Too Much To Do!
If you live in the greater Philadelphia area, and consider yourself a retro gamer, you’ve probably attended a Too Many Games Convention. If not, you don’t know what you’re missing! Too Many Games is a 3-day convention that features several retro video game vendors, crafters, musicians, game developers, and all of your favorite YouTubers under one roof. Originally labeled “The East Coast Gaming Expo” (2004-2006), Too Many Games is an annual event that takes place at The Greater Philadelphia Expo Center in Oaks, Pennsylvania. I personally have been bringing my family to Too Many Games for over 3 years now, and have made many happy memories thanks to all of the amazing people that we’ve been able to meet and interact with. I wanted to share my experience with the Hey Poor Player readers in hopes that they too will want to join in the fun at next year’s expo.
So, where do I even begin? I guess a good starting point would be to introduce you to what I dove into first this year – mingle with all of the indie game developers who are there to show off their work. Rows and rows of up-and-coming indie games are there for you to sample, and the development teams are anxious to see how you react to their creations. A few developers may even ask for your input after you’ve had time with their game. I spent a good two hours in the indie corner and it felt like I was just scratching the surface!
Two games in particular that I immediately fell in love with this year were Neon Krieger Yamato and Robo Puzzle Smash. Neon Krieger Yamato can best be described as a fast paced platformer with fighting elements. It’s very stylish, and is presented in a pixel art cyber-punk aesthetic. Robo Puzzle Smash is an intensely addictive competitive puzzle game that lets you twist and turn the playfield in order to match colored blocks and set up combos. What really sticks out about Robo Puzzle Smash is the robots who are fighting in the background and reacting to every combo you manage to string together. Both games were really amazing and I can’t wait to get my hands on the final product!
If indie games aren’t your thing, don’t worry, there is a whole section of the expo center that is dedicated to your favorite classic arcade games and consoles. Hundreds of games are spread throughout the arcade hall, and best of all, they are free to play! Want to get into a game of 8-player Smash Brothers? Just head on over to the tables full of Wii U consoles and Gamecube controller adapters. Even if you’re not great at Smash, just ask someone for help. Everyone who I ran into in the arcade room was super friendly and willing to give aspiring Smash players (like myself) a few tips. I spent a few hours in the arcade room, shuffling from one childhood memory to another, wishing I could set up a tent and live there permanently. But then I heard some music coming from the hall next door that really peaked my interests.
Yes, Too Many Games also features several musical acts throughout the three day event. This year I was able to see YouTubers Brentalfloss and Keith Apicary entertain convention attendees like they’ve never been entertained before. I was blown away by Mega Ran & K-Murdock as they put on a mind-blowing, fully interactive concert. The Nerd Surge performed several video game music covers and allowed their fans to jump on stage with them and join in the fun. There was even a DJ battle featuring 4 amazing performers, with mixes of several video game tunes that I knew and loved. If you manage to attend next year, be sure to bring your dance moves and catch many of the convention’s excellent performances. Three straight days of video game themed music is pure bliss!
When you do need a break from all of the action, be sure to head out to the main hall and view all of the rare games and beautiful crafts that vendors have for sale.There were so many goodies out on the floor this year and it took a lot for me not to go over my convention budget (my wife also made sure that didn’t happen). Little Samson, Earthbound, Musha!! They’re all for sale and the vendors are ready for you to take out that 2nd mortgage to get them! In all seriousness, if you are looking to fill missing pieces in your game collection there is no better place to hunt for games than Too Many Games. Most of the vendors are willing to work with you and the majority of them even accept trades. So bring in all those extra copies of Super Mario Bros./Duck Hunt and put them towards a game that you’ve been looking to acquire. Even if you aren’t looking to fill spots in your collection there are plenty of gaming-related crafts to take in. NES Zapper lights, perler sprite art, custom clothing, and even replica Master Swords and Shields can be purchased from vendors. If you’re a fan of video games, I can guarantee that you’ll find something that you’ll like.
So as you can see, Too Many Games has something for everyone. I didn’t even mention all of the different panels that YouTubers host, and the wrestling matches…yes, there are even wrestling matches!! Thanks to this year’s convention I was finally able to sit down and interview Pat the NES Punk and Jay Hatfield (from the Game Chasers) for Hey Poor Player. If you’re in the north-east and haven’t attended Too Many Games yet, what are you waiting for!? Make sure to get your tickets next year and join the fun! You won’t regret it!