Retrospelsmässan 2017

This year we finally got to attend Retrospelsmässan again, Sweden’s largest retro gaming convention! Thanks to Sven666 and Quartex who revived the franchise :) It was a blast as always, and bigger than ever! They used a larger venue, and this year there were finally not a single issue regarding the queues! Good job guys! :D

Retrospelsmässan RSM 2017

I had a table shared with a my friend Cleareyes this year, where I sold off some of my doubles. I was also given the task of arranging a Tetris competition during the afternoon :) I had picked out a Tetris game and a way of competing that wouldn’t be too time consuming. I chose Super Tetris 3 for Super Famicom. In 2-player VS mode we had tryouts of 64 people that competed :) 32 remained, and then 16, then 8, then 4 and eventually just 2 people who battled for the title of RSM’s Tetris champion ^_^ I hardly managed to take any pics during the competition but I got to borrow some from my friend and also avid Tetris collector Daniel Engdahl :) Thanks!

I got to play a versus game with the winner afterwards. First to 3 wins and he beat me by 3-2. I got distracted in the last match XD

The convention was a blast, unfortunately I didn’t have time to explore all the tables and all the exhibitors as much as I would have liked. I spent most of the time talking to friends that I bumped into :) It’s such a great place for all of us nerds to gather and hang out ^_^ I’m already looking forward to Retrospelsmässan 2018!

Retro Gathering VCE 2017!

This weekend I visited Retro Gathering VCE (Vintage Computer Edition) in Västerås with my friend Gabriella. This years focus was Commodore PET that celebrated 40 years, Apple II and adventure games which is right up my friend Gabbi’s alley ^_^ It was as awesome as always! A bit fewer people visiting the convention this time, but that just meant less people crowding around the tables where I wanna buy stuff XD But I understand that it might be frustrating for the sellers to get fewer customers :/ But it’s usually a bit fewer people at the Vintage Computer Edition of Retro Gathering in spring time, compared to the regular Retro Gathering they host each fall. Probably because less people are into old computers and more people are into Nintendo and newer consoles … unfortunately :(  Well, another thing that might also have been the cause of less visitors is that Nintendo at Bergsala in Gothenburg hosted a launch party for the Nintendo Switch during the same weekend. I know a lot of people who went there instead.. But I had a great time at Retro Gathering VCE! Met and chatted with so many friends that I’ve gotten to know through these last couple of years, I just love the retro gaming community here in Sweden! :D

There were still a lot of things to look at and to buy. My biggest mistake was not to snag an Atari Jaguar CD unit, boxed and WORKING! I waited and they were gone within the hour.. >_< But I bought lots of other cool stuff ^_^ I’ll make another post when I’ve gone through it all XD

There was a big showcase of some old computer stuff, I don’t really know much about this kind of stuff, but some things were from the 70s and quite unique. The coolest thing was a guy who had put together Spacewar for people to try out, the very first video game from 1961! :D Both me and Gabriella tried it out ^_^

Apart from all the awesome people that were there, visiting or selling, there were also loads of computers on demonstration that you could try out :) I kind of fell in love with the Microbee and the game Hopper! I got the highscore, until Magnus had to go beat me by 100 points XD I need to get me one of these computers so I can practice some more ;) Seriously though, if anyone has a Microbee lying around I am more than interested! :D There was also a competition held on a Commodore PET to play the game Car race by Satoru Iwata. This reminded me a lot of Race on Philips Videopac, but it was a bit more difficult, especially because of the slippery stages XD But I managed to get a decent score on there as well :) I’ll have to wait and see until they upload the scores on the Retro Gathering homepage to see where I ranked ^_^

I’m already looking forward to Retro Gathering this fall! Meanwhile I’ll also be attending Retrospelsmässan in Gothenburg in April ^_^ I’m happy they’re back!

Retro Rumble 2016 ~ Winter Edition ~

I managed to squeeze in another Retro Rumble before the year ended, on December 27th. This time was an all-time high in the amount of visitors! We were over 30 people! At least 21 of these were competing in the Retro Rumble competition ^_^ It was great, and a bit crowded XD A lot of old friends who I haven’t seen for a while came this time, and also a bunch of new friends who had never visited my game room before! :D My godson Benjamin is now the youngest Retro Rumble visitor ever XD

The competition consisted of 5 games that everyone had to play. These were:
1. Race on Philips Videopac 7200, one try, 2 minutes, get the highest score.
2. Metagalactic Llamas Battle at the Edge of Time on VIC-20. One life, get the highest score.
3. Spaceman Splorf on C64. One life, get the highest score.
4. Cycho Rider on PC Engine CD. One try, 2 minutes, get the highest score.
5. Katochyan & Kenchyan on PC Engine. One life, one stage, get the highest score.

