Published on March 25th, 2024 | by Daniel

The Game Expo 2024 at MCEC 2024! @TGX2024 @MCEC

The Game Expo, or TGX as it’s charmingly abbreviated to, took over Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre over the weekend. Boasting to be THE event for gaming and celebrating its’ culture and creativity, my expectations were high and my enthusiasm at critical levels. Just how does it compare to some of the other conventions. Read on to find out!

It’s my first time attending the event, so I wasn’t sure to expect. But this isn’t my first rodeo of conventions, I’ve been attending conventions for over 10 years. And yes, before anyone makes the joke, I’m definitely feeling old by now. Upon arrival, I was surprised to see that the event space was far smaller than what I was expecting, especially when compared to other events like Comic Con and the almighty PAX. What surprised me even more was just how much they were actually able to fit in the space and how well everything was laid out. Even despite the smaller venue size, everything had their own space and nothing felt overly cramped.

It made touring the hall and all the activities so much easier, since everything was all so close together in the one hall. The first thing that caught my eye was the TGX merch booth. It was adorned with TGX exclusive merch and it included this real nice bomber jacket, but unfortunately the hundred dollar price tag was a bit out of my reach this year.

The first order of business was to tour the hall first, to scope out all the things we wanted to check out in more detail later in the day. Every inch of the small hall was utilised to near perfection by the organisers and I think some of the larger conventions, could stand to take a leaf out of TGX’s book. I think the only problem I really took great notice of was the main stage, for a few of the planned activities, the seating space was simply far too small. Most notably for the cosplay parade and the cosplay championship the following day. The area got very crowded, very quickly and soon became standing room only. The staff did all they could to keep the area tidy for patrons trying to get around, but ultimately I just don’t think they expected it to be so busy, or perhaps the couldn’t justify the extra cost of renting the next hall.

There were a couple instances of things being delayed, some by significant margins too, hard to know if things ran over time by accident of if things weren’t quite set up properly, which was a bit of a downer but it was far from the worst convention experiences I’ve had. I’ll go over the various zones in greater detail below.

The hall was pretty evenly divided between all it’s different range of activities. At badge collection, we were also given a kind of bingo sheet to collect stamps at various booths. If you got nice or more out of the total twelve possible stamps from the various booth activities. You earned a spin of the prize wheel next to the merch booth at the main hall entrance. Some of these booths will feature in the highlights below.

Retro Rhythm & High Score Arcade

In one corner we have the Retro Rhythm, next to it we have the High Score Arcade. The two zones were probably our gaming highlight of the day, one offers a few neat games that attendees can compete for the highest scores. Games like Beat Saber, Mario Kart, Trackmania and even some classics like Tetris and Solitaire were available for patrons to play and test their skills.

With prizes on offer for all the top scorers in each game there was huge incentive for players of all ages and skill levels to get in and play some games and see if they could get on the board of high scorers. You could also earn yourself a stamp for collection. And that’s exactly what myself and a couple of my friends did, it was definitely a cool activity to get us warmed up for some of the retro games in the zone next door.

Retro Rhythm was another chance to earn a sticker simply by catching some R&R. The cleverly named area was full of old consoles, PCs and old TVs. A chance for older gamers to reminisce about games they used to play in their childhoods. A chance to show the younger generation what gaming used to be like. With old Sega consoles, he SNES, even the first game to grab wide-scale public attention, Pong. It was actually really cool to see so many younger people, kids, teens etc getting involved and seeing what gaming was like ten, twenty, even thirty or more years ago. Some of these consoles, I remember having myself as a child; the Sega Megadrive, NES, PS1, just to name a few. And games I recognise from seeing my old folks play before I took up the mantle of gamer many years ago.

I believe the retro rhythm zone was actually formed by a bunch of volunteers who offered to lend their consoles to the event in order for patrons to experience them. IT was fun being able to talk to some of the volunteers about their old consoles, to learn their own personal history with the machines and reminisce about older, simpler times.

