Retro Gaming Events & Conventions in Sweden

A lot of people have asked me if I know a place where you can find a calendar of all the Retro Gaming related events and conventions in Sweden, I don’t, but I can make one! ^_^ I’ve made a short calendar on the right side of the page, but also this page where I’ll update as soon as I find out about new conventions or events that are retro game related! If you know or hear about any events feel free to drop a comment and I’ll add it to the list :D

Upcoming retro game events & conventions in Sweden:

Retro Game Events Sweden

2017

MARCH 4th – 5th
Malmö
SCI-FI WORLD
Sci-Fi world is a sci-fi convention but there are usually 1-2 retro game vendors selling some retro games and there’s loads of nerdy merch to indulge in ^_^
See posts from Sci-Fi World 2015

APRIL 8th – 9th
Gothenburg / Göteborg
SCI-FI WORLD
Sci-Fi world is a sci-fi convention but there are usually 1-2 retro game vendors selling some retro games and there’s loads of nerdy merch to indulge in ^_^
See posts from Sci-Fi World 2015

APRIL 29th
Gothenburg / Göteborg
RETROSPELSMÄSSAN
Retrospelsmässan is one of the most popular retro gaming conventions in Sweden. It’s coming back after taking a break for a year! Now even bigger and hopefully even better if possible XD
See posts from Retrospelsmässan 2015 >>

MAY 25-27th
Skellefteå
NORDSKEN
A gaming convention up north in Sweden, more focused on board games, role playing games and e-sports etc. They have some Pinball and video games there as well though ^_^

SEPTEMBER 2nd
Malmö
RETROSPELSFESTIVALEN
A retro gaming festival (convention) in the southern part of Sweden, has been running for 3 years now. Loads of games for sale, games to be played (both arcade and console), and usually some fun competitions and events ^_^
See posts from previous Retrospelsfestivalen >>

