Gordon Ramsay’s Hell’s Kitchen: Slot Overview
Rounding off the trio of branded slots announced by NetEnt at the 2020 London Ice conference is Gordon Ramsay’s Hell’s Kitchen. The others were Trillionaire, later offloaded onto sibling studio Red Tiger, and Street Fighter 2 which managed to remain utterly faithful to the beloved coin-op. Gordon Ramsay’s Hell’s Kitchen isn’t as revolutionary as the latter of these, but it is just as faithful. It’s not a highly volatile, massive potential game by any means, let’s get that straight at the outset. However, fans of the show or casual players on the lookout for something offering pure entertainment value should get a kick out of this well-polished product.
As well as a hugely popular TV show, which has been on air since 2005, there is also a swanky eating establishment called Gordon Ramsay’s Hell’s Kitchen in Caesars Palace, Las Vegas. It sits right out the front and its floor to ceiling windows provide a view of the strip as dinners quaff down food from a red and blue kitchen, styled like the show. In addition, the bar at Gordon Ramsay’s Hell’s Kitchen serves the latest trends in mixology, which is presumably a fancy word for cocktails. Rather fitting that Gordon gets his own slot while being intimately associated with a global gambling hotspot.
From classy eateries to a classy game, Gordon Ramsay’s Hell’s Kitchen is certainly easy on the eyes. The lights have been turned down to an intimate level, and the visuals are tasteful rather than flashy. A 5-reel, 20-payline grid spins beneath heating lamps, while the red team vs blue team dynamic is hinted at by the colouring. The best part is the commentary supplied by the man himself, adding personality while also giving the branding a point and adding to the fun like a sprinkle of cayenne pepper.
As mentioned, Gordon Ramsay’s Hell’s Kitchen is a game that leans towards the more casual segment of the gambling market. This is principally from a low volatile math model, producing a default RTP value of 96.07%. The game is playable on any device, offering a wide range of bets starting at 40 p/c per spin, rising as high as £/€400 for the big spenders.
Winning combinations are formed of three or more matching symbols on a payline starting at the first reel. Low pay J-A royals look like glowing grills, while the highs are made up of a stocky toffee pudding, a cocktail, a burger, and a classic English dish known as the Beef Wellington. Landing a five-of-a-kind premium combination is worth a payout of 2.5 to 10 times your stake. The HK wild can appear on any reel in the main game and free spins to substitute any other pay symbol.
Gordon Ramsay’s Hell’s Kitchen: Slot Features
NetEnt has stuck with traditional features while making a few theme inspired changes to create a signature experience. Ramsay’s Wilds feature is up first as an entrée, serving up 5 to 7 wild symbols in random positions on the board when activated. There’s some pretty interesting animations happening as well to keep players entertained, such as knives thrown onto the reels while Gordon himself comments on the action.
Next is Team Challenge Free Spins, triggered when 3 or more scatters land. Scatters appear on reels 1, 2, 4 and 5 in the main game, where 3 or 4 in view award 10 or 15 free spins. The screen divides into 2 separate 5×3 reel setups, one representing the blue team, one the red team. Before free spins begin, players pick one of the teams. On each free spin, special symbols appear below the reels; x2, x3 multipliers, or wilds in either red or blue colours, and are applied to the respectively coloured team’s grid. Multipliers of the same colour have their values added together.
At the end of the feature, players are awarded wins from both team grids. However, if the team chosen at the start of the feature wins more money, or there is a tie, then Gordon’s Bonus Game is awarded. If not, it’s back to the main game. In Gordon’s Bonus Game, which is essentially a pick-me bonus, 15 menus populate the screen. Players pick them one by one to reveal prizes of 2, 3, or 5 times the bet, an x2 or x3 multiplier, or ‘X’ symbols. Players keep picking prizes until 3 ‘X’ symbols have been revealed, ending the round.
Gordon Ramsay’s Hell’s Kitchen: Slot Verdict
“Why did the chicken cross the road? Because you didn’t f—ing cook it!” Perhaps it was fear of being on the receiving end of criticism like that which motivated NetEnt to craft such a highly polished slot. Instead of just bunging Gordon’s face on a premium symbol and pairing him with a couple of white bread features, it’s clear NetEnt took the project seriously. To avoid being verbally destroyed by a celeb chef who poetically speaks his mind, they turned out a fabulously looking game, providing plenty of kitchen atmosphere, and enjoyable theme based features. In short, a top quality act, and if the rumours are anything to go by, an excellent start to what could be more Gordon Ramsay slots.
The great thing about Gordon Ramsay’s Hell’s Kitchen is just how on-board with the whole thing Gordon appears to have been. Whether for love or money, we get the famous chef’s imprint all over the place, and it’s not just visuals. A ton of voice-overs spice the game when it’s in action. The only slight disappointment is we are treated to an uber-polite version of Gordon Ramsay. There is none of the blue language he’s famous for. It makes sense; some players don’t want a barrage of f-bombs raining down on them while trying to link together wins. But, it would have been hilarious for others. Maybe if there’s a follow-up, NetEnt could incorporate some sort of switch players could toggle between clean language and filth. Just a thought.
The tame math model here isn’t exactly a fair representation Gordon’s volatile mood swings either. As such, this slot probably caters to casual players who are looking to be entertained more so than the hardcore gamers looking for those crazy rollercoaster experiences.
On the whole though, and like a gourmet dish, NetEnt has arranged every element of Gordon Ramsay’s Hell’s Kitchen into an exceptionally well-presented whole. It looks great, captures Gordon Ramsay’s essence via a shed load of the chef’s audio, and has a nice red team/blue team rivalry that forms the show’s core. For some attractive low volatility gaming, it’s a culinary delight.