Table of Contents
- About Barcrest
- Award Winners
- Features & Game Types
- Highest Return to Player Slots
- Our Top 5 Picks
- Our View
|Number of Games||80+|
|Products||Online Slots & Cabinet Slots|
|Website||Parent Company Light and Wonder -https://www.lnw.com/|
Founded in 1968 in Manchester, Barcrest soon started to dominate the fruit machine market with their “fruities” in pubs and clubs up and down the land.
When Brit Pop hit the scene in the 1990s, Barcrest was a leading pioneer in gaming development in the UK, most notable for cabinets.
They’re still making stepper slots to this day, just a few miles from where their original HQ was. For those who don’t know, stepper slots are mechanical reels rather than digital ones.
Like all great businesses that enjoy decades of success, they have adapted and changed to their market environment. They took all that well-earned knowledge from the slot machines in the pubs and transferred it online.
Today, their slots are instantly recognisable, even if you’ve only been playing a short time.
Their first online slots appeared in the early noughties, not long after their acquisition by IGT in 1998.
Their epic Irish-inspired Rainbow Riches series exploded onto the slot stage in 2006 and is still incredibly popular today.
Other notable slots include the Monopoly series, Lotus Flower, Pyramids of Giza and Snow Leopard.
In 2011 Barcrest was acquired once again, on this occasion by Scientific Games (now called Light and Wonder – March 2022).
And because you don’t just throw away a brand that has 50 years embedded within the zeitgeist, you can still find games being released under the Barcrest name, albeit appearing after the parent company logo when they load.
This company is royalty when it comes to the slot world. They don’t come with more pedigree or proven success. No wonder Scientific Games was prepared to pay a reported EURO 30 MILLION for them!
If 50 years in the biz doesn’t convince you that this is a highly trustworthy operator, then nothing will!
Betcrest has been part of Scientific Games for more than a decade. That means when it comes to licensing and awards, you need to look at the parent company.
Licensing-wise, Barcrest can piggyback many of its licences, including the UK Gambling Commission, Malta Gaming Authority and Alderney Gambling Control Commission.
The corporate Scientific Games awards section is chock a block while their SG Digital division picked up the award for Best Casino Platform Supplier of 2018 at the EGR North America Awards while at the G2E Asia Awards in the same year, the brand captured the extremely coveted Best Electronic Gaming Solution (Slots and ETGs) awards.
And they’ll be hoping for more awards now that Scientific Games has become Light & Wonder with a great focus on iGaming after selling off their Lottery business.
Features & Game Types
Barcrest is an innovator, no doubt, and there’s no better example than their live rollout of five reel slots when three was all there was on offer.
We’re going to be brutally honest here, Barcrest slots aren’t the high-end design offering of, say, Elk or Yggdrasil, but they are great to play.
They harness the power of the classic look and feel of land-based slots to great effect.
Sadly, there are no progressive slots or jackpots produced by Barcrest, instead, you can expect the classics of free spins and bonus rounds when it comes to features.
There’s something to be said for a simpler approach to slots. In a world where you can change volatility and need a handbook to understand some games; the concept of depositing your money and simply spinning feels rather refreshing.
This hypothesis is surely born out by the fact that Barcrest has some of the most well-known slots around.
At a typical Barcrest game, you’ll find:
- Classic gameplay
- Retro design
- Competitive RTPs
- High Roller Modes/Big Bet Feature – You can pay to play for higher stakes for five rounds.
- Features – Classics including wilds, scatters, click-n-pick and big wheels.
Highest Return to Player Slots
Barcrest has some very decent high RTP games that are extremely popular slots. That makes them perfect for the player who likes payouts fast and furious.
Here are some of their highest-paying games.
- Dr Jekyll Goes Wild – 98.20%
- Mighty Black Knight – RTP 98%
- Rainbow Riches: Home Sweet Home – 97.75%
That doesn’t mean if you like low RTP or high volatility games, you need to look elsewhere; Barcrest offers some excellent choices in this field, such as Moon Shadow, with an RTP of 96.07%.
Our Top 5 Picks
If you play slots a lot, then many of Barcrest’s games will be instantly recognisable. These top slots need no introduction; they are everywhere.
- Rainbow Riches – We couldn’t review Barcrest without highlighting what is arguably their most popular game. There are more than 20 variations of Rainbow Riches these days, but the original is still heavily played. This Irish-themed slot has five reels, 20 pay lines and an RTP of 95%. Bonuses include a pick n win round and Pots of Luck function.
- Dr Jeykll Goes Wild – The murky, murderous world of Victorian London is brought to life with this Barcrest slot. With great gameplay, and a max win of 250,000 credits, you’ll make this slot a firm favourite, that’s for sure! One of the highest RTP’s on Barcrest’s books. Collect three, four or five scatter symbols to get on the board and enjoy 10,15 or 20 free spins. You can also kick in the Big Bet. And, of course, given the name, there are plenty of wilds. With great gameplay, a max win of 250,000 credits you’ll make this slot a firm favourite, that’s for sure! One of the highest RTP’s on Betcrest’s books. Collect three, four or five scatter symbols to get on the board and enjoy 10,15 or 20 free spins. You can also kick in the Big Bet. And, of course, given the name, there’s plenty of wilds.
- Thai Flower – This is a beautifully simple game and a personal favourite of our reviewer. Land three of the same symbols on any payline to win. The boat, Thai lady and elephant symbols are the big payers that could win you 250x, 500x and 1000x your line bet depending on which ones stick. Collect three lotus symbols and enjoy 12 free spins. Simple or what! It also comes with a 95% RTP.
- Snow Leopard – This slot can reach the dizzy RTP heights of 97.75% if boosted with the Big Game feature! With 40 paylines, six reels and four rows there’s a lot going on. Plus you can kick in the Big Bet feature if you feel like upping the stakes. This game is stacked with wilds and symbols including squirrels, rabbit and, of course, leopards. Get three, four or five “paw” scatter symbols and enjoy between eight and 50 free spins. During the bonus round you may also be lucky enough to receive multiplier wilds. This is a fabulous game.
- Jackpot Jewels – This is a seven reel, four row slot with an RTP that can go up to 96.5%. Fifty paylines give you the chance to win a max of 250,000 credits. This is an unusual slot in that it gives you different features depending on your stake. With small bets you can enjoy multipliers, big bonuses and free spins while increasing your stake gives you a better return, more frequent features and sticky wilds. As you might expect, the symbols are jewels. Collect three scatter symbols to be awarded your free spins.
The Barcrest logo may play second fiddle to the SG logo in recent years but for old timers like me, it still brings a smile to my face.
I have immensely happy memories as a younger man of balancing a smoking cigarette on the top of the “fruitie” cabinet next to the blue Barcrest logo, my pint of warm lager in hand, waiting for that unmistakable clatter of coins to hit the tray following a win.
It’s little wonder they still produce stepper slots, this is a brand where nostalgia runs like water for anyone in Ireland who is over a certain age and likes a bet.
Online they’re not as strong graphically as some of the newer studios to emerge and that doesn’t matter. Because their market isn’t the Gen Z lot looking for an ‘immersive experience’ and ‘perfect playability’ but the old gamblers like me looking for a bit of nostalgia, wilds with multipliers and a decent win.