OLD BUT GOLD #2: The Kitchen Drama Series
Welcome to our series, Old but Gold, where we shine a light on some of our older gems that may have been long forgotten. We hope you’ve built up an appetite, because this month, we’re looking at the KITCHEN DRAMA Series.
Kitchen Drama Sushi Mania and BBQ Frenzy were released in 2017, a time when we had just found our footing in the industry. The team had just moved into larger offices in Stockholm as it doubled its size. These two games marked the start of Nolimit getting familiar with complexities in slot games - something which now defines us.
THE STORY BEHIND THE SLOT
Per Lindheimer: "Sushi Mania started development when I joined the company. We had stiffened up the math a bit, but at this time it was still a very low volatile game. If I remember correctly, the simulated max win was around 700 - peanuts compared to our games today.
It was a fun production though since we built a lot of features that were the groundwork of how we do things today with the Big Wins. Instead of using the standard “BIG WIN”, “EPIC WIN” and “MEGA WIN” - we used a completely different exclamation for each big win level; “oh, lala”, “mon dieux”, etc.
There is a fun easter egg in the highest paying low symbol, which is labeled “Waillon Mayo”, an ode to our math dude Wai Le.
One of the odd things with Sushi Mania is that you need to be winning, to trigger the free spins. The FS triggers once you win with Salmon, Rice, and Soy. It’s unique, and the setup has its pros and cons.
BBQ Frenzy was born out of the idea to create a game series - since Sushi Mania turned out to be quite the hit. BBQ Frenzy was meant to be a more fierce/volatile version of its predecessor. It was released a couple of months later in the same year - with a heavier emphasis on the Free Spins (only 1 in 92!). BBQ Frenzy wasn’t a huge hit, so it’s not a favorite of mine - even tho I love to BBQ."
Waillon Le (Wai) : The Kitchen Drama series was made in the time when low variance was popular and stuff was cute and nice in the slots world - before we shook it up! During the production of this game, we were still at the original office which was pretty much a 2 room apartment stuffed with desks and a pool table in the conference room. Good times!
We started working on Sushi Mania because everyone here loved sushi! One of our favorite lunch restaurants was this sushi place called Red Ninja, where some of the inspiration came from. Fruit Ninja, the mobile slice-n-dice game, was also another inspiration for the series as that was the craze back then.
For the follow-up, BBQ Frenzy, we envisioned a very different game mechanics-wise, except for the free spin trigger. We had learned our lessons from Sushi, and we felt the FS needed to be a bit punchier.
I could argue that BBQ is our first ‘Western’ game, as it has cowboys and Indians. Funnily enough, the biggest discussion for this game was whether we were going to have an armadillo in it! Some people were very adamant about having an armadillo. So far, it hasn't made it into any of our games yet, but I think that time is soon.
Sushi Mania and BBQ Frenzy were fun projects for sure, and of course, we had sushi and a BBQ to celebrate the release. I’m still not sure why Waillon Mayo became the highest-paying symbol, but I felt honored!
• There is a fun easter egg in the highest paying low symbol, which is labeled “Waillon Mayo”, an ode to our math dude Wai Le.
• Sushi Mania was the first game with big win-level names . “Oh, lala, Mon Dieux, Sacre Blue”.
• Fruit Ninja, the mobile slice-n-dice game, was an inspiration for the series as that was super popular at the time.
It’s a testament to how much Nolimit City has evolved over the past few years to see how the Kitchen Drama series wouldn’t even be recognised as NLC games to the average player. With that being said, these slots are packed with smooth animations and tight sound effects, which still hold up to this day.