GameForce 2018

GameForce blew out five candles this year and when being perfectly honest, the event is totally different than it was during the first year. The event originally started in Antwerp in a fairly humble venue, showing us some upcoming games, allowing us to play some demos of titles that weren’t out yet and also offered a very slim amount of shops that had to satiate our need for games and merchandise. Now, the event has been held in Mechelen for the third year in a row, and for this celebratory edition the complete Nekkerhal was used in order to let this event truly become a gaming event to behold. We were lucky enough to get invited and for the most part we loved the event from start to finish.

Upon entering the event, it was clear that every exhibitor had his space that was tightly outlined, without being crammed next to each other or without interfering with other brands. The walkways were wide, and even though the event was fairly crowded, there were no real issues with mobility. You could easily walk from the front to the back without being hampered (too much) by the rest of the visitors of the event. The publishers and developers were properly grouped together and so were the food stands, the sales booths and the stage that catered to eSports events and so on.

One of the only remarks about the venue might be that the acoustics are terrible and everything sounds really loud and hollow. The loud part is of course normal given the many exhibitors that use microphones to announce items, as well as the masses that flock to certain booths. Nonetheless, the overall location is a big improvement compared to the original one, and we had ample room to see more than enough interesting exhibitors. GameForce is not like F.A.C.T.S. or the other Comic-Con events in Belgium, as it’s more a show and tell, rather than an event that’s all about buying stuff. You’ll get to try out many different games, if you don’t mind queuing. That being said, this time there were a lot more interesting booths for those wanting to pick up some gaming merchandise, as there were many T-shirts on display, as well as board games, figurines, and some cool game related weapon replicas. While most of these sales booths catered to those who had a bit of pocket change to spend, there were some cheaper alternatives for fans with a smaller budget.

The event did not only cater to those looking to see a glimpse of unreleased titles, but there were also retro games to be found, contests, giveaways and other things that would certainly appeal to gamers. Even the indie section was quite elaborate and well presented with nice big booths, which were probably to fill in some blank space, but they felt rather expensive and well done. Kudos to the organization for allowing these small developers to shine as well.

As always GameForce utilizes a system where you pay with a prepaid card for food and drinks. This system is quite handy and it reduces waste, as you can simply keep the card of the previous year(s) and use it again for the upcoming editions. You can even charge your card at home, and thus avoid queuing at the registers uploading credit to your card. The aforementioned is all theoretically, as we ourselves had problems with the advance payment, which didn’t register, because only a till with the charge function can update your card. This means, if you did it at home, you could actually very well queue at a food stall, be unable to pay, complain about said problem, having to queue at the registers, to once again have to queue at your desired food or beverage stall. While an issue like this could easily be forgiven, it’s actually quite sad that when you complain about said problem, the organization treats you like a retarded infant. We found ourselves at the desk for ‘card problems’ only to hear the person behind the desk laugh and say: ‘I don’t know anything about that, the sign just says card problems’, only to be called a liar by the second person, to hear from the third person that our card is dated, this is actually impossible. Only when stated we were invited by the organization, those behind the desk were suddenly awoken from a deep slumber to actually call someone higher up, as we were originally on our own to arrange it with the site that does the credit upload. Finally our issue was resolved, after one of the managers who actually knew what was going on, escorted us to a till, fixed the problem and had us on our merry way. While the overall issue wasn’t bad, the handling of it was probably one of the worst ways possible by those sitting behind the ‘card problems’ desk.

Conclusion

Safe for the somewhat big mishap with the card, which would clearly not be addressed if we were just a regular visitor, the organization pulled out all the stops when it came to filling their venue with big and small publishers and sales booths. There were many games to be tested, a lot of prizes to be won, fun goodies to be collected, and some nice items to be bought and to be added to your collection. If you were on the fence of going to this event, be sure to give it a go, but you’d better reload your prepaid card at the event itself, thus you’ll inevitably have to do some unwanted queuing. Nonetheless, this event still has a lot of options to become even greater, but for now, we have a sturdy gaming event in Belgium.

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GameForce 2018, 10.0 out of 10 based on 5 ratings
Ibuki
Ibuki


Aspiring ninja.

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