[Sfeerimpressie] GameForce NL 2023: Making Significant Strides!

Last Saturday I was again present at the second edition of GameForce in the Netherlands. Although the fair was a bit small last year with only 1 hall, we indicated that the fair has a lot of potential. And I can tell you right away that this year’s event was a big improvement compared to last year!

[Sfeerimpressie] GameForce NL 2023: Making Significant Strides!

Nintendo had a big presence

In our impression of last year we said that we were a bit disappointed in Nintendo’s limited presence at the fair. Fortunately, this year they had their own stand. The following games were playable here: The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, Pikmin 4, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and Super Mario Bros. Miracle. Nintendo had by far the most impressive booth. The fair was very nicely decorated with item blocks and power-ups above the stand.


Super Mario Bros. Wonder

Of course I also played the most popular game on the stand myself. I was able to play it in handheld mode for fifteen minutes. Shortly after my play session, I was also interviewed about the game by Nintendo’s YouTube channel. And to repeat my most important quotes there: “Super Mario Bros. Wonder is the most ambitious 2D Mario game since New Super Mario Bros on the DS.” The new wonderflowers ensure (so far) that every level has its own gimmick, making them all feel nice and fresh and unique. The badges also give the game some extra depth. Sometimes it is easier to access a certain platform with one badge than with the other. This ensures that you as a player can also go back to previous levels with new badges and have a different experience due to the new possibilities.”

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Of course the game isn’t out yet and I’ve only played it for fifteen minutes. It is therefore difficult for me to definitively confirm that the above findings apply to the entire game. For a better idea of ​​the game, you can read our preview. In any case, my short play session left me wanting more!


Sonic Superstars

After my playing session with Super Mario Bros. Wonderfully, I also got to work on that other big 2D platform game that will be released this month. I’m talking about Sonic Superstars, of course. I played three short stages of the game. It played quite well and the fast 2D Sonic gameplay felt old and familiar. Although I had a great time with the game, the difference in quality with Super Mario Bros. Surprisingly noticeable. Because where I like Super Mario bros. Wonder described above as an “ambitious 2D Mario game,” this ambition was a bit lacking in Sonic Superstars. The three stages I played were entertaining, but where Super Mario Bros. Although it wants to reinvent the 2D Mario wheel, Sonic Superstars does little to change its classic formula.

Packed with games

In addition to these large 2D platform games, numerous other games were also playable. For example, Ubisoft was there with the recently released Assassins Creed: Mirage and with a small Just Dance stand. Next door was Sony with four exclusive PS5 games. These were God of War Ragnarok, Horizen Forbidden West, The Last of Us Part 1 and Gran Turismo 7. Unfortunately, only a trailer was shown of Sony’s big Blockbuster Marvel’s Spider-Man 2.

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I could talk about the game offering for even longer, but then this article would be thousands of words long. Finally, I would like to say that GameForce was more of a family event this year. You saw many parents walking with children on the exhibition floor. This year there was also a special Kids Zone, where only children could play games. For the parents of these kids, there were all kinds of classic arcade cabinets and retro consoles in the area that were frequently played on.

Beautiful Cosplay competition

Like every year, this year there was attention for cosplay at GameForce. Countless characters from different games, films and series were featured. There was also a special cosplay competition. Several cosplayers performed their own act here, dressed as their favorite characters. Here we saw Link, Kratos from God of War and Pyramid head from Silent Hill 2. The cosplay competition was one of the highlights of GameForce. The cosplayers had clearly put a lot of effort into their acts. There was a lot of dancing, hitting with swords or using special props.

Stalls and conviviality

Nowadays, game fairs are of course not complete without stalls where you can score cool merchandise and goodies from your favorite franchises. Once again this year there were dozens of stands where everything was for sale. From Funko Pops to swords and from fun T-shirts to (retro) games. The fair was also not limited to just video games. There were also stands where you could learn to play the card game Magic: The Gathering and some stands paid attention to the tabletop RPG Dungeons & Dragons.

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Successful event

GameForce 2023 was a successful event! The fair was pleasantly busy and the atmosphere was good among the visitors. This edition was a big improvement compared to last year. There were more large parties present and there was something for everyone. Although the fair cannot yet match, for example, a Dutch Comic Con or Firstlook (during their heyday) in terms of size and content, they are steadily on their way to reaching that level. We have every confidence in the organization that next year’s edition will be even better!