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Day 2 at Level UP: We just want to play

Two days later, the biggest (and only) game festival in Salzburg ended. We review the salient points.

to Diana Koehler

Who likes spending two days in a dark, windowless hall in the hot summer, constantly being exposed to electronic music from a variety of audio sources and playing video games at the same time? we! Here are the highlights of the two days of LEVEL UP, Salzburg’s largest and only gaming festival:

That’s how it was First day at UP: When you think of Salzburg, the first association is not necessarily the culture of the game. The second edition of the LEVEL UP trade fair is opening up into an event that could change that.

Unsurprisingly, the retro section of the game gallery is always full. Whether it’s pinball, Pacman or Mortal Kombat, there is little space and long queues in front of the playground equipment. At LEVEL UP, I saw the biggest Mortal Kombat game collection ever. It’s nice to look at, but is the game really that good? Fellow Robert Glaschutner, our FM4 retro expert, has to answer that question. Speaking of retro, one of our highlights comes from the “what a great game, why doesn’t anyone know” category: Donkey Konga. It’s kind of like a Singstar, only instead of mics up to four players tap bongo drums to hits like “Lady Marmalade” or “All the Small Things.”

But back to the beloved Kressenstein aka Robert Glashüttner: he was awarded the FM4 Award for his tireless work Stream at the UP level. This is noteworthy because there are dozens of retro pinball machines around our spot at the show, and Robert gets sweaty beads and shakes his fingers when he sees such machines. He is not only a fan and collector of pinball, but in fact he is also an excellent player. Pinball fever has definitely caught one or the other here at the gaming gallery. Would you have thought shredding a metal ball in a vending machine was funny?

On Friday, costume makers were a bit scarce, but on Saturday more people populated the hall and walked from catwalk to stand sipping bubble tea. From Geralt von Rivia from The Witcher to characters from various cartoons, it’s all included. A few wild furs have also been spotted.

For fellow Chris Stepkowitz, there was one thing special: During the League of Legends tournament, the technology was distributed a full two days after the festival. What do experienced players do? They improvise and just play rock paper scissors on the big main stage. It was a tough fight.

On the other hand, Paul Pant suspiciously much enjoyed the virtual reality shooter with the dubious name “Lost Crusoe”, which can be recognized from afar by a huge mammoth. Up to 10 players, equipped with VR goggles and controllers in both hands, can shoot each other’s avatars. On the other hand, I obviously didn’t quite understand how this game works and was mercilessly defeated by my colleague – he’ll get that back again at some point.

The LEVEL UP in Salzburg was diverse and varied and definitely worth a visit. We are really looking forward to next year!