While Barcrest is a relative newcomer to the global slots market, they are still an important company that made many major contributions to slot machine gaming.
Aside from developing and managing the emerging market in UK slot machines, they also used their expertise to craft more interactive slots with greater player choice.
Barcrest has stayed relevant due to a continued focus on innovative slot machine features such as community-style slot play, the Big Bet system and mobile slots.
There are a number of great slot machines currently available from Barcrest. If you’d like to see what the company has to offer, then the following list should give you a good overview.
Rainbow Riches: Leprechauns Gold – Rainbow Riches is one of Barcrest’s most iconic series. It made huge waves with its release in 2006. This version offers some nice upgrades for the series. The game uses a massive set of 7 reels with 50 different paylines active and features an impressive bonus game. Players lucky enough to trigger the bonus will get to spin the Rainbow Ring to win either a mystery symbol bonus, a Wild Rover bonus or a set of free spins. The Wild Rover places wilds onto the reels that can expand and the mystery symbols bonus loads the reels with sets of one randomly chosen symbol. The free spins have both bonus features active and every free spin set ends with a trip to the wishing well, which lets players earn more spins or a cash prize. There’s also one of Barcrest’s well-liked Big Bet features included in the game, allowing players to pay extra for sets of spins with extra wilds and cash prizes.
Lady of Avalon – This lovely Arthurian slot machine offers simple, fast gameplay with potentially rich free spins. The game is a 5-reel slot machine with just 10 paylines in play. While there are only a few ways to win, the game offers an exciting free spins round. At the start of the set of 10 free spins, the game picks a special symbol for the round. Any time that symbol appears, it will expand to fill out the entire reel. With a bit of luck, this can set up some big payoffs. It’s a great choice for players who aren’t interested in some of Barcrest’s more complicated machines.
King’s Honour – Another slot machine with a medieval-inspired design, this machine is almost the polar opposite of Lady of Avalon. It features 100 paylines and 9 reels, including 4 colossal reels with 12 rows. Stacks of 4 vertical wilds on the smaller set of 5 reels can transfer over to the colossal reels and fill the entire corresponding reel. Any normal spin has a chance of triggering the King’s Charge feature, which fills the reels with a selected symbol until it forces a win. There’s also a Siege feature, which can help players trigger the bonus round or give them a free respin as an extra reward for getting a stack of wilds. Getting bonus symbols on the regular reels can trigger a bonus wheel that offers free spins and cash prizes. The colossal reels naturally hold bigger bonuses, with a range of potential bonus features that give players respins, wilds, transforming symbols or big multipliers. There’s even a Big Bet side game that lets players bet bigger to add guaranteed bonus symbols to the reels and add automatic nudging to put stacks of wilds in play.
The Legend of Big Foot – These slots feature a distinctly American design with art inspired by the story of Big Foot. This 5 reel machine can have 10 or 20 paylines active depending on how much players want to bet. While the normal spins lack the thrill of regular wild spaces, the game makes up for it with multiple Big Foot features. During each spin, there’s a chance that Big Foot may shake the reels to create wild spaces, new wins or a better chance of triggering the bonus game. The bonus game is a fun multi-level game that lets players try to stack up bonus symbols and follow Big Foot’s trail. Each new tier adds extra random wilds onto the reels for more wins. There is a Big Bet system in this game, which can increase the frequency of the normal Big Foot feature and also make it easier to trigger and advance within the bonus game.
Mighty Black Knight – This is one more medieval-themed game to close out the set. Mighty Black Knight uses Barcrest’s Mighty Reels system. There are 5 reels and up to 50 paylines active depending on the player’s bet. The game’s Mighty Reels feature kicks in when the tall wild symbol appears completely within the main reels. When this happens, 5 more rows on top of the main reels become active and the number of active paylines doubles. There’s also a normal free spin bonus round that can be triggered. The Big Bet side game lets players pay a premium for a limited set of spins with features such as richer reels, more frequent Mighty Reels or guaranteed wins off of expanding wilds.
While much of Barcrest’s work was in distribution and steady sales, the company did put some of its unique expertise to work in innovative designs. Due to the regulations surrounding British fruit machines, Barcrest became quite skilled at adding interactive skill-based components to their games to keep them legal. As the company grew and expanded, they used this knowledge to add additional interactive features into their slots.
Their most prevalent feature is the Big Bet system that they included in a number of their games, as discussed in the summaries. The feature is an interesting twist that turns typical slot machine play around. This feature lets players take high-roller risks on slots and it’s perfect for players looking for short, exciting play or players who want one last shot at a big win before they leave. There are similar twists available on their other machines, such as the gamble feature on certain machines that lets players risk some or all of their winnings on a new spinning wheel bet.
Barcrest’s innovations in exciting, interactive gameplay aren’t limited to side games though. One very interesting new development is their focus on community-linked slot machines. These machines encourage a friendly environment that’s a natural growth from the company’s early focus on arcades and pubs. The linked machines enable fun features, such as bonus win on one terminal rewarding the entire bank with a free spin bonus round. Interested players can look for community versions of classics such as Rainbow Riches and Black Knight.
Unfortunately, one area that Barcrest is lacking in is progressive jackpots. The company tends to stick to fixed jackpots and elaborate bonus systems with certain Rainbow Riches Pots of Gold games being a rare exception. If you’re looking for the thrill of a shot at a big progressive, you may need to look for another company such as Bally or IGT.
