EGX Rezzed 2018: Back to the Docks

Well. I’ve taken my shoes off, I’ve made myself a drink and I’m all pooped after a busy day walking around London as well as a trip to the opening day of the always marvellous Rezzed Gaming event organised by Eurogamer under the EGX brand. My first Rezzed was when it was still held in Birmingham (in 2014 apparently). I was held in the grip of alcohol – in a dark, low point of my life – and I drank over a litre of sambucca before we arrived, drank mustard through a straw for a Vine, jumped through a window into a cafe and generally acted like a dick. Lesson to learn there kids, alcohol won’t stop you being a dick, even if it stops you thinking that everything is awful. Anyway, that show felt too small for the venue and when it was moved to the Old Tobacco Dock it was a perfect fit. The location is *superb* in the sense that it is open, yet intimate. It has space to breathe, yet still can feel ‘full’. In short it has a couple of ships, a shed load of personality and I like it A LOT! Since then, in my opinion, the show has blossomed from a large room full of small games to a small show full of large, small games. For example take the Rock Paper Shotgun room. Inside was a handful of games that drew a crowd in an almost permanent state – including Tenya Wanya Teens and Vaccination – due to the fact that the curated selection was both fun AND innovative. These games aren’t likely to turn up on the console stores anytime ever, so this is both interesting AND unique as an experience. Similarily the Leftfield Collection was as diverse as ever, with one particular highlight being the new creation from Robin Baumgarten (he of Line Wobbler ‘fame’) which saw a series of springs blended with some trippy glasses to present a very cool and very unique experience. On the other side of the room was Ben Vedrenne’s Stereopolis, which saw a projected image on a disk of frosted glass become one of the most zen experiences I’ve ever had at a show like this. Even the main floor was chock-a-block with fantastical games and creations, far too many to list, all of which were being played and discussed. This is one of the major benefits of the Rezzed set up. Instead of a show like Insomnia or EGX which has the big hitters and two hour queues, which make smaller indie games feel like a weird side dish, Rezzed is a banquet night experience. Take a bit from each bowl, Sir. Enjoy your evening, Sir.

On the more ‘commercial’ end I enjoyed seeing West of Loathing getting some love – I loved it on Steam – via the Nintendo Switch, as well as having a primal urge awoken within my head by the sight of Lumines Remastered. Wired Productions offered up a room full of Shaq Fu and Grip (which ended up being one of my top 5 of the show thanks to a neat, trimmed down set up that just worked beautifully and saw both Kev and I driving on walls and ceilings. It had a great Motorstorm/Blur vibe) which both appealed to the crowds. In the board game area – which was unusually quiet this year, although we visited early on the first day – there were dozens of opportunities to try out new titles and old, although the promised Stuffed Fables was no where to be seen sadly, as I was looking forward to that greatly.

On the whole the show was too big for a one day visit this year – something that cannot be said for previous years – so next year I shall have to invest in some accommodation for sure. I’ll be putting out some mini-review/previews of my ‘Top Ten’ of the show over the week, but for now I’d better get back to work at the cinema and start saving for EGX.

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