have a look at his work now, because I’m sure you will find something useful.
I’m also looking forward to meeting Robin Kay of Ruined Sky Games and check out his game The Disc, which you can try in the Playtest Zone in hall 1. I hope he’ll have some time to show me the game and give me a runthrough as well.
A lot of time and effort has gone into both games and I want to take plenty of photos, as well as write a review, and if I can have a prototype copy of the game, I’ll also aim to make a review video. That’s some of the perks my Patreon supporters get.
I also want to pop by stand 1-370 to say hello to Alex of Animal Ailments, who I had a great chat with last year about his journey with the game and into the industry, while juggling everything with the rest of his life and responsibilities. It was great to meet him and talk to him, so I will definitely have to say hello this year.
So far has been about the fun side of who to see – but now let’s move onto “serious” business. There are a number of exhibitors who I think you should go and see, because there have been some interesting announcements recently that caught my attention.
White Wizard Games will be on stand 1-864 and are also running a number of tournaments. Of course, they will have Sorcerer on sale at the exhibition, which is a game that looks really interesting. I want to see if I can say hello to Katie Aidley, who I have to thank for helping me with a couple of review copies when I first started out with my blog. I’m in her debt…
Also close to my heart is Wren Games, whom I already mentioned above in the list of #TeamTrevor. Janice and Stu Turner will be on stand 2-624, showing off their new game Sensor Ghosts, and the Assembly expansion Re-Sequence & Override. Both will launch on Kickstarter next Tuesday, on 28 May, so the campaign will have just started when the exhibition begins. It will be great to say hello and catch up with them, as I really appreciate them sending me prototype copies of the game and expansion.
Alley Cat Games is also on my list. They are on stand 1-936 and will be demoing Marquesas, formally know as Tuamotu. I’ve heard a little bit about this game, but not much, and I am looking forward to finding out more and giving it a test drive.
Speaking of new games, Namiji is a new, stand-alone game in the Tokaido range, and I’m hoping to see it on the Funforge stand 1-686. I’ve played Tokaido a fair bit online and love it very much. I’ve heard that Namiji is even better, so I can’t wait to try it, and I might even pick up a copy of Tokaido.
As I say, there are a lot of exhibitors and many games. Check out the links at the bottom of this article to get an up-to-date list of exhibitors and new games on the UK Games Expo website. I will try and see as many exhibitors as possible, but there will be only so much I can fit into the day.
Apart from seeing exhibitors, it’s well worth your while to pop by the Playtest UK zone in hall 1. There you will find game designers who want you to play their games and give feedback. It’s a great opportunity to give back to the community and help up and coming designers to refine their game idea. It’s also a great place to meet new people and see fresh talent. It’s all completely free and you just need to turn up and be prepared to learn a new game.
Finally, check out the games on the UK Games Expo Awards shortlist, which contains a number of interesting games that it’s worth taking a closer look at. After all, these games are shortlisted for an award, so they can’t be bad.
There is also a lot of great food available outside the venue, so check that out. Weather permitting, it’ll be good to see daylight and get some fresh air, while sampling some great food, or watch the displays of the local Viking tribe in the open air.
The whole event is very kids friendly, with a big family zone that offers a huge range of games for all age groups, as well as children teaching games to each other or to grown-ups. There are also children’s role-playing games, and Imagination Gaming is back to help everyone find a game that suits them. So you should really have no problem to find something that works for you all.
If you attend on Sunday and see me, feel free to come over and say hello. I’ll have my Tabletop Games Blog hoodie on, so you should be able to spot me quite easily. I hope to see you there…