Everybody competes individually but they’re also divided into teams, there’s a winning team score as well as an individual score :) The winning team was team “Spökplumpen” with Mattias, Matte and Leigh! :D The individual scores were really close this time, so we had to have an extra match to see who would make it into the semi-finals. This stood between Christian and Klas. They got to play The Kick Boxing on Sega Mega Drive and Christian came out victorious! :)

In the semi-finals the 4 highest scoring individuals battled in 3 different games on Super Famicom. I usually have these games or similar ones, because it’s so convenient using the Super Famicom multitap, and there’s just so many games on the system which has 4 player compatibility. The games they competed in were VS Collection, Sugoi Hebereke and Super Bomberman 2.

The two highest scores from the semi-finals were Matte and Christian. They went on to play in the finals which started of with Freeway on Atari 2600 :D Christian won this one, and the second game was Air Sea Battle on Philips Videopac G7200. They couldn’t seem to win over eachother in this one, after two rounds it was a draw XD So it ended with a game of Combat on Atari 2600 and Christian came out victorious! Congrats! :D

I know a few people have contacted me about what their scores were, here you can download the PDF >>

Thanks to everyone who attended! Hopefully I’ll see you again for a new Retro Rumble coming up in 2017! :D

Retro Games convention in Stockholm!

This weekend in Stockholm was really awesome and totally surpassed my already high expectations :D After attending a book release and having an awesome after party at an arcade on Friday I spent Saturday at a retro game convention called simply Retro Games :) This is the third year in a row that Retro Games is being held, and I’ve missed it the previous years due to so many other conventions taking place this time of year here in Sweden. Also Stockholm is kind of far away for me.. but this time I was determined to check it out, and boy am I glad I did! :D

Retro Games Stockholm

I was there already when they started setting up, so I could get some nice pictures of all the arcades. I’ve heard that the Retro Games convention is more focused on gaming than the buying or selling of retro games, and this was kind of true. The venue was smaller than a lot of the other retro game conventions, but the ratio of sellers contra arcades were different here. THERE WERE SO MANY ARCADE MACHINES!  In the main room with the vendors there were 7 various candy cabs, both newer and older ones, containing great shmups set to free play ^_^ I just think these Japanese cabinets are so beautiful <3 Sorry for the picture spamming below, but DAMN they’re just all so pretty! XD

Then there were even more arcades in the other room! Old classics such as Space Invaders, Defender, Tempest, Pole Position, Centipede, Missile Command, Asteroids, Robotron 2084 and also a few that I wasn’t as familiar with like Battlezone, Space Firebird and Space Duel. Missile Command is really hard in my opinion.. but I really enjoy Tempest, Asteroids and Robotron 2084! Also Battlzone was really interesting with different controls ^_^

There were of course still a lot of great sellers there to show off some awesome goods! This time I took the train up to Stockholm though so I had to restrict myself from buying the whole place XD I didn’t buy more than I could carry ^_^ But I had so much fun talking to friends that were there and meeting internet acquaintances and new people as well! I barely had time to browse through everything that was being sold XD

Retro Games has three years in a row held the Swedish Championships of Pac-Man at the convention. I’ve never played Pac-Man on arcade but thought I might as well try it out. I actually managed to get the 6th highest score and made it to the take-outs! :D Then I lost XD

Retro Games is definitely not the biggest retro gaming convention in Sweden, but it has a nice mix of both playing retro games and buying them, and also of course a really nice lineup of people attending it! :D I will definitely try to go back next year ^_^

Book release at Stockholm’s Game Museum

This weekend I went up to Stockholm for a convention, but I was also invited to attend a book release on Friday night. Martin Lindell and Thomas Sunhede has done loads of research and conducted 150 interviews to write a book about the history of Swedish game development, it’s called Svensk Videospelsutveckling.

