Thanet Star

GEEK 2017 at Dreamland

Yesterday, I went along to GEEK 2017 with my blogger hat on. As I mentioned, I was very tired when I got back. So here, the very next day is the article I wanted to write.

GEEK 2017 at Dreamland

GEEK (Game Expo East Kent) has landed once more. This time at Dreamland.

We've covered GEEK most other years at Thanet Star and it has been great but this year it felt like GEEK had come home. It was the perfect fit to hold it at Dreamland.

Also the ticket prices are fairly reasonable per person but it can add up if you go as a family. I honestly thought a "family of four" ticket was a tenner until a friend pointed out that it comes in at just shy of forty. So, yeah, I felt silly. That said, still worth it if you can.

As you come in, you will be greeted by relentlessly happy GEEK volunteers handing out stickers. This is part of something new to GEEK - a house competition. Pick a house and earn tokens (house points) for your house by playing games and getting involved. The people in the GEEK t-shirts will explain the details to you if you ask.

I have it on good authority (from the devs themselves) that the guys at the Bullion stand are handing out points for finding a new bug in the game they are giving a demo of. Bullion is masive fun even if it is an early version.

Talking of Bullion, the next stand you will come to, before anything else, is the Indie Developer Stand. Here there are all sorts of fun new games. All made by people who love to make games.

There is a new mobile app, Ball. Where you have to keep a ball "in the air" and away from random obstacles. It was hard to stop playing even though I sucked at it. Seriously, this could be the next Flappy Bird.

Speaking of Flappy Bird, guess what you can play in the arcade?

Flappy Bird

A huge thanks is owed to Quang Nguyen with MaoMao Castle. I got to have a play on that when everyone was trying to pack up for the night. You can play this game just by waving your hand over the sensor. There is a chance that I am simply too old to be any good at this game.

MaoMao Castle is right next to Chameleon Swing. Man, I was rubbish at that game. You control a Chameleon singing through the jungle by his tongue and trying not to get eaten by the crocodile, the buzzards and everything else that is out to get you. Your score is how far you get.

My score was two digits. You will almost certainly do better than me.

In the "things for sale" area, be sure to bring a large wallet or lots of self-control because there are so many awesome things to buy. Snack wise, you have to visit Naughty Floss it's Vegan, Allergen free candy floss. It is also under 100 calories per portion. I did not know that otherwise I would have said yes when I was offered a taste while I was checking out the indie games.

In the roller-disco where the Mario Cart games are, you may also see fun flash mobs and a host of colourful characters. Near to that is V. V. Glass with some simply incredible art work for sale. Her website is here if you want to see more.

Please make a bee-line for her stall and buy everything so she comes back next year. while you are there, you might consider buying one of her Doctor Who posters featuring the current Doctor. I really want one of those. You could also order it for me (or yourself, if you feel so inclined) from her Etsy shop.

V. V. Glass.

Just next door to that amazing art work, is an equally talented and attractive lady. She hand makes the most desirable little character keyrings. I had a bit of a hard time remembering how to deal with low light (it has been many years since I was an active photographer). I did manage a snap that I feel shows you an idea of her cool work.

Lil Filmo

Now you are over here, keep going. Those booths you see are being manned by Esdevium Games. You will get a chance to go old school and play some really engaging table top and board games. Seriously, I lost about three hours when I visited. The only way it could have been any more perfect would be if Wil Wheaton joined us. So much fun.

A huge thanks to one of the three lovely Sebs that I met - Sebastien Zander who was my guide through the different games there. I came so close to beating him at the Game of Thrones card game. Not close enough, however.

Out of there, into the sun and past the big wheel takes you to the hub of gaming. There I met Noobz and played Minecraft in immersive 3D. That was so much fun. With a decent swivel chair so I would not be in danger of falling over, I would play like that all day long.

Talking of Minecraft there is a large Minecraft area at the back. There is a full Rockband setup at the side of the stage.

I watched other people playing a game that requires you to be the controller (I was taking a break after almost falling over playing 3D games).

Then, on the stage, was another great Seb. This Seb is a master of lasers. His website is seb.ly. Another laser master was a fellow called John Sear.

There was a demo of Duck Hunt (a very old game) implemented using just one laser pointer. A single fast moving dot creates the entire screen. The gun you shoot with has also been modified with an atomiser so you actually get a little burst of "smoke" every time you fire and a visual illusion of a pulse of energy coming from the gun.

In seconds, the queue for that was massive.

There is so much more that I saw and just as much that I did not get to look into. Pinball, Story Teller in Residence, and Robot Workshop to name a few. If you can get there today or tomorrow, you really need to.

More GEEK coverage

I've been trying to write about GEEK for most of the blogs and other pages that I write for. I know for a fact that I am not the only one writing about GEEK. So I am going to end with a list of some of the other coverage I have found (or wrote).

Bullion: A game about pirate cows by yours truely.

Space Toads Mayhem will be at GEEK 2017 By Shawn Bird

Geek 2017 - The latest gaming expo is coming to Margate - Feb 17-19th 2017 by indieretronews.com

Live stream interview with the guys behind Bullion, skip to about two minutes thirty seconds in when they get the sound sorted out.

If you find it, please share any more GEEK coverage in the comments or on the Thanet reddit.

Have you ben to GEEK this year? Tell us what you loved the most in the comments below.

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