Retro Revival 2013

I had a great time with friends last weekend enjoying a huge dollops of retro gaming awesome-ness at Retro Revival. Chris and Craig sure did put on one hellava show!

The venue was rammed wall to wall with happy gamers, retro consoles of all ages, computers, handhelds, arcade machines, exhibitions, and vendors. The great thing about this particular venue is that it was all spread over a different areas rather than being crammed into one room. You could browse along the corridors as you headed out to the bar, or seek shelter and a little quiet time in the chillout zones were you’ll find the cocktail cabinets.

Part of the main room. Bottom left is Roger Kean of Newsfield magazines and producer of the tablets of my youth, Zzap64 and Crash magazine. Behind him, sadly not in shot is the one and only cover artist Oli Frey.

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My colleagues and friends from from the Retro Computer Museum had been allocated a really nice spot nestled between rows of classic arcade machines allowing  Andy and co. to setup a great selection of systems and showcasing some of their rarer gear.

I also spotted  Andy’s C64 had picked up a few more signature from the VIP’s attending the weekend too. Surely, the making of one highly sought after C64!

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The Centre For Computing History also had a fascinating hands on display that charted pretty much all of the popular (and not so popular) video consoles right from the early Pong based systems such as the Odyssey  through the various generations 8,16, 32 and 64 bit  consoles and computers.

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I’d forgotten how big the Atari 5200 actually is considering the size of the 2600 and 7800 models. Even the trackball module is a hefty ‘ol beast. I spent quite some time here playing Missile Command etc.

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Roll up, roll up, the Carnivals in town….o.k so on the Woody it’s a bit iffy, but I just love this game (especially on the Colecovision) and am game whenever I come across it……

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…..and In this instance it was part of the entrance to the Videogamecarnival where you can play, amongst other things, on giant Gameboys!

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..and the Fruitcade, which uses real fruit as controls! It’s the weirdest game of Space Invaders I’ve ever played…and the sharpest (thanks Pineapple) Start button I’ve ever used too!

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There was also plenty of arcade machines to play on including classics like Defender, Pole Position, Centipede, Star Wars, Outrun and Phoenix as well as a good selection of Neo Geo MVS cabinets.

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and an old favourite I can play on  for hours.

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One of the many gaming exhibits – the Wall of Video Game History.

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..and after many years, I finally got to go on another Virtual Reality.  The owner mentioned that this particular model is based around a Commodore Amiga 3000.

He’s behind you StiGGy!

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Sadly, on the day, there wasn’t much in the way of Pinball, but the handful of tables  were fun all the same. I’ll have to wait until August to get my fix as the UK Pinball party are hosting a 140+ table event :-O

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There was also plenty of homebrew gaming to sample too on both  older and modern devices and plenty of the programmers around to to get chatting to. I’ve amassed quite a list of titles I’ll be looking at in greater detail and I’ll post more about these later on.

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Spotted in the wild, was a full size working replica of Fix it Felix arcade cabinet ported by Jim Bagley and housed  in a custom cabinet by Turnarcades and one of those new Commodore 64 PCs.

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I picked up a few things from the trade vendors including an internal DiVIDE unit for my Speccy +3 (or +2), a minty fresh mk1  Gameboy (and a few carts), a couple of 3DO games, a couple of C64 big box game bundles, some classic game magazines to add to the collection and a couple of LED arcade buttons for my Mame cab (or next project).

All in all, it was an absolutely fantastic weekend in the company of some great friends. Lets hope that this is only the beginning of more to come.

Here’s a great walkthru video showing most of the areas and all the cool stuff one could play with.

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4 responses to “Retro Revival 2013

  1. Interesting to see the huge difference between Retro Revival and the GEEK13 we had in Margate. There were common things like the big gameboys, fruitcade etc. but the biggest differences were:

    1. Space – RR seemed very well spaced out. GEEK13, although in a big place, had a lot of rows of tables with consoles etc. on them. RR seems to be much more spread out. Looks like a great venue.

    2. Arcade Cabinets – GEEK13 had roughly 25 & about 10 pinball tables – woefully inadequate in comparison to what the video shows for RR.

    3. Light – GEEK13 was very ‘dark’ (big hall with some side rooms) – RR looked immensely better.

    4. Consoles etc. – not so many at RR it appears but looks better in other ways.

    In short, I think I’ve just talked myself into a Kent to Wolverhampton couple of days out in 2014 as the standard of the event looks brilliant.

  2. It certainly was a great event and I hear that Chris and Craig will be doing it again next year.

    I missed GEEK13 myself but thought it looked rather cool from the photos I saw. I do like the larger retro gaming events (although i’m on the fence about R3play these past few years and inclusion of modern gaming/cosplay and not just retro) but I also like the smaller homebrew events were its just a few friends chillin for the weekend over a beer and the odd game.

    It’s a shame that there wasn’t as many pinball tables this time around (unlike the rows and rows at R3play) but there was so much other cool stuff and plenty of surprises.

    One thing I’ve never understood about these larger events though is the insistence of turning off all the lights – even worse if they turn on the disco lights and play very loud modern music.
    Old school gamers like myself dream about walking back into an old arcade and basking in the symphony of all those games switched on at the same. Retro events (especially the larger ones) go some way in recreating this ambience but rather than letting gamers enjoy it, they break out the and turn up the volume loosing that nostalgic soundtrack. If you’re going to play music, keep it in theme and go retro. Personally though, I’d rather chat with my mates rather than shout over the music.

    Also, at these events you often see many a fan of retro hardware taking photo upon up photo of their favourite computers and consoles. Not so great when the lights are switched off or the disco lights are on. Blue tinted Amiga’s anyone?

    Thankfully Retro Revival left the lights on and the music off and I thank them for it 🙂

  3. Hi matey, it’s boyo from Revival. Are you OK if we use some of your images on our website – you got some cracking ones there 🙂

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