Sweden has always been a country with people taking a big interest in learning new technologies. A lot of games are made in Sweden, games like Minecraft, Battlefield and Candy Crush Saga just to name a few big ones. This book goes through the entire history of Swedish game development though, from the 50s through to the 90s, before we had Minecraft and were playing around with ABC, C64 and other computers ^_^

A lot of famous people in the Swedish gaming scene attended the book release, some of which I knew from before, and some that I got to know ^_^ Many of them are featured in the book, like Elsa-Karin Boestad-Nilsson who programmed a war-simulator at FOA (Swedish defence forces research agency). I met Tobias Bjarneby for the first time, he’s been a video game journalist since the early 90s and runs a few magazines like the Swedish Level. I also bumped into Thomas Arnroth again, such a sweet guy, and he has just won Tidskriftspriset 2016 for being an awesome journalist! ^_^ Congratulations Thomas :)

I also talked a lot to Michael Berglund who I’ve met through Retro Gathering, he used to make games for the ZX Spectrum under the name Xenon Software! Next to him in the picture is the founder of DICE.  In the last picture is Per Jemtå who made games for the ABC 80, and Robert Kreese who I’ve met through various conventions, he’s been making music for Atari ST games and his latest musical creation is for the new game Alwa’s Awakening that is available on Steam, I’ve tried it at several conventions and it’s such a cool little 8bit adventure game with crazy NEStalgia! :D There were loads of other people there as well, it was a blast talking to everybody ^_^

~Last 5 photos are taken by Martin Lindell 

The book release was hosted at the newly founded game museum called Stockholms Spelmuseum. Tobias Bjarneby is also behind the creation of this museum :)

The museum was very modern and tidy, a lot of cool consoles and games were on display. Things all the way back from Commodore 64 and Amiga 500 to newer systems like Sega Saturn and Neo Geo AES. There was even a Magnavox Odyssey! I need one of those..  They also had a display of a complete NES SCN collection owned by Lirod, SCN is the mark on all the Nintendo 8-bit games released in Scandinavia by Bergsala.

They also had some cool references on the walls and information about various game developers and gaming history. I thought it was pretty cool to see the now and then screenshots that were framed on the wall. Adventure games from old text-based Zork to the new adventures of Lara Croft in Tomb Rider, or the comparison of an old soccer game to today’s verison of Fifa, and GTA compared to a really old basic racing game.

There was also loads of video game art covering the walls of the museum. Art pieces that really stood out was the embroidered screenshots from famous games by Per Fhager, and the beautiful moving background screenshots from various games on digital displays. I also really liked the silhouettes of game characters that were on the windows, can you recognize them all? ;D

Of course they also had games set up that you could play :D Some arcades, like original Pac-man, consoles and also some newer things like Virtual Reality!

After the book launch party I tagged along with a bunch of friends to the ROQ bar in Stockholm, where the HEY Arcade is located. It was way bigger than I had expected! So many arcade machines, two rooms filled! One of which I completely missed the first evening, but I went back there again on Saturday night ^_^ I finally got to try out Tetris Grand Masters (the third one)! And I also played a lot of Taiko no Tatsujin (the huge Japanese drum game) and Pop n’ Music. I also tried out a weird Japanese game with various minigames based on buttonmashing the correct colors, it was a lot of fun! What was the most fun though was getting to hang out with all my retro gaming friends from all over Sweden that I basically only get to see during these occasions ^_^

At this place they also had a bunch of Pinball machines and you could also play billiards (or is it pool? I never knew the difference).. great place! I will definitely go back the next time I visit Stockholm ^_^ Best part is that they have so many music and rhythm arcade machines, the ones you usually only see in Japan, SO MUCH FUN! :D

I will hopefully get another blog post done tomorrow with all the pics from the Retro Games convention I attended on Saturday ^_^ Stay tuned!

Retro Gathering 2016 was awesome!!!

Last Friday I drove up to Västerås to attend Retro Gathering on Saturday, my favorite Retro Game convention in Sweden ^_^ Retrospelsmässan is also really nice, but as a retro game buyer there’s just more variation at Retro Gathering :) You can find everything from vintage computers, Atari and Commodore to newer PS2 and 3DS games. There have been more newer games lately compared to the first couple of years that I started attending, I hope they don’t take over though, because I love that there’s a place I can go to find these old obscure computers and consoles! I mainly focus on old cartridges and cassettes when I’m at Retro Gathering. Nintendo and Sega I can find at all the other retro game conventions in Sweden anyway.

