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  • Writer's pictureMike Douglas

Retro Gaming with Dice Portsmouth

Last weekend I visited Portsmouth Guildhall for the Retro Gaming event, hosted by Dice Portsmouth.

There was a cool range of board, dice, computer and VR games to play. I particularly like that Dice had a wide variety of games you could play and try out. Then there were copies of many games (plus others) you could purchase if you so wished.

I attended with Laura and met a friend, Paul, at the event. Paul has been a source of great board gaming inspiration, introducing me to a few awesome games (and a couple of games that take way too long hahaha). But I have enjoyed working out what I enjoy playing and learning common themes in a few games. I particularly enjoyed Hive and Santorini, both of which I have purchased subsequently following playing them with Paul.

Laura was a bit apprehensive about about spending 5 hours gaming, but (hopefully) she enjoyed it. I loved trying the games and taking a few photos. But more so, I enjoyed sharing the experience with Laura. She has threatened or promised, I'm not sure which, to take me to a historic castle, since she has now attended 2 comic cons and a games event.

I'm looking forward to the photo opportunities at a castle!

The event slowly filled up to what I would image was near capacity at early afternoon. I tried to get on the VR at the beginning, but, obviously, I queued on the one that broke down for 30 minutes. So I didn't get to try that out. The games looked very basic, but still, its VR.

Instead we tried a few old button bashing games, which Laura out lasted me on.

This wasn't the only time Laura won, she also kicked my ass at Scalextric Mario and Cobra Paws. Its nice when someone feels involved, but when they effortlessly beat you (multiple times) thats a bit annoying.

One of the things I like about board games are the cross between concentrating on the game and the causal talking. It was lovely to sit at the table, talk about the random thoughts that enter our brains (mine are usually particularly random) and chuckle as we play a fairly simple game.

I even tried a word making (spelling) game. As a dyslexic human these games, you know like Scrabble, are super hard for me. But I gave it a go and had fun, in fact this was the second word making game I'd played that week. I recommend Bananagrams for those of you wanting to test yourself. Even I felt like I had a chance at the end of the game.

Unfortunately for me neither Paul or Laura knew how to play chess and didn't look particularly interested in learning. So no three-way for me.

I really enjoyed the atmosphere Dice put together at the event. Laura and I attended the day session, so as our time finished off we played one last game of Hive then ran around to take a couple of last minute photos. We said goodbye to Paul who was staying for the evening session with some of his fellow board game buddies. In fact, as we left they were 2 or 3 hours into a game and it looked like they were only about half way through.

It was ace to have young, old and in the middle all under one roof playing games and chatting. Some on a computer, but most on tables facing each other. Some poker faced, others laughing, there was even the occasional face palm.

I would thoroughly recommend attending an event like this. It was a lot of fun. A couple of unexpected highlights were Laura's eyes lighting up at the chance to play her childhood game Labyrinth, eating a Dip Dap sweet and wiping the floor with me 5-0 at Cobra Paws.

This is the second event I have been to with Dice, who where also at Comic Con. If you don't know about them check out their site. They have recently announced that they have now purchased a venue for a gaming cafe, so follow then on social media to keep up to date on that development.

Gaming is something I would like to do little more, its a great social activity. For me social activities used to be based around sport and or drinking. In the last 5 years thats changed and gaming is starting to become another option I will be using more. In fact I already have a growing collection that I have broken out a couple of times.

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