Save Game Sunday Kickday – Culina: Hands in the Kitchen

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This week’s pick for our Save Game Sunday Kickday is something a little different.  Culina: Hands in the Kitchen is a unique blend of simulation and visual novel, diving into the world of restaurant ownership.  If you love to cook, or have ever dreamed of owning your own restaurant, then this Kickstarter campaign might be worth a look.  Read on to check it out.

Picture it: you’ve just graduated culinary school, and your parents have given you the opportunity to open your very own restaurant.  But with big opportunities come big challenges, and you’ll have to be far more than just a good cook to succeed in the business world.  That’s the situation you find yourself in when you start playing Culina: Hands in the Kitchen, a new blend of visual novel and simulation game.

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In Culina: Hands in the Kitchen, you’ll be taxed with far more than just creating delicious recipes.  While cooking definitely plays a key role in the game, you’ll also have to design an appealing restaurant and menu, purchase ingredients from multiple vendors, and craft recipes which will draw in customers.  You’ll also have to decide what kind of restaurant owner you want to be.  Do you want to concentrate on becoming the best chef you can be, or stick more to the business side of ownership?  Do you want to keep all of your relationships professional, or perhaps kindle a romance with someone?  These are all options you have in Culina: Hands in the Kitchen.  Inspired by games like Persona 4 and Hot Dog Stand: The Works, Culina aims to strike a unique balance between the visual novel and simulation genres.  While you’ll be taxed with determining prices, keeping records, and planning marketing strategies, the relationships you develop over time will be just as important. To get an idea of what the finished game will look like, check out the trailer below.

Culina: Hands in the Kitchen is being developed by a small team of dedicated independent programmers, writers, musicians, and artists, and they need your help to see their labor of love completed.  They are currently running a Kickstarter campaign to raise $10,000, which they will use to complete their game and release it for PC, Mac, Linux, and OUYA.  As of the writing of this article, they have accumulated just over $3300 from 160 backers, with 20 days to go in their campaign.  They have a number of pledge tiers to choose from, ranging from $12 to $1000.

  • $12: EARLY BIRD – In addition to the above, you will receive a free digital copy of Culina when it is released for Windows, Mac, Linux, or Ouya. Additionally, you will recieve a Steam key if we get picked up by Greenlight.
  • $16: TOURNANT – If you missed the early bird tier, a digital copy of the game can still be yours! Contains everything the early bird tier has.
  • $20: PASTRY CHEF – Everything in the above, and at this point you’ll gain beta access to the game. In addition you will also get the EP Songs from Culina: Selections from the Culina Series as a digital download.
  • $25: GARDE MANGER – In addition to everything above, get your name in the credits under “Special Thanks” section as well as a digital download of the game.
  • $50: ROTISSEUR – In addition to the above, shortly after the Kickstarter you will receive a copy of the game in the state that it is now and be able to give us feedback which we will take into consideration as the game is being created. You will be listed in the credits as a Consulting Designer.
  • $75: ENTREMETIER – At this tier level you will receive a copy of the limited-run hard copy of the game which includes the EP, a poster, and a DVD with the PC, Mac, and Linux versions of the game. INTERNATIONAL BACKERS: Please contact us before backing so we can determine additional shipping costs.
  • $100: POISSONIER – At this tier you will receive an apron like the one seen in the video and also a copy of the limited-run hard copy of the game which includes the EP, a poster, and a DVD with the PC, Mac, and Linux versions of the game. INTERNATIONAL BACKERS: Please contact us before backing so we can determine additional shipping costs.
  • $150: STATION CHEF – Ever wanted to be in a game? In addition to everything in the $100 tier level, you will have your (or your original character within reason) likeness put into our game created in the style of other characters in the game in a minimal role (such as a customer of the restaurant or a side character in one of the character’s routes). INTERNATIONAL BACKERS: Please contact us before backing so we can determine additional shipping costs.
  • $500: SOUS CHEF – Everything in the $100 level, plus you get to design a minor NPC character that the player can interact with in the game. INTERNATIONAL BACKERS: Please contact us before backing so we can determine additional shipping costs.
  • $1000: EXECUTIVE CHEF– In addition to everything in the $500 level and my undying gratitude, you will get a copy of every game that this company ever makes. Ever. You will receive credit as an Executive Producer in the credits. INTERNATIONAL BACKERS: Please contact us before backing so we can determine additional shipping costs.

So what do you think?  Does Culina: Hands in the Kitchen look like something you might be interested in?  Personally, I’ve never been much of a cook.  I can barely boil water without the fire department showing up at my door.  But the idea of owning a restaurant, creating recipes, running the business, and forming relationships with my employees and vendors does sound appealing.  If Culina can strike the right balance between simulation and interative novel, it just might be worth a pledge.  And if Kickstarter isn’t your thing, the developers have also placed Culina: Hands in the Kitchen on Steam Greenlight.  So if you love to cook, or if you’ve never cooked in your life but are looking for a unique simulation game, why not make this Sunday a Kickday and support Culina: Hands in the Kitchen?


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    About the Author: (@Joe_of_the_Dead) Lead Editor, Writer

    Joe

    Joe was born in a time of war. A console war. Two electronic titans were locked in a heated battle for the living rooms of America. Which titans, you ask? Well, the Fairchild Channel F and the Atari 2600 of course. You see, Joe is old. So many of his favorite games tend to be on the older side as well. But that hasn’t stopped him from developing unhealthy obsessions with such modern franchises as Halo and Mass Effect. Just don’t tell him how long it’s been since the original Metroid was released. His aging heart can’t take the shock.