Dates: 31 June to 2 May 2024
Location: NEC Birmingham, Birmingham, United Kingdom
Organizer: UK Games Expo

It is always a pleasure to arrive by train at Birmingham International train station, which not only gives you access to West Midland’s main airport, but also to the amazing NEC. It is in this huge exhibition complex that the UK’s largest hobby games convention takes place every year. The event welcomes tens of thousands of visitors over three days who explore the three main halls of the NEC as well as a number of rooms in the nearby Hilton Metropole Hotel. You will have guessed it. It is, of course, UK Games Expo 2024.

Some Numbers

UK Games Expo is the event I always look forward to and it is the fifth time that I attended. Covering over 40,000 square metres in the NEC alone, it is large, but not impossible to navigate easily. In fact, the first time I attended back in 2018, I did it in a day. OK, maybe not all of it, but with good planning and being strict about what you see, you can visit just for one day.

UK Games Expo is very busy, but not so bad that you can’t move, unlike Essen. Saturday is usually the busiest, with Friday a close second, while Sunday is often quieter. However, this year, it was a lot busier on Friday and Saturday, and even Sunday, while being quieter, held up its own. The attendance figures for 2024 back this up. There were 39,306 unique visitors and the total attendance was 65,281 for all three days, which represents a 20% increase.

Something that not many people know is that UK Games Expo also supports charities.

This year, they raised £18,000 which will be split between SUDC UK and the Williams Montessori School Foundation in Ghana. The money was raised through commissions from the bring-and-buy sale, a maths trade, a live reading of Deathtrap Dungeon with Sir Ian Livingstone and John Robertson, charity RPG games from Luke Gygax, Steve Jackson, Guy “How to be a Great GM” Sclanders as well as donations collected by the Vikings in the temporary Viking village on the lawns outside the main entrance.

Additionally, Bear’s Army raised money for various national kidney charities and Play Test UK raised money for Express CIC.

That’s a lot of great work from everyone involved.

Press Evening

To be able to afford UK Games Expo every year, I started demoing for Asmodee. Last year it was three days, but this year I kept it to two. I wanted to have a day to wander the halls, meet publishers and say hello to people.

The show started Thursday evening for me at the press event. I often get crowd blind, but it didn’t take long for me to bump into a number of people.

It was really wonderful to finally meet Iain McAllister from The Giant Brain in person. Me being a new recruit of the Brainwaves podcast, it was lovely to see him face-to-face, rather than through a video camera. I would see him again in the evenings, where he introduced me to a few new games.

I also saw the wonderful Gavin Jones, who is a Patreon supporter of the blog. He was another person whom I played games with in the evenings.

Adam Richards from Punchboard was also there and we had a quick chat.

I also got to see Dissent Games‘ upcoming release that has no title yet, but will be a sort of a successor to Library Labyrinth. Instead of being cooperative, it’s going to be competitive though. From what I heard, it’s going to be a really interesting game, which I will review in due course.

a number of cards representing literary heroes on a blue tablecloth
the upcoming game from Dissent Games looks really interesting

I also said a quick hello to Nikita from Atikin Games, with whom I was going to catch up again on subsequent days. It was great to see her show off her handmade board game accessories and jewellery, as well as her handmade games.

Mark Cooke from Bright Eye Games was there too. I’m currently translating a number of their games into German in time for Essen. So it was lovely to catch up with him too.

Sunday Schedule

Sunday was when I had booked a few meetings with publishers.

First on my list was Hachette UK. The wonderful Rob Trounce gave me a tour of the company’s collection of games at UK Games Expo. There are a lot of great games that are already out and more are to come. I can’t mention them all, but here are a few that stood out.

Games already out include Courtisans, a cut-throat take-that card game, and Middle Ages, an open-draft set-collection game where you build your own fiefdom. The art for both games is amazing and the gameplay looked really interesting.

In October Looot with three Os, a resource-gathering game with a really clever twist, and Shackleton Base: A Journey to the Moon, which is a worker-placement game with a real twist and some cool minis, are coming out. I’m really looking forward to both of these.

a multi-layer player mat and a few cards on top of a map with some grey miniatures
the upcoming Vrahode gaming system will allow players to experience their own dungeon crawl

Afterwards, I met Dina Ramse from Dina Said So, who showed me Vrahode, a gaming system due out early next year. It looks really impressive and I can’t wait to play this dungeon crawl board game for 1-6 players and review it.

I also got a chance to catch up with the lovely Paul Lamprey who is currently looking for a publisher for his amazingly easy-to-learn, but hard-to-master abstract two-player game Push D6. One well-known publisher is looking at it currently and I hope they’ll pick it up. It’s a really great game.

four people sitting around a table with a board game on it, one person explaining the rules to the other three
I enjoyed a demo of Timeless Journeys which has come a long way (photo courtesy of Lirius Games)

I finished Sunday with Timeless Journeys from Lirius Games, which I first saw at Berlin Brettspiel Con last year. Visually it has changed a lot and the gameplay also feels more refined. It’s a clever mix of deck building, set collection and resource management, that takes players on a Grand Tour of Italy. I really enjoy this game and want to review it in due course.

Too Many Too Mention

Actually, I forgot to mention Sakana Stack from Huff No More, a card-shedding game that reminds me a little of Scout. I really enjoyed playing this game and meeting Mike and Joss Petchey.

I also had a lovely chat with well-known board game illustrator and generally wonderful person Roland MacDonald.

Mike Didymus-True of the board game news website BoardGameWire also said hello.

As you can tell, there are simply too many people to mention. So let me just say, it was wonderful to speak with you all and see you, either again or for the first time. It is you who make this event so enjoyable and fun.

So, yes, I’m still harking back to the wonderful, if exhausting, time I had at UK Games Expo 2024. Yet, I’m equally excited to do it all again in 2025 and I hope to see you there.

Useful Links

Transparency Facts

I feel that this review reflects my own, independent and honest opinion, but the facts below allow you to decide whether you think that I was influenced in any way.
  • I was given two free press passes to attend the event.
  • I worked in a paid role for Asmodee for two days of the event.
  • At the time of writing, neither the event organiser nor anyone linked to the event supported me financially or by payment in kind.

Audio Version

Intro Music: Bomber (Sting) by Riot (

Music: “Corporate Motivation” by AShamaluevMusic.


These are the songs I listened to while I was writing this review:

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