Bristol is well known for its love of games. From its techie influence as home to one of the biggest VR conferences in Europe, VR World Congress, to its unique indie game development scene and the growing numbers of gaming cafes across the city.

“Board games provide experiences which can create amazing memories for the people who play them”


Now, thanks to a tremendously successful Kickstarter campaign, Bristol will be home to the City of Games – the city’s first ever board-gaming convention.

Backed by over 300 enthusiasts and overfunded by thousands of pounds, this was a campaign that had the event sold out by its backers before general admission tickets even went on sale.

Led by Bristol-based gamer and designer Frank West and board-game enthusiast and Biotechnologist Sara Jorge (pictured left), the 3-day gaming convention will be held on the 9 – 11 February 2018.

Frank tells us: “Board games provide experiences which can create amazing memories for the people who play them, and knowing more people will have an opportunity to discover this is a fantastic feeling.”

“We have already started planning our second event for the first quarter of 2019”


He adds: “The City of Games is open to everyone, we want to encourage as many new people as possible to try out some games and have arranged for demonstrators to be on hand to help people get started. There are thousands of new games being released each year and there really is something for everyone.

“We’ve got games for children, adults, individuals, couples, families and large groups, and all of which will be free to play with a ticket. But we also have publishers bringing their newest releases so experienced gamers will have an opportunity to try out the latest games.”

Digital city

As well as hundreds of games on offer to play, learn and buy, new gaming friends to make and tournaments to take part in, the City of Games will have a techie edge too, as Frank explains: “Physical and digital gaming overlap in many ways, and Auroch Digital will be demoing their latest digital versions of some very popular board games.

“This is a great way to experience both the similarities and differences between the two hobbies. We are also running a 24-hour board game jam where you will get to design a game and then pitch it to a panel of judges, a great way to have some fun and experience games in a different way.”

Of course, given the extreme popularity of the event, and despite two venue changes during the convention’s Kickstarter campaign, the event is already full. So for those not lucky enough to have got their paws on a ticket, Frank adds: “The good news is, we have already started planning our second event for the first quarter of 2019 and will be looking at increasing our venue size by at least 200% to make sure everyone can come.”

Find out more on the City of Games website, where you can sign-up to their newsletter. Alternatively you can follow the event on Twitter here: @CityofGamesHQ.

Alice Whale