Expo is fast approaching and I hope if you can’t make it, or even if you can, you will follow me on my first journey into official Pressdom.

My first order of business was to update the blog a bit, get it looking a bit sleeker. I hope you agree that I have achieved that and the template I am using has a lot of features I haven’t used yet which will allow me to push certain features and the like. Any feedback greatly appreciated as I fiddle around with things.

I’ve attended Expo several times before, both as a small press publisher in it’s early days in a fascinating, if weird, masonic hall and in the last few years as a punter. I’ve enjoyed myself immensely each time and I hope this time will be the usual highlight that I have come to expect. Mostly I just go for the food!

Anyway this time will be a little different, as I will need to get round a good few exhibitors, play a load of games all the while keeping on top of writing up reviews and opinions as I go.

So let’s look at my cunning plan. I’ve already been through all the exhibitors and I have narrowed down a hitlist of under 30. A few of these I will be able to get through in the press preview and I have some interviews setup with some of the publishers already. Here are publishers I am really keen to visit and the games I am looking to play:

Board and Dice: ‘Pocket Mars’ and the ‘Superhot’ card game look really interesting. I played ‘Multiuniversum’ last year and enjoyed it, but didn’t pick it up. I definitely want to pick up something from these folks this year. Actually coming to think of it ‘Exoplanets’ looks pretty cool as well.

CGE: I know, I know, they aren’t a small publisher or even medium sized, but I have been itching to try ‘Adrenaline’ and they have reached out to me as well, so hoping to get a demo of some new games like ‘Codenames:Duet’ and the new question game from Vlaada Chavatil.

Grublin Games: I am a big fan of heist films so really keen to try out ‘Perfect Crime’.

Hall or Nothing: I am still after a really good fantasy adventure game so ‘Gloom of Killforth’ may fit the bill. ‘City of Kings’ may also fit the bill, so I may see about making time for that as well.

Lander: These folks have been a delight to chat to so far and I look forward to trying their Planetary Survival game also called ‘Lander’.

Osprey Games: I picked up ‘Escape from the Aliens in Outer Space’ and although it hasn’t gotten to the table much, it’s a beautifully put together game. Both ‘The Lost Expedition’ and ‘Sharazad’ look really interesting.

Themeborne: ‘Escape the Dark Castle’ may only just be about to hit Kickstarter but it sounds like a really interesting project and the art reminds me of early mac adventure games and the like. Love me a bit of nostalgia.

I have loads of others on my list but these are floating to the top for me right now.

After the press preview I am going to hit the trade hall, keeping my hitlist in mind but wandering the whole place, probably starting at the side with more of the smaller publishers. I’m really looking forward to being surprised by something I have overlooked and I’ll be approaching each publisher with an open mind.

The one thing I am going to be sure of, and my mate Rich who is wandering around with me will hopefully keep me in line, is to make sure I don’t burn myself out by trying to get round too many publishers too quickly. I initially had a list of around 60, but there is no way I can do each of those publishers justice in the limited time I will have a the con. I could work late into the night, but frankly I want to play some games and drink some beers, well a lot beers, with friends. 30 I feel is a good number to aim for and actually feature on the blog in a more prominent way, and I will of course do some overviews of each day as I go.

I was going to give you a look inside the bag I’ll be carrying around and what is going in it but I think that is probably enough for this time out. Tell me faithful readers, what are you looking forward to seeing? What games are you planning to buy, and what do you really want to try out?