This is my first EGX and my first time at the Birmingham NEC, so I was so fortunate to be on the bus with developers and locals going to the event, meaning I just had to follow them. The queues to get in with the early access crowd—as I didn’t know there was a press entrance—were insanely large, something that honestly shocked me.

This was an intense day. It was my first time at an Expo. I had to find a rhythm between exploring and interviewing. Made me wish I had some backup, to rein me in sometimes, but it’s all part of the experience.

I had my first ever Wii U experience this day, with two amazing games, Splatoon and the one I was looking forward to the most, Xenoblade Chronicles X.

From there it was all about the Indie games for me. I pretty much lived in the Rezzed, LeftField Collection and Indie Megabooth sections, saying hi to devs I’d met in the past and promising to properly catch up to them later. My first ever EGX interview was with Grey Alien Games’s Shadow Hand, very early in development but an intriguing mix of solitaire, card collecting and visual novel.

I met Great and Legendary Ben from 1001Up right there, a fantastic coincidence. We chatted for a short bit, both excited to see what else the Expo had to offer.

I passed by the Prologue Games stand and said hi to them, promising to stop by on Saturday (Day 3) to properly catch up. I had a lovely time playing ButcherLab’s Theo & Lizzy and laughing with the developers when I did something they had never seen before. We even joked about adding a “You Did a Kevin” achievement to the game. Iron Fish was a game that freaked me out despite its seemingly tranquil presentation, something that made the developers very happy. The Living Dungeon by Radiation Burn left me hungry for more, especially after they mentioned you could play online with friends and act as the dungeon master. Aaero’s devs, Mad Fellows, assured me they‘d integrate the Rhythm elements with the SHMUP one in the future. I’m not a fan of the music style used, but it works for the game. Met up with Barcelonan Dave from Lince Works and he hooked me onto his stealth game Twin Souls with a single phrase: “It’s like Tenchu.”

Every time I see SpecialEffect at an Expo I can’t resist going to them and see just how they’re changing someone’s life next. I played Minecraft with eye tracking. I’m not a fan of Minecraft but I can only imagine how this will make it possible for someone to enjoy his games. SpecialEffect’s dedication and ingenuity blows me away every time.

The highlight of the day though was meeting James Bartholomeou from Indie-Love and the Initiative Check YouTube channel, and Pip aka TinyPixxels. I met Pip and husband Steve around the show floor and we had a quick chat about Simon the Sorcerer, a game she recommended. I was shocked to hear someone had nicked her equipment and personal belongings while she was interviewing. To her credit and my amazement, she pushed on.

James was as nice as I expected him to be and along with Ben, we had a long and lovely chat about the games we’d seen and the industry.

When I left the venue…I was exhausted, completely battered.

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