Opinion

How to Survive EGX Birmingham 2016

21 Sep , 2016  

We learned a great deal at Gamescom and wanted to pass on some of our advice for those attending EGX this year. As a consumer we thought we would give you a handy survival guide so you can make the most of your stay this year. So sit back, take some notes and then open up a new tab in your browser and start planning your trip, as it is something you won’t want to miss!

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Gamescom had just shy of 350,000 attend the event, so expect queues. Bring with you a foldable chair if you have one, you won’t regret it! EGX tickets have almost sold out, so similar queues aren’t out of the question.

Queue Comfortably
Queues at EGX last year were particularly insane. At one point we saw a 2 hour queue for Call of Duty. We noticed some of the seasoned veterans picked up foldable chairs that fit nicely anchored to one of the side pockets of their rucksacks. Standing in one spot and moving yards for multiple hours is more tiring than walking, you want to be energised for the long haul so don’t make yourself feel uncomfortable if you can avoid it.

Bring Supplies
Don’t wait to get inside the exhibition centre before grabbing food and drink. Not only can the queues get quite big at EGX there is a window of opportunity to get smaller queues during lunch time periods and you can save yourself a small penny by packing bottles of drink and taking snack foods. We recommend taking a protein bar with you each day, regardless of how hot the arena is they will not melt and they are small enough to give you more than enough room to pack some handheld devices into your backpack to kill time whilst you wait to play the next hotly anticipated game! Bring one 0.75l bottle of water and 1 500ml sports cap energy drink. Water and food prices are ridiculous in exhibition centres in the UK  If you are looking for a sit down meal we highly recommend waiting till after the show otherwise you will be paying easily £15-20 for food that is nothing more than average.

Check What is Playable Before Entering a Queue
One of our biggest criticisms of Gamescom recently was the lack of transparency from publishers. They rocked up in Cologne with big massive booths only to show game play footage. This was evident with a number of publishers including Bethesda, Microsoft, Sony and Square Enix. Before joining a queue ask one of the attendants if the game will be playable. Don’t waste your time queuing to see game play that will only end up on YouTube a week later, it is a waste of your hard earned money.

Stick it Out!
Consistently throughout the 5 days we were at Gamescom we noticed a drop off in visitor numbers from 5pm. The show is open until 6pm at EGX this year, 7pm on weekends. Give yourself enough time to join a queue before it shuts and take advantage of the lower queue times at this point to pick off key games that you want to check out. If you are well prepared you won’t leave early.

Want Swag? Don’t wait until the last day
Many publishers will give out free T-Shirt’s just for checking out their games, there are a number of stage giveaways but there is never guarantee you will actually get anything for free in those. Take advantage of getting on AAA titles on the first two days of the show, don’t leave it till the last day as promotional materials will run out. If you see people walking around with massive bags don’t be deceived, just because people have big Final Fantasy bags or PlayStation 4 bags, it doesn’t mean there is much inside them. Microsoft did a great thing this year by giving out limited edition pins to those that played their big titles.

Don’t forget the Indies
Are queue times too big? Why not hop on by some of the ID@Xbox titles or Indie Booth’s there is amazing creative talent on display. If it wasn’t for indie developers, we wouldn’t have experienced for ourselves great games such as Super Hot and Cuphead, two games we believe will go on to achieve cult status to the levels of Limbo and Super Meat Boy.

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We arrived at Gamescom a day early to learn where everything was before the show started. Be warned there are security throughout so if you are asked to leave please respect their wishes.

Wear Comfortable Clothing
You might be walking around a big exhibition centre but all of the electronics and sheer mass of people amp the humidity of the venue. On days 2 & 3 of Gamescom temperatures in Cologne were above 30 degrees Celsius, be sensible and breathable clothing. If you are going to the event in Cosplay try something that will enable you to keep you cool, or just be prepared to be hard core and potentially light your Cosplay items on fire by the end of the show as you will absolutely stink if you go as a Stormtrooper.

Wash Your Hands
There are some disgusting fuckers out there. We’ve seen people scratching their arse and then sniffing their fingers. Don’t get ill! After playing games and sitting down for something to eat take time to wash your hands or at least pack some anti-bac gel if you can’t be bothered to visit the toilets and use the hot water. You will thank yourself after the event when you aren’t taking a piss out of your asshole.

Take a Portable Chair
Want to save your legs for the full 4 day event? Then you can pick up portable stools and chairs for pennies on the pound. Do not under estimate queue times, especially on the weekends. It’s worth investing in one. They are super portable and you’ll thank yourself towards

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