To be announced, fall/winter 2017
Västerås
RETRO GATHERING
Retro gathering is a pure retro game and vintage computer convention, the longest running one in Sweden. Here you can find anything from old C64 and Spectrum to Nintendo and PS2
See posts from Retro Gathering 2016 >>

~~~

Past events that will most likely come back next year:
RETRO GAMES, Stockholm
COMICCON, Stockholm
COMICCON, Malmö
COMICCON, Copenhagen
RETROSPELMARKNAD, Vetlanda

 

Apart from these events there’s of course a lot of permanent retro game inspired places to visit, I will fill up the list below with places that are worth a visit for any retro game enthusiast ^_^

STOCKHOLMS SPELMUSEUM, Stockholm
A video game museum filled with history of video games, and also playable games, both arcades and consoles :) See some pics from it here >>

HEY ARCADE @ Roq bar, Stockholm
An extensive arcade with loads of machines, everything from classic shmups to the great rhythm and music arcades from Japan ^_^ Read about my visit here >>

CAFÉ PÅ BIT, Skellefteå
A really cute café filled with retro games and some arcades that you can pay to play and retro games that you can buy ^_^ Read about my visit here >>

MACKAPÄR, Gothenburg
A vintage retro store containing everything from cool furniture and accessories to obscure retro video games :D

SPEL & SÅNT, Norrtälje
A video game store that also holds loads of retro games

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!

Game Masters & Backlist in Halmstad

This week I visited Halmstad with my buddy Becki. We went there since there’s an exhibition there called Game Masters for a few more weeks. Here they display various video game history from past to present, and they also have a bunch of games for you to try out. We had heard it wasn’t all that great, but that was mainly from friends who thought my game room had more to offer ;D haha! We still wanted to see it with out own eyes, and I also had a free ticket to go see it that I won in the Asteroids competition at the last retro gaming convention we went to :)

To my surprise there were actually A LOT  of old arcade cabinets there that you could play ^_^ I tried them all out except for three that were occupied almost all of the time, which were Donkey Kong, Pac-man and Space Invaders. I think it’s sad that people don’t dare to try something else, then again maybe they’re playing those because of the nostalgia of having played them before.. What kind of bugged me though was that the Donkey Kong cabinet was occupied during the entire time we were there and by the same 2 people which were hosts working at the exhibition.. I think it’s fine that they play when there’s no one around, but when I was in there there were at least 10-15 people in the arcade corner, they shouldn’t be occupying the most popular cabinet then since they can play it whenever o_O

It was really hard to get good pictures in the exhibition since it was pretty dark, only colorful neon lighting in various spots. It made for an extremely cosy environment though, and it looked really cool! But you will have to excuse the shitty images since my camera doesn’t have flash and I didn’t bring a tripod for it.. Anyway, here are most of the arcades that were playable!

I tried playing Tempest, but this was much harder than the console versions I’ve tried! The controls were a wheel that you had to spin to make the ship fly around the edges, and the control were extremely unresponsive! I don’t know if the arcade was faulty or if its supposed to be like that, but you had to really spin it hard for the ship to move a few steps around the side.. I prefer the console versions. Tempest 2000 for Atari Jaguar is pretty cool ^__^

I was surprised at how advanced Missile Command was! I have never seen one of these in person before, so I played it for a bit. It was really hard! You had to hit those missiles straight on the tip of the tiny thin line and you only had a limited amount of shots.. pretty cool ^__^ The controls consisted of a giant ball, it gave you quite a lot of precision but it was also very responsive which made it kind of hard to aim precise.. and you had three different buttons for the various missile launchers you had.

Game-Masters---Arcade-Missile-Command-controls

Rip Off was kind of cool, it took a while for me to figure out what the objective was cause I was pushing the wrong buttons on the machine, I was probably on player 2’s side haha ^_^ It’s kind of similar to Asteroids in the controls, but you had to shoot creatures that were stealing your triangles, STAY AWAY FROM MY TRIANGLES! LOL!

I was a bit disappointed in the graphics of Xevious, it looked JUST LIKE my Famicom version… at least how I remember it.. I guess it’s a really good port on the Famicom ;D I did make it into the highscore list on this arcade though ^_^ I like Xevious, but it’s far from the best shmup out there…

Reactor was kind of boring. You just pushed blocks with some kind of magnetic force into a wall while trying to avoid touching the wall yourself…

There was also a Tower of Druaga arcade there but it was out of order :/

I also tried out some Asteroids since that’s what got me the free ticket to the exhibition ;D This was the second time ever that I had played on an Asteroids arcade! I really love this game, and it’s extra nice on an arcade! The graphics remind me of the Vectrex, it’s so crisp! I wish I had one of these at home..

Elevator Action was better than I had expected! The graphics look so dull and I thought it was just about moving down the elevator to the bottom level avoiding enemies, but once I got down there they put me back up by the first red door, apparently you had to collect stuff as well! Woah! Advanced shit ^__^ haha!

Scramble is always good ^_^ Here I actually beat the main highscore!! YAY!!! But unfortunately you didn’t get to sign your initials, the game’s highscore on screen just changed… so nobody will know it was me :(