Barcrest’s past decade of dedicated slot machine software development has paid off in the form of many of their games appearing on mobile devices. While their catalog may seem a little small compared to their competitors, they tend to focus on perfecting their games’ performance and design. Their fast, simple reels and the Big Bet feature are perfect for brief mobile play. Players who are interested should be able to find demo versions of Barcrest’s slots in iOS and Android apps. Anyone living in an area that allows legal online slots should be able to find Barcrest slot machines in online casinos or land-based casino apps.
The following Barcrest mobile slot machines offer a range of play styles that should please many different types of players.
Monopoly Money in Hand – This fun slot machine game inspired by the famous board game is played on 5 reels with just 10 paylines. It offers fast play and normal reels without any complicated features. The heart of the game lies in the bonus round though. Players who trigger the free spin round get a chance to gamble with their free spins to win as many as 25 spins. Once the free spins start, players have a chance to win bonus cash prizes from the special Rich Uncle Pennybags feature. The Big Bet side game offers some interesting new ways to play. The lower tiers make it easier to reach the bonus game, and the higher tiers add additional rows on top of the reels to make more room for bonus symbols.
Dr. Jekyll Goes Wild – This interesting 5-reel slot machines also features only 10 paylines for fast play on the normal spins. The battle between Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde breaks out in the bonus round, which is what really makes the game interesting. During the free spin round, players can get Dr. Jekyll spaces to earn more spins and fill in paylines as a wild space. Players who get the special potion and a Dr. Jekyll space trigger the Mr. Hyde round, which features locking wilds and free spins that continue until players trigger a unique hourglass space. The Big Bet is quite interesting too since it features the entirely separate Dr. Jekyll’s Trail feature. In this mode, players can bet big on a set of spin where each bonus symbol adds to the trail counter with a chance to trigger a big free spin bonus round. Players can risk more to make the rewards higher.
Volts and Bolts – This slot machine features a different type of mad scientist. With 50-paylines in play across 5 reels, the normal spins stay fairly normal without any special features. As with the others, the real fun is in the bonuses. Volts and Bolts features two separate bonus games. Players can trigger free spins on a set of loaded reels or win a chance to try and complete the scientist’s robot for a shot at one of the game’s jackpots. There’s no Big Bet system available on this game.
If you’re interested in playing some of Barcrest’s slots, then you should be ready to put in a little more work than you might have to for other companies.
While Barcrest has expanded greatly following their time under IGT and Scientific Games, some casinos in New Jersey and Pennsylvania don’t have many Barcrest machines. Before planning a trip to any casino, players should look up the active slot machine list on the location’s website or contact the casino to ask if any specific Barcrest titles are available.
On the bright side, many of Barcrest’s game’s are available online and through mobile apps. Players located in jurisdictions with legal online slots may find it much easier to stick to mobile play.
Players in New Jersey can easily enjoy many of their latest games through legitimate online casinos or casino apps.
Players in Pennsylvania aren’t quite as lucky since they’re currently stuck with the relatively limited offerings from the new Pennsylvania casinos and from the Pennsylvania iLottery app.
Interested players should watch for updates from New Jersey online casinos that are planning to move into Pennsylvania operations. Some Pennsylvania land-based casinos should have their own legal mobile options available soon.
Barcrest got its start in Manchester, England in 1968. Their original focus was not just on slot machines, or fruit machines as they’re called in the United Kingdom, but also arcade and bingo games.
They produced and distributed their machines to pubs and arcades across the UK and took advantage of the booming interest in slots gaming.
One important factor in their early growth was Barcrest’s comfort with taking the thrill of slot machine gameplay and combining it with skill-based features to comply with British law while also adding a fun and engaging new component to the games.
For a few decades, Barcrest’s story was surprisingly straightforward. They continued to design and manufacture high-quality games and cabinets and maintained their popularity. As the company grew, their machines spread throughout the UK and into Europe.
Barcrest also kept up-to-date with technology as they grew. The company had the honor of bringing 5-reels slots into their country. They replaced many of the UK’s old “one-armed bandit” designs with more advanced 5-reel multi-line models as they became available.
Barcrest would really hit its stride in the 1990s. As its solid catalog continued to pay off, the company began to hit sales records. The relatively small manufacturer still built and sold over 40,000 slot machines a year. This wide base and reach drew the attention of international companies.
In 1998, the US-based firm IGT, International Game Technology, purchased the company as a way of gaining a vital partner to help with sales across Europe. The partnership was generally fruitful, as IGT’s global reach helped Barcrest machines leave Europe and enter new markets.
Barcrest would be a part of IGT for a little over a decade until IGT sold the Barcrest division to Scientific Games in 2011. Scientific Games acts as a parent company for several major slot machine makers. This currently includes powerhouses such as WMS and Bally. While Barcrest was allowed to remain in Manchester, Scientific Games did push for one major change.
Scientific Games had previously purchased The Global Draw in 2006. This UK-based company manufactured terminals and cabinets and also gained some fame designing wide-area networks in the 1990s.
Following their purchase of Barcrest, Scientific Games placed the two companies together and re-organized their focuses. The Global Draw took over production of physical machines and left Barcrest to focus solely on making new software with a special focus on online and mobile games.