Following the success of their February event, AFKxp Tech+Games hosted the APRIL Video Game Swaps at their location in Downtown Campbell, California (second floor of LvL UP). This was the perfect Sunday’s to look for some retro games and accessories while mingling in a safe environment.

The APRIL Video Game Swaps took place on April 11th, 18th and the 25th. Unlike previous events during the pandemic, there were no time slots for guests. People could come in as they please but had to wear masks and get a temperature check at the door. This coverage is based on my attendance on April 11th and the 18th.

The Highlights

The event attracted a diverse crowd of shoppers who were brought together by their passion for retro games. Some were parents who wanted to introduce their kids to the classics or still had the Nintendo Wii. Others either were raised on, or are fans of retro gaming and wanted to build up their collection. Everyone also had a simple reasons to come, be it to shop or to mingle with other like minded enthusiasts.

APRIL Video Game Swaps brought a number of independent sellers and small vendors from all over the Bay Area. Many of them were exclusively focused on selling retro games, consoles and accessories. Some would sell toys and collectables along with fan art.

Andrew Brannan and Chris Morris are independent merchants who have been selling retro games for years. They both have there own online store but come together to events like this. Besides selling games, they enjoy meeting new people who also have an appreciation for the same games they enjoy.

Plush Rush is a vendor that specializes in retro games along with collectable merchandise that are imported from Japan. They have been active among the Bay Area’s convention scene for two years but the pandemic has slowed down their business. Their booth was available on April 11th.

The Retro Fix is a retailer located on the same floor as AFKxp. From PlayStation to the NES, they have one of the largest inventory of retro games and accessories. They were open for normal business during the entire Game Swaps weekend.

War Torn Front is a retailer that sells retro video games and accessories that is located in Manteca. They are also active in game swap meets and fan conventions (including most AFK swap meets). There inventory included many hard to find retro games along with some unique titles and accessories.

The Hauls

No story about going to a game swap is ever complete without going over what you walked away with. I walked into the game swap with $100 in cash and on the hunt for any games that interested. Here is a list of everything I bought and the price tag:

  • Mass Effect Trilogy (PS3) for $20
  • Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII (PS3) for $10
  • Star Ocean: The Last Hope International (PS3) for $12
  • Record of Agarest War 2 (PS3) for $2
  • Kingdom Hearts III (PS4) for $13

I walked in with no set shopping plans but left with some great classics while having plenty of change left over. At the same time, I also meet some interesting folks who had a story to tell or recommendation to share.

8Bit/Digi is an independent media outlet that provides an insight into the video game community and industry of the San Francisco Bay Area.

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