So this year I was also asked to host an exhibit of my Castlevania collection, so I was there an hour earlier to set it up. People seemed to like it, but there were also a lot of visitors that asked me where it was. My cabinet had been hidden behind a roll-up behind the scene where they hosted the competitions, which was a shame… but people who looked found it anyway :) For those that missed it, this is what it looked like:

The first thing I spotted was a boxed Colecovision that Japon was selling. I snagged it right away, with a bunch of games and a steering wheel controller ^_^ Pontus and Jan at Japon are really nice and gave me a good deal on it :)

I love visiting Zeela’s table, it’s always filled with obscure and colorful things :) He also had a really fun rarity, Softporn Adventure by On-Line systems! On-Line systems later became Sierra, and on the picture of the “sexy” cover are executives and writers from the company, to the right is Roberta Williams, famous video game designer, writer and co-founder of Sierra On-Line who created for example the King’s Quest series :) This is the game that later became Leisure Suit Larry. Such a cool piece of history! I would have bought it if it wasn’t so expensive XD Also I’m not that into text-based adventures… ;D

Apart from this he showed me the TRS-80, a computer that I had bought from him a while back that I got delivered here ^_^ I needed one to play my Tandy Tetris game! It’s apparently some kind of Tandy computer.. It was in really nice condition though ^_^ Original box, and I got both a boxed joystick and a big box full of games with it! :D

He also had a bunch of other cool stuff ^_^ Like Strip Poker and Centrefold Squares for Atari ST, I bought these for a friend who had been looking all over the place for Atari ST games XD He AND his girlfriend were thrilled and couldn’t wait to play it!! Haha!

There were so many games for sale, and retro game related stuff ^_^ Spel & Sånt had brought some Virtual Boy rarities, they had the three games that I am missing! But they were darn expensive >_< Another seller had setup Zelda on CDi for whoever wanted to try it out XD The creators of Alwa’s Awakening were also there displaying their game which is almost done now, it will be released on Steam :)

My friends Nathalie and Andreas from up north were also there, and they were selling some of their games. Nathalie tried to sell me a weird DS game, and Andreas wanted me to upgrade my version of Tetris 2 to a mint copy XD I did end up buying Paperboy 2 from them though ^_^ Andreas is a pixel-perfectionist and he had some upscaler connected on display with Super Mario Bro 3, I don’t like when the picture is perfect and the scanlines are too obvious ;P I prefer it the original way with an old CRT and a bit of a glitchy pic XD

I finally got around to buying the game Photon that has been under development and on display for years at these conventions ^_^ It’s still not finished, but I bought an early version of it :) I also got to talk a bit to the man behind it who told me a bit about the Sord and the community around it :) Apparently there was a club back in the day that released a magazine here in Sweden called “Sordisen”, he had a few issues for sale. He also showed me a few different versions of the system. I almost went and bought one from Zeela, but then again, I don’t have any games for it yet.. so I think it’ll have to wait.

I competed in the yearly Swedish Championships of Pong this year as well :) I won the first take out but lost to my second opponent.. I haven’t been practicing enough, or rather, I haven’t been practicing at all XD I need to get my husband to start playing it with me!! The champion can be seen in the video below, damn that’s an intense Pong game!

As usual they also had a bunch of games and systems set up so people could try them out :) I saw an Intellivision there which reminded me that a seller had promised me from the previous Retro Gathering to bring me one, when I found him though he had already sold it to someone else :((( Hopefully he can set me up with another one.. I have so many Intellivison games and no Intellivisions to play them on XD

They also had some other exhibitors, one collection of Sonic games and one of Handic for the VIC 20 :)

One of the best things about going to retro game conventions though is all the people! I met so many old and new friends, and people are so friendly :D

After the convention we went out and met up with a bunch of retro gamers, and we found Kralleman and PingeAhlin there who had missed the convention, but had been off on more exciting business! They had scored a bunch of old arcades and other rarities from a connection they had. I was lucky enough to get to go check out their loot :D They had gotten rare prototypes for the Videopac, old minty posters with ads for the Luxor computer, boxed Vectrexes, a Taito Space Invaders arcade cab and a Super Bug arcade with super mint manuals, a really old wooden arcade and an original Break Out arcade. The Break Out arcade had only been played on 64 times, which means it’s hardly been used more than factory testing. That’s pretty rad XD

As you can probably figure, Retro Gathering has outdone themselves again and it was an awesome convention! I’ll go through my loot in a later post when I’ve gone through it all ;D