Play Expo Glasgow Review


It seems that Gaming Expos are like buses in Scotland, you wait forever for one and then 4 come along at once. This weekend it was the turn of Play Expo, which was held in Renfrewshire, in the Braehead Arena.

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So I was pretty hyped to check out the ‘Biggest Gaming Expo in the North’ in it’s first venture across the border. I knew that there would be a mix of Retro and modern gaming, but I didn’t realise just how expansive it would be. In the centre of the arena every system I could think of - from the Binatone TV Master, right up to the PS4 and Xbox One were represented.

As soon as I arrived I plonked myself in front of a Master System running Psycho Fox and amused a small group of onlookers as I failed 3 times in a row to make the first jump.

View From Stands

I didn’t hang around to see if the next person managed, I headed off to hide in the Indie section.The Indie section is much smaller than the Retro section but there is still a decent crowd of people crowded around the 10 or thereabouts games on offer. My eye is immediately drawn to the Sociable Soccer banners so off I pop to check out the Spiritual Successor to Sensible Soccer. I spent the next couple of minutes chatting with Gustav Hedenborg, one of the designers, mostly on how many features will be retained from Sensible Soccer. Then he asks me if I’d like to play the game, my eyes flick to the crowd that is amassing at the desk, visions of Psycho Fox flickering in my mind, I politely decline and move on promising to return later. 

Blue Revolver

The next game I check out is a top down bullet hell shooter named Blue Revolver, again I spend a couple of minutes chatting with the developer and he informs me that the game is 90% down and will be released on Steam in a couple of months. I grudgingly accept his offer to try the game and give him a Psycho Fox induced warning that I’ll likely suck at the game.

The game is absolutely frantic and I love my few minutes with it where I expertly negotiate the first stage and dispatch the first boss with relative ease. Reputation restored! Head held high I head off in the direction of the enormous arcade and pinball section and what should be the first sight that greets me?

My childhood favourite, the Simpsons Arcade game!

But I don’t have time for that, I’m in search of the Outrun Deluxe cabinet that Play Expo always tweet about at their other events… But it’s nowhere to be found. I do find a regular Outrun cabinet which is currently occupied by M.Bison.


My disappointment in the lack of the Deluxe cabinet is short lived when I take in what is on offer. Around 50 Arcade machines and 50 pinball machines from various generations all set to Free Play, I could easily spend my life here! And I almost do, I spend a couple of hours playing old favourites from Rolling Thunder to Defender, and of course The Simpsons Arcade game. Then the announcement comes over the tannoy that the CosPlay events are about to start, off I go again.

Play Expo Glasgow 2016 CosPlay Galore!

Before this event I couldn’t have told you what a CosPlay masquerade was, nor could have I told you that a CosPlay lip sync battle was something that I wanted to see, but I enjoyed them both thoroughly.

The standard on offer was exceptional with a number of high profile CosPlaying guests, most notably Cleary CosPlay who is a name I recognised even with my limited knowledge of the subject. Star of the show has to be a young lad named Lucas who was enjoying the lip sync battle so much that he asked to join in despite not being in costume, he loved his time on stage and even the slight mishap of falling off the back of it didn’t ruin his moment.

Generations Collide

There was of course the Traders section selling all manners of consoles, games, and memorabilia. I didn’t spend too much time here under warning from the wife or I’d have had all the Pokemon plushies… All of them! I only got to spend one day at Play Expo having missed the first day, and one day was enough to see everything that was on offer, but I’d have happily spent another 8 hours repeating what I’d experienced on my day there.

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