Indie Games & Exhibitors

I lumped Exhibitors with Indie Games because for the most part, they were all around the same area and I spent less time on the Exhibitors than I would normally. Cookie Brigade and Saboteurs were two more places where you could gettem stamps for that sweet sweet, spin to win, merch. Cookie Brigade is a charity that began in 2007, they would hand out cookies to patrons waiting in line at PAX, in exchange for donations of any amount to help various charities, since 2007 they’ve raised more than $1 million! With a whopping $150 thousand raised last year alone! It’s always wonderful to see charities at events like these and I sincerely hope they’re able to keep doing the amazing work they do for years to come. If you attend any one of the events they’re at, go say hi! They’re wonderful people, and hey, maybe make a donation yourself. IT’s a great cause!

Saboteurs on the other hand, presents an interesting concept. What if Among Us, but in real life? Not murdering anyone for real of course, that would be bad. But think escape rooms and Among Us and you would have a pretty good idea of what to expect in Saboteurs. Complete tasks, avoid the killer and live to the end. Or, complete tasks, kill your fellow crewmates and avoid suspicion till the end. Think you could do it? Give them a try!

The idea seems good in theory, take one of the most popular real world activities in the form of Escape Rooms. And combine it with some of the most popular PC games of recent years, that still boasts a great deal of concurrent players. I’m not sure how well it’ll work in execution and it’s not really an activity I could see myself doing all that often as I didn’t really get into Among Us but have done my fair share of escape rooms before. But I think that if you like either of these activities, then you should definitely give Saboteurs a try, I know I’ll be there in future at least once!

There were a couple Indie games that caught my eye out of the surprisingly decent number on display. And while I can’t feature them all, here are some that caught my eye for very different reasons:

Footy Bash

Yep, you heard it right. Footy Bash are two words I never expected to hear or see, paired together. The game is simple, it’s AFL (Aussie Rules Football for all you non Aussies out there). But taken to the extreme. It’s like what footy would be if you told the players there is no holes barred as far as how much contact you can make with your opponents and just stood back to watch the absolute carnage that would follow. It’s natural selection, of the footy variety. The aim of the game is the same as the real thing, score more points than your opponent, by any means necessary. It’s more than just a simple beat ’em up addition thrown in however, you and your opponents have health and stamina and the key to victory is to manage those resources. Get ahead of the kick, take prime positions and when you land you cause a shockwave that knocks down opponents. Dash and throw punches to break through their defence lines. There are even special abilities you need to manage, but if you can do it all. Your victory is assured. It’s a neat concept and pretty addicting. I can see it succeeding as long as they can keep updating with new customisation options and perhaps some new abilities or even some more brutal animations in future versions. 6/10


Dolven, a turn-based RPG card game, offers a distinctive twist on traditional turn-based RPG games. Build decks, form potent synergies and navigate the depths of dungeons. You don’t find too many story driven RPGs to feature deck building on a level like Dolven. You can gather a party together, add more characters and equipment as you proceed through the game and make unique, interested and powerful combinations by experimenting with different cards. The game was only in demo mode and was probably in its simplest form for stability reasons but what I saw of the game on display presents a unique game that many haven’t tried before. The final version will boast sixteen total dungeons and nine rooms per dungeon, designed to challenge logic and strategy skills. I think it’s a solid concept with simple yet effective styling and mechanics and I can’t wait to see more! 5/10

Crush Zone: Demolition Derby

Absolute carnage. Crush Zone: Demolition Derby is a game set in a world where technology is thriving and a phenomenon has taken the world by storm. Now in its 10th year and with $1 Trillion on the line for the last driver standing, the stakes are higher than ever. From rich to poor, everyone has a claim to make and everyone wants to be the winner and take home the title and all it’s sweet sweet winnings.

Explore arenas from all over the world, all with unique quirks to give drivers an edge or catch others unawares. Express yourself with diverse drivers, custom skins, unique rides and sweet weapons. Boasting its own campaign mode, but likely best enjoyed with friends by playing split-screen and online multiplayer.

