NGF is back this May half term, with free activities for everybody!

2024, NGF24, Events

The city centre games festival is back at The Forum Thursday 30 May – Sat 1 June

There's free activities for all to enjoy from 10am-4pm, as well as a brilliant programme of talks, workshops, and more – tickets are on sale now!

Norwich Games Festival (NGF) promises three days of fun, featuring the best in retro and contemporary gaming, the chance to play, and insight into the industry. There’s plenty for families to enjoy, as well as events for expert gamers, future creators, and competitive players!

The Forum will host a fantastic range of exhibitions and activities, where everyone is invited to explore the world of games, have a go at something new, and get a glimpse into the industry, including showcases from innovative local creators. Visitors can play giant models of classic arcade games at The Actual Reality Arcade, explore immersive virtual reality with Infinite Form VR, or enjoy retro gaming on their favourite old console.

Event highlights include a talk from YouTuber and comedian Stuart Ashens as he delves into the weirder side of video games, recording artist Bentley Jones sharing the story of his work composing for franchises like Sonic the Hedgehog, and The Big NGF Quiz where everybody will get the chance to show off their games knowledge.

As well as events at The Forum, Chantry Place will be hosting the free Game On trail from Sat 25 May to Sun 2 Jun; where families can collect a map from The HMV Shop, and follow the trail through the Centre. Throughout the Festival St Peter Mancroft Church will be home to three days of tabletop gaming from 10.30am-3.30pm, where everyone can have go at the game of their choice, and on Fri 31 May – Sat 1 Jun visitors to Norwich Theatre’s Game Lounge can play on retro and modern consoles – all for free!

Ellie Buchan, Norwich Games Festival Producer at The Forum, said,

“Norwich Games Festival showcases the best in gaming from across the country, as well as fantastic local creators and developers. We can’t wait to welcome everyone to The Forum for three days of fun, inspiration, and imagination! I’m especially excited to give everybody the chance to learn about the industry, and hear from experts including the team at Norwich University of the Arts.”

Ellie Buchan, Norwich Games Festival Producer

The NGF programme also features incredible industry insights, with workshops and talks exploring illustration, writing, development, design, and career advice. Students from Norwich University of the Arts, the lead partner of NGF, will be showcasing their work and explaining their creative development. Future students will also get the chance to hear from Games Course Leader Jake Montanarini, as he shares how Norwich University of the Arts ignites creativity, fosters innovation, and shapes the next generation of game developers.

Associate Professor Mark Wickham, Director of Computer Arts and Technology at Norwich University of the Arts said,

“Norwich University of the Arts is proud to be sponsoring the Norwich Games Festival as it makes its rightful return to The Forum. We’re privileged to have been part of the festival’s journey and a key component of each NGF since 2014. For us as educators and subject enthusiasts, this is a chance to showcase our work to the ever-growing community of game developers, players, and studios in the region; demonstrating exactly why Norwich is such a great place to make games. Amongst the multitude of professional talks, illustrating some of the world-leading game titles made here in the region, our students will showcase the variety of skillsets involved in games production throughout the festival.”

Norwich Games Festival is presented by The Forum, with Lead Partner Norwich University of the Arts, and with the support of Connected Innovation and Norfolk County Council.