Well it’s finally the week of Games Expo and my excitement is reaching fever pitch. I am looking forward to playing loads of games, meeting with some incredible companies, catching up with friends and hopefully making a bunch of new ones. 

In what will be my final pre-expo post I would like to look at all the companies I am planning to visit, and highlight some local companies you should check out if you are going.

Here is a link to the spreadsheet I made myself whilst I was going through all the companies in my previewing:

Iain’s Big List of Companies

Check out my organisation. I initially refined it down to 60 or so but there is no way I was going to do all those companies justice so I went through again, refining the list, adding a couple of opportunities that came up, and moving some into a list of things I wanted to see but wouldn’t necessarily be looking at for the blog. That left me with just under 30 companies to look at, which I think I can get through in my time at the con. I’m hoping that I might be able to knock off a few on my larger list as well, but since this is my first time doing the press thing I want to remain as focused as I can. 

Outside of those companies are a few local folk going down for the first time that I think are worth your attention. I’ve played most of the games I am about to mention to one extent or another through the play test group I run.  

One Free Elephant: Sarah has been working incredibly hard on Ore-Some which has just been successfully distributed to her Kickstarter backers, on time! It’s a great family game, you can read my review here, and will be on sale at the con alongside demos of their just launched on Kickstarter Carcosa, designed by Sarah’s husband Nigel. You can find Sarah and her family at Stall D20. 

Wreck and Ruin: Mark is a lovely guy and has been working really hard on his post-apocalyptic game ‘Wreck and Ruin’. I really like this game, with it’s big action, just enough chaos to not be predictable, but tactical enough to feel like you are in control. Mark will be demoing the game over the course of the con and it’s well worth getting a shot of this before it becomes the next big hit. You can find Mark at stall D22.

Cardboard and Coffee Games: Keith has been working on his tile laying game for a while and it’s come a long way since I first played it. He has his own booth at the con and will be looking for people to test his game to destruction. If you fancy helping out an enthusiastic new designer, then check him out at stall D11.

Inspiring Games: I reviewed this outfit’s Legends Untold last year and whilst I liked the game, it could have done with a bit of a graphical kick in the pants. Thankfully the team have done just that and this ‘RPG in a box’ game is looking really good. They’ll have an early version of their next project as well but if you are looking for a quick playing, dungeon crawling experience check them out at Stall H19. 

Bad Cat Games:  I haven’t actually had a chance to play anything from this company yet, keep missing them at play test meetups. You’ll be able to play their dice battling game Elemenz, which will be just hitting Kickstarter as the con kicks off, and their Roman arena game Gladiatores at Stall J19.

Playtest UK: There are a couple of folks heading to the con that are using the area setup by Playtest UK to get some feedback on their projects. If you are looking to help out some budding new designers then this is definitely the place to go. You can find them at Stall H40.

That is me for pre-expo posts. I’m putting the finishing touches to all my luggage today, hopefully fitting in a bag I can fill with game on the way back up, but I am feeling relaxed and organised and extremely excited to set out on this new adventure. I love Expo and the companies it brings together and if I can, in some small way, shine a light on some games you may have missed otherwise, I’ll count it as a job well done. 

See you at Expo!

Iain