Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Retro Game Beurs Deurne (Retro Game Fair) Sep 2012

On Sunday I travelled to the Dutch town of Deurne where I had learned a week before that a retro gaming fair was to be held. I didn't have much of an idea of what I would find there or how big it would be but considering the size of the town of Deurne, which is no more than a glorified village, I was assuming it would be relatively low-key. I was in fact pleasantly surprised by not only the size and variety of items on offer, but also by the welcoming attitude of all those in attendance.

Upon entering the building, which was nothing more than a local community hall, I was taken aback by the large volume of people inside, all talking away and rummaging through games. The very first table just beyond the entrance was selling numerous Mega CD, Sega CD and boxed Game Gear games; games I simply have never seen in the Netherlands thus far. This was the table where I also made my first purchase of three Game Gears of unknown working order for €1 a piece. I actually found them in a cardboard box hidden under the table amongst random GameBoy Advance manuals and GameBoy Colour magnifiers The seller couldn't guarantee that they worked and that as far as he could remember one had working sound, one had a working screen and one was simply broken beyond repair. I appreciated his honesty and bought them anyway on he off-chance that one may work enough to play.

Once into the fair proper I realised that people from across the Benelux area and beyond had travelled here to sell their retro wares across a whopping 140 tables; unfortunately at varying prices. One man was selling fully functioning Atrari Lynx's with two games for a mere €35, while another fellow asked €50 for a tatty old copy of Toejam & Earl in Panic on Funckotron. Either way there was much to see including a large amount of Japanese games old and new.

Unfortunately I had a tight budget to adhere to and while I enjoyed looking at all of the wonderful games, many of which I had never seen with my own eyes, I had to keep focused on my passion; Mega Drive games.

While rummaging through one seller's large, yet expensive collection of Mega Drive games, a lady on a smaller table caught my attention, offering the same games at cheaper prices. I immediately went across and had a look at what was on offer. The lady in question was very nice and explained how she was simply trying to sell off her doubles and would rather give a discount to someone to take them off her hands than try to squeeze a profit out of her sales. As with the first seller, I appreciated her honesty and I picked up Mickey Mania and The Incredible Hulk in fine condition for €7.50 each which was a reduction of €2.50 each. I also bought a game that has been very high on my 'want' list for years now, Ristar, for €20 which I consider a fantastic price considering it's good condition. I leant the game to a friend many, many years ago, never got it back, and have sorely missed it ever since. As were talked more I revealed my girlfriend's gaming hand crafts and she informed me that tables only cost €10 and suggested we book one right away, which we have done.

Perhaps the highlight of the visit was meeting Martijn Wenting, a developer focusing on physical releases for older consoles under the name Revival Studios. At Sega-Addicts we had made a post reporting on Revival Studios developing and releasing a new game named 'Astrodoge' for Sega's very first, Japanese-exclusive console, the SG-1000. It was a pleasure to meet the creator in the flesh and we talked about Astrododge, as well as his Videopac releases and his upcoming SC-1000/ SC-3000 and Dreamcast releases due in 2013. Martijn has already released homebrew games for the Vectrex, Coleco Vision, MSX and the Sinclair ZX81 with future releases for the PC, NeoGeo CD, Atrai 2600, Commodore 64, Spectrum and more in the works. Do yourself a favour and check out his Revival Studios website here.

On the way out I spent my last tenner at a table with six copies of Donkey Kong Country at €12.50. The guy whose table it was was away and it was being looked after by a lady who I managed to get a copy off for €10. I've wanted Donkey Kong Country so badly for years but have refused to pay the steep prices it demands here in Europe despite how commonplace it is. I've been plying the hell out of it in the last few days and it's definitely a runner for my favourite SNES game of all time.

My girlfriend made a good purchase in Wario Land 4, Kirby's Nightmare in Dreamland and Klonoa: Empire of Dreams, all unboxed for a total of €12.50.

Overall I had a fantastic time at the Retro Game Beurs Deurne although I was on a tight budget, and could have easily blown a few hundred Euros if I had it. I very much look forward to the next one, which will be in Feb 2013 where my girlfriend and I will have a tale of our own. Hopefully we'll see you there.

By the way, the the screen on one of the Games Gears works, but with no sound. The other two are dead. No surprises there.


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