Game-Masters---Arcade-Robotron-gameWhat really blew my mind was Robotron 2084! This game was so much fun!!!! I played this for the longest time, the controls were smooth, it was hectic but still manageable. You’re this little guy with goggles and you have to shoot all the robots on screen, but there’s also obstacles that you have to avoid or shoot and regular people which need saving, each person gave a bunch of extra points. I’ve researched a bit and there only seems to be an old Atari 7800 port on consoles, and one for Atari Lynx, I’m trying to get a hold of the Lynx version now since I don’t have an Atari 7800 :/ There’s also a Midway collection for GBA that contains the game, and then there’s newer versions like Robotron 64 on N64 and Robotron X on PSX, these do not interest me as much though since they probably fucked up trying to make it 3D >_<

The rest of the exhibition contained a bunch of other stuff, both old and new, but mainly newer things as you walked away from the arcade corner. I spent  most of my time by the arcades while Becki checked out the rest. I did take a stroll around and looked at everything afterwards though. Everything was extremely neatly displayed :) Colorful and clean.

Becki spent  most of her time at the Blizzard corner since she’s an old WoW player ;D She also spent a lot of time with Fable and Black & White, she loves those types of games ^_^ They had most common consoles on display with some typical games in them to be played, like the NES with Super Mario Bros, Sega with Sonic games, Dreamcast with Shenmue etc.. you get the point ;D There were also a lot of PC games, even a lot of earlier ones. A whole corner dedicated to Tim Schafer, and PC’s and consoles so you could play his classics, such as Psychonauts ^_^ They had cubes where you could walk in and play Rockband, a stage for playing some Dancing game, some Outrun arcades and a big corner for indie games at the very end.

SamorostIn the indie corner I recognized two things I really enjoy, first up the Behemoth studio which made Castle Crashers and Alien Hominide ^_^ Great games! But then I was also really surprised to see Jakob Dvorsky’s Samorost on display and playable on a PC! I haven’t played this game since it came out on the web back in 2003! I used to love this game and show it to all my friends, you could play it in your browser and it was really cool! The graphics were really different for its time, the puzzle solving is a lot of fun and the animations of the characters are just adorable! I URGE EVERYONE TO TRY IT OUT RIGHT NOW! Even to just see the beginning, it’s amazingly odd! And the music is cool ^_^ Click this and play this point and click adventure naaaaoooow!! >> It’s pretty short, but he’s also made sequels to the game ^^ Samorost 2 is longer and harder and has the best soundtrack, you can only try out the first chapter for free then it costs $5 but you get the soundtrack with it if you buy it ;D And Samorost 3 is in the making :D

We got the advice to check out a store while we were in Halmstad, we were told they had a bunch of retro games for sale, among other geeky things like movies, posters, merchandise etc, it’s called Backlist. Of course we went to check it out!

Backlist-Halmstad

And they sure had some retro games!! :D

There were loads of NES games, some even boxed, but most were quite common titles so I didn’t find anything I didn’t already have. There were also quite a bunch of SNES and N64 games in decent condition. I checked out a few but no real bargains. The store is quite aware of the value of the retro games. I did however find some Sega Mega Drive games. They had both Master System and Mega Drive games, and a few systems as well. In some glass cabinets you could find some rare stuff though, like odd NES controllers, Game & Watch systems, other weird handhelds and a bunch of other stuff.

Apart from all the things on display you could see boxes of things “behind the scenes”, so I bet you could always just ask to see if they have what you’re looking for :) They were also in the middle of re-arranging the store so maybe they’ll put it all up eventually.

Backlist-Halmstad---Behind-the-scenes

There was another room upstairs filled with “not-so-retro” games ^_^ Here’ you could find anything from GBA to PS3. Loads of Xbox 360, Gamecube and PS2 games. A little bit more expensive than Game Stop’s second hand games, but they are on the other hand only selling games. Here you could find a few odder titles though, at Game Stop it’s mainly the same old games in the shelves, the ones nobody want anymore ;D The good or rare ones disappear immediately, while here there still seemed to be a good mix of different games :)

They also had a bunch of other things in the store!

I wish I would have had more time that day, then I would have gone through all the boxes with vinyl records ^_^ There were loads of music at Backlist, both CDs and LPs! And most of all there were movies! DVDs on almost every wall and in the basement! These you could get a really good deal on! But you could also find some really rare collectors edition ones that were priced accordingly. I saw this VHS with Macross “Do you remember love” which I really felt like getting, this one was in japanese, but I already have it from when I was a kid, mine is dubbed into Swedish though! Hahaha! It sounds ridiculous ^_^ But I loved that movie when I was young. They had basically all genres of movies there, both anime and korean films (which I love!).

I also saw vintage toys decorating corners here and there, and merchandise like actions figures and that one pretty cool Final Fantasy watch :) The store is well worth a visit if you’re ever in the neighborhood of Halmstad, Sweden.

Here’s what I picked up at Backlist:

Yes yes, I know.. boxing..?! You all probably know that I’m not a fan of sports games, but I recently had a friend who asked me if I had this one boxing game that he used to play on the Sega Mega Drive as a kid, and I realized I didn’t have a single 16-bit boxing game o_O So when I saw these two (I do not remember which one it was my friend asked about, maybe it was one of these) I just couldn’t pass them up ^_^ So yay (>_<) now I have boxing games too! :D Hahah!

I’ve never even seen the other game before, The Ooze. The cover looked cool, but I have no clue what the gameplay will be like. It’s hard to tell from the screenshots on the back but I will try it out soon ^_^

