Play Expo Manchester / 7th of October 2014
With this year’s Play Expo set to commence on the morning of Saturday, 11th of October, we look ahead to the show and detail just some of the reasons why you too should be joining us at Manchester’s EventCity this Saturday. Now, we have already mentioned the fact that the likes of Dave Prowse and co. would be attending the show in an earlier preview, joined-as they are-by videogame legends Charles Cecil and Mel Croucher, along with Red Dwarf stars, Craig Charles and Chris Barrie-all of which are strong reasons to attend this year’s show-but there’s more, a lot more. From a schedule of talks that includes the likes of Worms creators Team 17 and New ‘n’ Tasty developer, Just Add Water, to a gargantuan line-up of arcade machines, pinball tables and retro consoles, more than 100 PS4s running a whole host of new titles including Minecraft, and a sure to be thrilling debate that sees the cases for the C64 and Spectrum put forward by a panel of experts that includes the legendary Jeff Minter. Undoubtedly, there will be something for everybody in Manchester this weekend, be it the array of competitions, cosplayers, movie props (including a certain car from Back to the Future), board games, purchasable merchandise and, perhaps the strongest of reasons to attend, us!
Here’s an overview of some of the highlights:
• Huge indie zone with over 25 studios such as Team 17, Cinemaware, Curve Digital and Dalala Studios exhibiting their latest games. Titles include Gang Beasts, Overruled, Flockers, Wulverblade, Mutiny, Beyond Flesh & Blood, Iron Fisticle and 30 more.
• The UK's largest arcade with over 250 arcade machines and pinball tables all set to free play. Afterburner, Gauntlet, Operation Wolf, Pacman, Street Fighter 2, Donkey Kong, Ghosts 'n' Goblins, Joust, OutRun, Mortal Kombat, Space Invaders and so many more classics will be available to play over the weekend.
• Konami will be giving Play Expo attendees the UK's first hands-on of the latest Pro Evolution Soccer game with official Konami and PES brand prizes up for grabs and the chance to win a ‘money can’t buy’ UCL Dream Ticket which guarantees the winner as seat at the 32-man PES UCL Final.
• The now.play zone will feature over 100 PS4 consoles running next-gen games from Konami, Warner, PQube PSN games such as OlliOlli 2, New N Tasty, Towerfall Ascension and Velocity 2X plus a Minecraft Zone on PS4 consoles
• A meet and greet and signing session from YouTube celebrity Tom Cassell (TheSyndicateProject).
• TV and film celebrities including Craig Charles and Chris Barrie from Red Dwarf, David Prowse, Kenny Baker and Jeremy Bulloch from Star Wars, the Iron Throne from Game of Thrones plus Bumblebee and Barricade from Transformers and Doc Browns Deloreon from Back to the Future!
• A number of talks, panels and Q&As from developers including Team17, Cinemaware, Charles Cecil, Mel Croucher and Just Add Water studios.
• A no-holds-barred debate to settle the great playground battle of the 1980s – Commodore or Spectrum? Hosted by Retro Gamer magazine’s Paul Drury and Martyn Carroll featuring Andy Walker (Taskset), Ste Pickford (The Pickford Bros), Jeff Minter (Llamasoft) and John Gibson (Imagine Software).
• A PC LAN zone with networked classics such as Doom, Counterstrike, Quake and many more favourites.
• Screen.play celebration of some of the best film franchises with props and games from Star Wars, Aliens, Robocop, Terminator, Harry Potter and Indiana Jones!
• Europe’s biggest retro games display with over 300 classic computers, consoles and handhelds all running the best-loved games from the past 40 years. Sega, Nintendo, Atari, Playstation, Commodore, Spectrum, Xbox, Amstrad, Neo Geo, PC Engine – almost every games console you can think of will be at Play Expo!
• A mini careers fair where you can get advice on getting into the games industry from companies like Futureworks, Aardvark Swift and Gamercamp.
• Cosplay sketching, J-Pop dancers, LARP demos, circus performers, a cosplay gameshow plus the annual Play Expo masquerade where you can win a years’ worth of passes to Replay and Showmasters events and other great prizes.
• Heaps of prize tournaments for all the latest and greatest games including Mario Kart 8, Super Smash Bros, Ultra Street Fighter 4, Halo 4, Pro Evo Soccer 2015 and huge raft of retro tournaments run by Retro Collect.
• EGL and Riot Games will be hosting the LAN Finals of one of the League of Legends 4 Nations Qualifiers, giving you a chance to compete for a spot at the 4 Nations Grand Finals and a shot at a €8000 prize pool.
• Amazing board games and card games for you to try out. With a mix of old and new games, the Dark Cleo team will be teaching you how to play, staging some friendly tournaments and even running a Pokémon Quiz with a prize for the winner.
• Our biggest ever trader zone with all manner of gaming and merchandise retailers including apparel, comics, board games, toys, figures, retro games plus all the latest games and consoles from our headline retail partner GameSeek.
• The Video Game Carnival will be making a return – the ringmaster will be bringing his popular sideshows such as the amazing Fruitcade, Laser Pong, Micro Machines Mayhem, the Picture Postcard and Giant Gameboys to the show.
So, what are you doing this weekend?