Gamestart 2018: A beginner’s experience

My maiden visit to GameStart 2018, Southeast Asia’s Premier Game Convention, was fraught with trepidation as I envisioned hordes of hardcore gamers banding together for a showdown of long-honed skills and supreme dexterity. It was thus refreshing to discover that the line-up for GameStart 2018 boasted a diverse range of gaming offerings, ranging from quirky mobile games like Battle Cats to popular favourites like Monster Hunter World™.

This edition also marks the first time GameStart Masterclasses conducted by international experts were introduced, with a strong focus on art.

There were also plenty of tournaments happening over the weekend, including the SEA Major for the CAPCOM Pro Tour, Tekken World Tour, the Dragon Ball FighterZ World Tour, and the ArcRevo World Tour. This year, the SEA Major Mobile plays host to the Shadowverse Contender’s Cup – the winners competed for a seat at the Shadowverse World Grand Prix in Japan with a prize bag of USD 1,000,000.

Held at Suntec, the gaming convention brought together a passionate gaming community hungry to get their hands on the latest gaming experiences and reconnecting with old favourites.

Clearly much thought and effort have been put into creating personalised and immersive experiences for the crowd, where fans can embark on an exciting quest trail through a selection of gaming booths and win prizes upon completion. Quest activities ranged from creating your own customised Lego supervillain at the Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment booth to a Jenga challenge at the Armaggeddon booth.

Other highlights include GameStart Tabletop, where intricate displays of magical creatures and landscapes immerse players into fantasy worlds ruled by the booming baritone of the gamemaster and his eager adventurers.

The bustling Doujin Market, Singapore’s largest community curated youth arts and illustration fair hawked anything from adorable Shiba Inu stickers to scandalous posters that will raise eyebrows should you tote them around in public.

Home to indie gaming gems, The Founder’s Base was a real treat for novel gaming experiences. Visitors could also vote for their favourite indie game for the GameStart Indie Award, where past winners have won international awards in the Taipei Game Show and more.

After rounds of battling mythical monsters, how can an adventurer emerge into the harsh reality of life? Enter the Sanctuary – an oasis for battle-hardened souls yearning to increase their HP with the comforting abundance of food ranging from piping hot Takoyaki balls to fancy-sounding Butterscotch Beer Fish & Chips. If you’re of legal age, you could also pair your snacks with a Canadian brew from the on-site craft beer bar.

By Foo Rong En