In the world of online slot machines, even most of the smaller developers like to talk big. Most of the sites of even tiny software companies look extremely polished; if you didn’t know much about them, you wouldn’t know that they aren’t actually one of the big names in the industry.
But not everyone takes this course. Thunderkick is an online casino software developer that seems to revel in their small-time status. In fact, even their website is delightfully low key: their motto appears to be “We are Thunderkick, and we make games.” It doesn’t get any simpler than that.
Of course, there is a little more to the story than that. Formed in 2012, the company – like many others – was founded by a group of developers with previous experience in the industry. They’ve never really broken out to be a household name in gaming circles, but they do have a small portfolio of nearly 20 slots (they haven’t yet dabbled in other games). While that might be a small number, it should be clear that these are quality products: not only do they look the part, but they have been included in more than 50 online gambling sites, suggesting that both operators and players have enjoyed having these games as a part of larger casino packages.
Modern, Distinctive Style
The moment you look at your first Thunderkick slot machine, you’ll realize that these aren’t cheap cash-in titles. It is immediately apparent from the detailed graphics, smooth action, and colorful displays that this company has put a lot of time and work into making these machines stand out from the crowd. Beyond that, though, you’ll see a lot of little details that have been included in an effort to make these games as unique as possible. You won’t just see “reels” here; instead, symbols will be placed in their positions by various means, helping to increase the immersion factor for each theme explored. There are small animations constantly taking place throughout the screen, the sound design adds a lot to the presentation, and the rich, vibrant colors are a welcome change from the drab, lifeless displays you may have seen elsewhere.
To really understand how these elements come together to make a great product, let’s take a look at a couple specific titles. First, there’s Frog Grog, a game in which you’ll get to act like a witch or wizard brewing your own potions out of magical ingredients. Every time you spin the reels, you’ll see new ingredients show up on your shelves (also known as your symbol positions). Like most games, you’ll want to make matches from left to right across the screen. There’s a rolling reels feature in place here too, where winning combinations leave the screen in order to make way for new symbols, giving you a shot at winning yet again at a higher multiplier. There are even secret random surprises that can give you additional ways to win.
Another great game is Spectra, which is designed to look like a laser light show straight out of the early 1980s. All the symbols have that thin, outlined look you’d expect to see from a projected laser display, and even the music from this machine sounds appropriate for the era that is being emulated. The graphics are simplistic yet highly detailed: you can “see” the lasers emanating from the bottom of the display, and lights dance around each of the symbols while you play. And while the theme itself is very appealing and painstakingly crafted, the gameplay elements haven’t been left behind: you’ll enjoy stacked symbols and a wild respin feature that can potentially lead to huge payoffs if you hit the right combinations.
These are just a couple of the amazingly well designed games that Thunderkick has put together over the past few years. They may not have a quantity of machines, but each one is truly built from the ground up to be as good as it can be, with all of the elements – design and gameplay – working together to create a fun, enjoyable, and exciting slots experience. A few of the other top titles that we enjoyed playing include:
- 1429: Uncharted Seas
- Bork the Berzerker
- Esqueleto Explosivo
Few Studios Match Presentation Quality
One of the few knocks on Thunderkick is that they simply haven’t produced all that many games. That means that you won’t see entire casinos built on this developer’s suite of machines, and they are very rarely even put front and center for players to see. That’s a shame, because these games are incredibly fun, absolutely gorgeous to look at, and very engaging. If you try the free versions of their titles, you’ll see exactly what we mean: even when there’s no actual opportunity to win real money, you’ll find yourself struggling to pull away from some of their best games.
With all that said, it’s almost hard to believe that the company hasn’t won any industry awards, at least as far as we’ve seen. It’s probably only a matter of time – quality like this eventually gets noticed – but in the meantime, consider this studio one of the industry’s best kept secrets. Of course, Thunderkick itself may be part of the issue here: as we noted before, their website is very nondescript, and they don’t seem to do much promotion of their products, at least not online.
Worth Seeking Out
This collection is easily integrated into a larger casino, as all of the games are available in an instant play format that can be accessed from either computers or mobile devices, regardless of operating system. While that has helped this developer get their games into many different sites, it also means they can easily be overlooked, as few players will look for – or find – a “Thunderkick casino.” But while we usually don’t make strong recommendations of such small collections, we’re included to make an exception this time. These games are well worth seeking out if there is a reputable, recommended gaming site that hosts them in your jurisdiction.
Obviously, this recommendation only applies if you are interested in slots: if you’re a table games player only, even the best machines in the world aren’t going to be of any interest to you. We also have to note that the small size of this studio means that they can’t offer huge jackpots to players; if you’re interesting in playing for millions on every spin, then that could potentially be a dealbreaker. But if you’re a typical slots fan who wants to play some very atypical games that break the expected mold, then we think you’ll have a whole lot of fun playing with Thunderkick’s line of games.