A visit to UK Games Expo 2021
It was with a mixture of excitement and trepidation that my daughter and I made our way to UK Games Expo 2021.
Our first experience of the Expo was in 2019 and although our plan then was to sit, grab coffee, then plan our day we were so taken aback at the sheer scale of it that we were rapidly swept away in a sea of people. There was no Expo in 2020 and much uncertainty about 2021.
2021 was very different with a definite air of caution and uncertainty
Yet, we had been double vaccinated and everybody attending the Expo had to prove they had too and everybody was required to wear masks inside and at when playing games. As the show had been pushed back until the weekend of the 30th July through to the 1st of Aug, we decided to play hooky off work and also went on the Friday as we figured it wouldn’t be as busy. We were right, but everybody was wearing masks and being respectful of personal space.
We found a place to grab a coffee and sat down to make a plan for the day. Yes, of course, buying games was part of the plan, but we also wanted to get to play some of the games on the list and experience some of the play testing and meeting game producers and designers.
The day went amazingly well, we felt really safe and we got to play some of the games we had gone to test out. For me Tinners Trail, a rework of a Martin Wallace original, was great to play. I also managed to check out Kemet Blood and Sand to see if it really was worth it, which it was and was quietly surprised to discover I really enjoyed Equinox, which is not a game I would have normally steered towards.
We did meet a game designer and comic book artist Nich Angell who produce Colostle an exciting solo RPG where you explore a castle so huge it has mountains, valleys and oceans within its rooms! Unlike multiplayer tabletop RPGs like DnD or Pathfinder, a solo RPG is one you play on your own. The game book and system, along with a deck of standard playing cards, throws prompts and moments at you, and you must decide how your character reacts while recording your adventures in a journal.
At the end of the day it was not as busy as 2019, nor were there as many stands or exhibitors, but it was well worth the visit. I know we are both looking forward to UK Games Expo 2022 Fri 3rd to Sun 5th of June 2022 and hopefully a larger expo than ever before!