Hey there Crashers!
Now we’re all for sitting at home all weekend playing games in the comfy solitude of your own room, but we were fortunate enough to be invited along to The Rapture Gaming Festival 2 in Colchester, England just recently, and now that the dust has settled, we’ve had chance to gather our thoughts, contact some of the participants and recover from the hangover, we’re going to share with you just a few reasons why you need to make this awesome independent gaming event a must visit on your 2018 calendar… So let’s get this ball rolling…
1. More games than you can shake a monkey at – Yes, it goes without saying, but when we arrived, got our armband passes attached and stepped through into the main hall, we were overwhelmed with choice. Large scale games of Overwatch, Minecraft and PUBG, Esports, MASSES of retro options, VR experiences, homemade gaming contraptions, and no doubt countless other examples I’ve forgotten, there really was so much to do for all ages, and we made sure to play as much as we could.
2. Indie Developers Zone – We’re huge supporters of the Indie Dev World here at PX, and it’s always a highlight for us to get to play newly released or in progress indie titles. Rapture didn’t disappoint, with a large section dedicated to indie developers and their projects. We had a great time meeting and chatting with some of these guys, and discussing the journey they’ve been on since becoming developers. Not to mention play testing a whole bunch of sweet as hell games; from future mobile hits to weird and wonderful controller free arcade extravaganzas.
3. Cosplay Galore – Not only were we treated to some fantastic (and often hilarious) cosplay in a live cash prize competition, but we also spent some time with some of the guys that dedicate their lives creating beautiful, cost effective cosplay for a living! They gave us the rundown of some cheap and easy ways to create cosplay at home, and also let us play around with a super cool mechanised Five Nights At Freddy’s costume. Totally rad.
4. Special Guests – Rapture is flooded with recognisable faces from the gaming world. From Esports players through to Twitch streamers, these guys spent some time having a chat with each other and the crowds, and answered some of the most important questions in life, such as “If you were stuck on a desert island, which game would you take with you?” Harsh question, little dude. We’ll get back to you.
5. Goodies for Sale – Do not fear, my beautiful consumerists, there was a large section of the hall dedicated to things you can take home with you and show off to your friends. Pick up games, clothing, decorative mugs, framed art prints, Pokemon cards, statuettes… Honestly, it’s reasons like this I only allow myself to carry so much cash on me. I’d be skint in an hour.
6. Tabletop gaming – You thought this was all about digital gaming? Hell no, Crashers. We’re big fans of DnD at Pixel Crashers, so we were delighted to see the number of tables dedicated to various kinds of tabletop gaming at Rapture Fest. We’re not sure exactly what was being played, but it looked fucking awesome. We definitely caught glimpse of some sweet looking 40K though. Ah, memories… Expensive, expensive memories.
7. On-stage gaming battles – If you’re confident enough (we were definitely not, and would have immediately had a panic attack), there’s opportunity for you to get up on stage and try your hand at some highly competitive, but still super casual winner stays on competitions. We spent ages watching people play the superbly addicting Wild West shootout game on the 1-2-Switch, which looked so much fun! For those that don’t know, this cowboy inspired mini game as part of the Switch’s party game collection is all about drawing your gun first and shooting your opposing player with a number of different mutators to keep the game interesting. Perfectly suited for stage gameplay, and it was fascinating to watch these guys and gals take pops at each other. Some of their reaction times were unbelievable!
8. Child friendly – Yes yes, don’t worry, you geek chic parents of tiny hellish wombat children, you can let them run free at Rapture. There’s so much for them to do, and so many games to play. However if you’ve got really young kids that maybe can’t appreciate the wonder of gaming yet, there are special zones dedicated to lighter forms of recreation such as colouring; giving you the chance to have a coffee and a bite to eat from one of the food vendors, and just chill the hell out, man.
9. Adult Only After Party XXX – Haven’t got kids you say? Want to rock the fuck out, you say? They got you covered. This was the highlight of the festival for us. After the day event had finished and the children had all gone home, the festival re-opened for the adult only after party. With far less people at the festival now, we took the opportunity to play every single game we’d wanted to, but hadn’t had the opportunity throughout the day. We had a few beers and a couple or three vodkas, we played some beer pong with absolute strangers (and we were awesome, I might add). Not only that, but we were treated to a dangerously sexy series of video game inspired strip teases from three bootylicious dancers, and to finish off the night we got to cha cha slide the night away to some banging game inspired DJ sets that totally blew us away. For this portion of the event alone, it’s worth your entry fee, and I’ve never been to anything like it.
10. Community – Forget the cynicism of the games’ industry. Forget the huge events in London and Birmingham where you struggle with huge queues and obnoxious security staff. Rapture is an event created by a very passionate team of video game lovers, and it’s there to bring the community together. Everyone is going to get something different out of this festival, but everything we found here, we loved. We couldn’t hope for a more rounded, comfortable and caring experience at Rapture 2017, and we implore you to come along to their 2018 events. We’ll be there for sure, buzzing our tits off on the dance floor.
Have a great weekend, Crashers, and whatever you do, don’t miss out on this fantastic Fest.
Check out the video covering November’s event below. It does a much better job of illustrating the point than I ever could.