The game is just pure carnage and it’s so good to see a game, whether it’s indie or not, offering split-screen multiplayer. Because I really think a game like this, will see the single most enjoyment from any of it’s players. By being played at home, with all your friends crammed into your lounge and remembering the good old days of LAN parties. Get all the snacks and sodas, maybe a few cheeky alcoholic beverages for us older folks, some air mattresses and call in sick for Monday while you and your buddies go nuts seeing who can win the most matches and remember that even though we’re all grown up. We’re really all still children at heart.

Aside from that, the game played really smoothly as well. There’s a real sense of speed despite the lack of special effects and I think the team is really clever for that. The screen zooms out whenever you get a boost, as though the camera can’t keep up for a moment before the boost fades and the camera returns to normal. There’s no speed lines to simulate wind rushing and honestly, it’s not even necessary. Explosions can flip you and your opponents, the screen edges gain a reddish vignette when your HP runs low. All neat little ways to display what’s happening on screen without the need for crazily detailed special effects. The UI is clean and simple, just the way I like it. The game is honestly good old, mindless fun that I could see myself sinking a few hours into with friends on stream or as mentioned above, getting the old crew back together for some good old LAN sleepovers. I’m keen to see more of this one in the future! 8/10

Artist Alley

And finally, my go to favourite zone of any convention. Artist Alley, ask me a few years back and artist alley was hardly ever on my radar, but in recent years I’ve become addicted to art. Whether it’s looking for potential talent to ask if they do personalised commissions, or simply just finding art from my favourite games and anime series that I just cannot overlook. Artist Alley has quickly become a favoured destination for me and my partner. There’s just something beautiful about art, whether it be character art, or landscape art, that my eyes are just drawn to every time.

It’s also a lot more fun than I really gave credit for, just to walk around the stalls, talk to all the artists and just get a bit of a history on them and the reasons behind their art. Sometimes I found myself talking to one or more artists for several minutes while we discuss a mutual love of a series or character and our experiences playing or watching a particular series. Through my various encounters, I’d even managed to make a couple friends and that is quite a wonderful feeling and in essence, one of the reasons I think people come to these events. To share in a mutual love of games and community.

I was actually surprised by just how big the space for Artist Alley actually was. It rivalled, if not exceeded what some other conventions have on offer in even larger spaces. So it was really great to see a lot of upcoming artists, whilst I could not get art from everyone, I sincerely wish them all the best and encourage yet more artists of all kinds to give it a try and apply for their local artist alley at their next convention!

I ended up buying some art from a few vendors too! Special thanks to TimTamart, CJ Illustrations and BevSnailMail for all the wonderful art!


My first experience with TGX was surprisingly positive, I had no idea what to expect and even though the Sunday was very quiet. I heard from a lot of the vendors and attendees alike that Saturday was busy. Adding in that all the Saturday tickets were sold out tells me that it was an overwhelming success. In some ways I actually prefer the Sundays or the Fridays for certain events that offer it, because they’re often a little quieter and give me better opportunities to experience the activities in their fullest. But I’m also glad that Saturday was sold out because the organises did an amazing job setting everything up and it’s never an easy task to run these events. The spaces were kept incredibly clean and tidy, there was a good amount of space to move around but still enough activities to keep all kinds of gamers and gaming enthusiasts entertained.

Having been attending conventions for over 15 years now, I can say that some of them have gotten stale over the years. It was great to just be able to simply enjoy a gaming event for once and I hope to go again next year! A huge thank you to TGX for hosting Impulse Gamer for 2024!

With special thanks to Nelson Qiu and TGX for providing me with a ton of great photos to use as my camera had a serious malfunction on the day and I was unable to use my own!

You can find my other articles right here!


About the Author

Hi I'm Dan! 32 and Non-Binary. When I'm not writing reviews. I like to get deeply immersed in the lore of an mmo or rpg, cruise the forest or coastal roads of Victoria, watch anime, read manga, build model kits and do a bit of sketching on the side.

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