Barcrest Software Review and What It Has To Offer
Founded in 1968 in Manchester, Barcrest began with just two employees, but the company soon began to establish a reputation as one of the best and most innovative producers of fruit machines in the UK, with its games being found in clubs, pubs and bingo halls up and down the country.
Growth continued apace, and by the 1990s, Barcrest was at the forefront of gaming hardware development, most notably cabinet slot games, with its leading titles Genesis and Rio being amongst the most popular slot games of their time.
In 2011, Barcrest was acquired by Scientific Games, although it continues to release online slot games under its own banner (from headquarters less than five miles from where the company began). Today, Barcrest games continue to be renowned for its classic designs and gameplay, with its best-known titles including the Rainbow Riches series, first released in 2006. Both Companies are now under the umbrella of the trading name Light and Wonder.
The Barcrest story is in many ways a remarkable one, as the company has shown great versatility and adaptability to still be a leading name in the constantly evolving gaming world after more than 50 years.
Who is Barcrest?
Although it has its origins in land-based gaming, Barcrest has continued to evolve over the years, so much so that it has now firmly established itself as a leading gaming content provider across all channels and platforms, including online and mobile gaming. It boasts an impressive back catalogue of games, and the brand is instantly recognisable across the world.
Today, Barcrest slots have a reputation for utilising classic slot themes and symbols, although its range has continued to expand, and now includes slots like Beetlejuice that use the Megaways mechanic, along with other themed and branded games. Its slots aren’t particularly well known for providing huge jackpot payouts, and there are no progressive jackpot slots, although most Barcrest slots nevertheless offer a competitive RTP that compares well with other similar games.
Originally bought up by IGT in 1998, Barcrest was then acquired by Scientific Games in 2011 along with other brands including Williams and Bally. This has meant Barcrest has continued to have a wide-ranging platform for its games through SG Digital while continuing to develop slots for land-based casinos alongside its online offerings.
Barcrest Gaming Sites
As its games are released now via SG Digital (along with games by a range of other developers), Barcrest slots can be found at most of the online casinos that we feature here. In addition, Barcrest online slots are developed using HTML5 technology, which means they are also accessible in mobile casinos on both Apple iOS and Android smartphones and tablets.
The hots and nots of Barcrest Gaming
- Classic old school gaming – If you enjoy games with all the hallmarks of classic slots and fruit machines, like fruit, bar and Lucky 7, as well as games with old school familiar themes and symbols like gemstones and jewels, then you’ll love Barcrest slots.
- Hi Roller Mode – One of the standout features of Barcrest slots gameplay is Hi Roller Mode (also known as Big Bet). You can activate this feature at any time, and it enables you to pay to play for higher stakes for five spins. This has the effect of increasing the RTP during these spins.
- Good RTP – Although Barcrest slots are not particularly noted for offering massive payouts, they do nevertheless offer players consistently good RTP and value.
- Bonus features – Barcrest slots will usually have a range of special features and symbols, such as wilds and scatters, along with a range of standalone bonus round featuring mechanics like click n’ pick, or big wheel.
- Accessible everywhere – As Barcrest slots are distributed under the SG Digital banner, it means they can be played at most of our featured UK slot sites.
- No progressive jackpot slots – Although Barcrest introduced the idea of community bonus rounds in its land-based slots cabinets, it does not have an online progressive jackpot slot network.
- No table or casino games – Barcrest is a slot game specialist, and to date has no casino games, live dealer games, or bingo games in its catalogue.
With a large catalogue of slots to its name, there are plenty of opportunities to explore the many features on offer in Barcrest games. For players who have been brought up on classic slot games, you’ll find many of the themes and symbols to be familiar; however, if you’re used to the more spectacular visuals of modern slots, you might be surprised at how low-key some Barcrest slots are by comparison.
Rainbow Riches is probably Barcrest’s best-known and most popular online slot, as evidenced by the fact that at last count there have been nine sequels. This 5 reel, 20 payline, medium volatility game has a lively Leprechaun theme and three separate bonus rounds — Road to Riches, Wishing Well and Pots of Gold — all of which offer win multipliers in one form or another.
Lady of Avalon
Released in 2019, Lady of Avalon is a new take on the Arthurian legend, and offers high-quality visuals backed up by an engaging soundtrack. A 5 reel, 3 row slot with 10 fixed paylines, this is a high volatility game with a maximum RTP of 96%, and features expanding symbols, along with wilds and scatters, as well as a 10 free spin bonus round.
Hercules High & Mighty
Although there is no shortage of online slots set in the world of the Greco-Roman Gods, Hercules High & Mighty nevertheless manages to stand out in a crowded field. A 5 reel 5 row game with 50 paylines, the game features Mighty Reels which can double the number of paylines in play. Up to 20 free spins can be won in the bonus round, and the game also has the Big Bet feature (also known as Hi Roller Mode), where you can pay to increase the potential size of payouts for five consecutive spins.
Ooh Aah Dracula
Originally a land-based casino slot, Ooh Aah Dracula was first released in 2017 and is an irreverent take on the classic vampire legend, with comic book style graphics and light-hearted music and sound effects. A 5 reel, 3 row 10 payline game. Ooh Aah Dracula includes the Big Bet feature, which can be played at any time and gives you the chance to increase payout sizes for five spins. The game also has a 15 free spin bonus round with a Best Strategy Indicator that comes into play and hints as to whether you should collect or progress to the next round.
With a comic book prehistoric theme, this 2016 slot game has 5 reels and 10 paylines, and offers a choice of three free spin bonus rounds — Mammoth, Pterodactyl and Sabre Tooth Tiger — along with the well known Barcrest Big Bet feature. There are wild and scatter symbols, and the game offers a maximum jackpot win of 250,000 coins.
This brief look at Barcrest’s best known and most successful slot games gives a good taste of what the developer does best. The settings are imaginatively realised and cover a variety of different themes, and there is some innovative gameplay on offer. There is also a good mix of low, medium and high volatility slots, and the opportunity to win good sized payouts in all of the games listed above.
Our final thoughts
Barcrest is unusual in the world of online slot games due to its origins and history, but it continues to be a respected name and presence in the industry. While it may be true that its games are not necessarily going to blow you away at first glance (especially if you have no experience of playing old school slots or fruit machines), there is nevertheless plenty of imaginative gameplay on offer in many Barcrest slots.
In addition, its games offer a respectable RTP along wth good payouts, and so there is plenty of incentive to check out Barcrest slot games for yourself at our recommended UK slot sites.
Mark Angus is a professional writer and editor currently based in Adelaide and London. Mark writes on a variety of sports betting and gaming topics, most notably football and cricket (he has been a season ticket holder at Fulham for far too many years), as well as horse racing, in particular jumps racing. In addition, Mark produces website content, blogs and articles for a variety of publications, organisations and businesses, and has extensive experience in writing for all forms of online, print and broadcast media.