That’s it for the Halmstad trip, I’m sorry for the extremely long blog post! Creds to those who stuck with it to the end ;D I’ll be back soon with some NEW PC Engine games, yes brand new… ;D

Retro Market at Pixel K.A.F.E!

Yesterday was the second time I visited Pixel K.A.F.E. in Malmö! This time it twas mainly because they were hosting a Retro Market there, selling off games and consoles and other nerdy things! Unfortunately it’s not going too well for Pixel, but I hope the contributions and sales today will have some effect and make it turn around! Because it’s an awesome place! :)

There were so many things for sale! Both Nintendo and Sega games, both PAL, NTSC and Japanese! Even Neo Geo games!!! Both AES and MVS, right next to the My Little Ponys ^__^ There were Vintage Toys, consoles, even arcades! And also something I really wanted, but it was too heavy for me to carry home on the train >_< Namely a custom built arcade controller for the Playstation 2 to be used with Pop ‘n Music!! So pretty ^__^

Neo-Geo-and-my-little-pony
game-boys   sega-games
games-for-sale
more-toys   toys
Pop-n-Music-controller
NES-games  PS2-Xbox-Games

Apart from this, the owner showed me around arcade town! I even got to see the insides of a Blast City cabinet! :D So cool! The key to the cabinet had “SEGA” written on it ^_^ It’s all about the details ;D

the-key Blast-City-Arcade-Inside

So this is what i scored! First up is a bunch of Neo Geo MVS cartridges!! :D :D I’m totally excited about these! And NONE OF THEM are fighting games :D I’ve bought a converter for my AES so that it can play MVS cartridges as well. This is mainly because the collecting will become more feasible and cheaper! I will buy shockboxes for these carts, then they will blend in with the rest of the AES games on the shelf ^_^ The games I got was Spin Master, which is a really cool platforming game, Puzzle Bobble, Puzzle de Pon and League Bowling ^__^ I’m eagerly awaiting my converter to arrive so I can play these!!!

Neo-Geo-MVS-carts Neo-Geo-MVS-cartridges

One of the cartridges is transparent, the others are black.

Neo-Geo-MVS-transparent-cartridge   Neo-Geo-MVS-black-cartridge

Apart from this I also found some Sega Mega Drive games. These were The Tennis Tournament Grand Slam, RoboCop 3 and NHL 95. The last two lacked a manual, but Grand Slam was complete.

SMD-Robocop-3
SMD-Grand-Slam   SMD-NHL-95

I also found some Super Nintendo games and a Super Famicom game. Even though this NTSC version of Final Fight was in pretty bad shape and lacked a manual I still had to get it, because that boxart is amazing!! I fell in love with it ^_^ I also found Final Fight for SFC, so I got that one too. It’s really fun to just see the differences in the artwork between the North American version and the Japanese :D Apart from these two I also found a really nice version of Tetris Attack!! I didn’t have Tetris Attack previously, but I have Panel de Pon, which is basically the same game, they just switched out the characters ^_^

SNES-Final-Fight SFC-Final-FightTetris AttackSNES-Tetris-Attack-complete-sq

I couldn’t help but look at all those amazing vintage toys that were there as well ^_^ They are just so charming! :D I ended up buying four figures for Pepparkaksninja that he wanted. He collects vintage toys, takes cool pictures of them and makes even cooler videos (check out his amazing collection here!). I also got a little something for myself that I think will fit perfectly in the game room! :D

pacman

When you move his arm the ghosts appear in his mouth!! :D Pac-Man <3

vintage-toys

Pixel K.A.F.E. in Malmö!

I visited Pixel K.A.F.E. for the first time on the day of the Sci-Fi World convention in Malmö last month. I’ve been wanting to visit it for quite some time, but it’s a bit far away for me so I haven’t been able to.. but it was just as good as I had imagined! If not better! :D Pixel K.A.F.E. is a restaurant / arcade where you can eat, have a coffee, play pinball, play arcades games, board games or even old retro games! The entire place is also decorated with wonderful retro gaming nostalgia :D …. and Darth Vader!

Pixel-K.A.F.E.---diner
Pixel-K.A.F.E.---BarPixel-K.A.F.E.---Darth-Vader-and-Zapper-lightsPixel-K.A.F.E.---art

My favorite part is all the original arcade cabinets! Especially the Atari Tetris arcade :D (sooo pretty and I loooove Tetris!) There are no other places around here in Sweden where you can find arcade cabinets like this and just play ^_^ Pixel K.A.F.E also. has a wide variety of arcades! There’s the retro games, the blast city cabs, the beautiful Mega cabinet, the Time Crisis cabinet with guns and also racing :) It almost feels like I’m back in the 80’s and 90’s!

Pixel-K.A.F.E.---Arcade-cabinets Pixel-K.A.F.E.---Arcade Pixel-K.A.F.E.---Atari-Tetris-Arcade Pixel-K.A.F.E.---Blast-City-Arcades Pixel-K.A.F.E.---arcade-gamesPixel-K.A.F.E.--Xmen arcade

There’s not only arcades, but also a whole room filled with six different pinball machines! :D I tried some of them out and came to the conclusion that I’m not particularly good at pinball ;D I prefer video games ^__^

Pixel-K.A.F.E.---Pinball

There are also old games and consoles on display all over the place! They’ve got an amazing Game & Watch collection and a bunch of other cool things to look at! Some stuff that I’ve never even seen! ;D

Pixel-K.A.F.E.---Games-on-Display Pixel-K.A.F.E.---Games Pixel-K.A.F.E.---Display Pixel-K.A.F.E.---tele-sportsPixel-K.A.F.E.---Game-&-Watch Pixel-K.A.F.E.---Nintendo-on-display

Apart from arcades you can also pick games you want to play on the TV’s, there’s 4 of them set up around the place with couches, it’s really cozy ^_^ Or you could go battle your friends in some classic pong games on the Odyssey 2001 :D

Pixel-K.A.F.E.---Retro-Gaming Pixel-K.A.F.E.---Odyssey-2001

Apart from all of this awesomeness they also serve THE BEST BURGER I HAVE EVER EATEN!! Seriously! I am being serious ^__^ I’m a vegetarian and they’ve got both meat, vegetarian and vegan food, and they’re burgers are to die for! ^_^ If you’re ever around Malmö in Sweden you have GOT TO check this place out :D