The UK’s favourite Arcade, Indie & Retro video gaming expo was back for 3 days at the Norbreck Castle Exhibition Centre on the 2nd, 3rd & 4th May 2015.
PLAY Blackpool is brought to you by the organisers of PLAY Expo and was jam packed with hundreds of games and consoles, an arcade, huge traders area, exhibitors, guest talks, cosplay, board gaming, tournaments and a whole lot more. PLAY Blackpool was sponsored by the wonderful folks at funstock.co.uk, who gave attendees the chance to win a Retron 5 console. You can check into the Facebook event here and a full show line-up of what occurred this weekend can be found on the PLAY Blackpool website.
PLAY Blackpool had an exclusive preview of SkySaga: Infinite Isles on the show floor as well as a PS4 Zone featuring loads of cool PSN titles such as the brilliant multiplayer Towerfall Ascension. The Xbox One Zone featured the best in download and Indie games for Microsoft’s next-gen machine. Fantastic indie games such as the award winning Wulverblade and latest virtual reality projects from Llamasoft were featured along with the awesome Oculus Rift. Plus, for the first time at PLAY Blackpool there was a dedicated Minecraft Zone running the Hunger Games map as well as a standard Minecraft world where you are encouraged to build and explore.
A great line up of nostalgic retro consoles and computers were featured running classic and modern games including Sega, Nintendo, Atari, Sony, Commodore, Sinclair, Xbox, Amstrad, Neo Geo, PC Engine and more. The retro arcade was brimming over with classic machines, all set to free-play, including Outrun, Pacman, Donkey Kong, Street Fighter, Space Invaders and Space Harrier. Game tournaments included Super Smash Bros, Fifa & Halo Master Chief Collection on Xbox One, PES 2015 & Drive Club on PS4, Ultra Street Fighter IV on Xbox 360 and 16 player Halo fee for alls. The Gamers lounge area featured multi-player games including Mario Kart Double Dash. It was a gamers paradise!
I got a pre-show walk round from one of the event organisers Dave Moore, who went through everything the event had planned for the long bank holiday weekend. I grabbed a few pictures of the arcade machines just after they had been delivered. “It’s our fourth year in Blackpool and this is the first year the show will be over three days. We brought in over 4000 visitors last year and we are expecting up to 6000 this year” said organiser Andy Brown.
Guest Q&A sessions for the weekend include the famous Oliver Twins, the legendary Jeff Minter, Artist David Rowe (along with exclusive limited edition artwork), Steve Lycett from Sumo Digital, Andrew Hewson and a Q&A panel with other former Hewson Consultants including Stewart Gilray and Simon Cobb. The first European public screening of a brand new documentary telling the story of Atari and how they created a new industry, hosted by Jeff Minter, was being shown at the hotel cinema. Also, as a PLAY Blackpool exclusive, the unreleased Llamasoft TXK VR project made an appearance this weekend. Boom!
The dealers area was choc full of gaming goodies, board and card games, action figures, consoles and a dedicated board game demo area. Clickable images below are linked to source so go exploring to find out who’s who!
In August the team take PLAY Expo to Margate. More gaming fun!