When it comes to the world of slots, most developers start as wholly original teams whose formative years were spent on the virtual reels. However, some come from a different time, when the fruit machine reigned supreme. If you're an old school player, you might remember Barcrest from those days, as they produced some of the most popular physical slots ever made.
Barcrest first came onto the scene in 1968, launching a range of fruit machines that proved a hit amongst the gaming audience of the time. Hailing from Greater Manchester, England, Barcrest machines could be found in every pub, amusements and arcade in the country. While it was the analogue contraptions that initially garnered a player base for them, they were also one of the early digital innovators and among the first to fuse the two. In fact, the foundations of bonus mechanics can be found here, as the addition of computer chips meant more features could be added to the slots.
Before we start, we should say that Barcrest has a very specific style when it comes to developing their games. They have been around for a very long time and it shows, with their slots exhibiting a decidedly classic layout and design. Because of this, they sometimes look a little lacklustre, especially when you compare them to the CGI filled extravaganzas many providers now offer. However, you should never judge a book by its cover and many players have found out first hand that Barcrest’s slots are much more than they seem. We’ve collected a few of the best that we host on Kerching, including one of the biggest names in the entire business.
It’s a 5 reel, 20 payline slot, though it bases itself on a different game altogether. Action Bank is a noughts and crosses inspired game, though it also features a bank heist theme as well, so it is clear Barcrest isn’t afraid to mix and match! It isn’t the prettiest slot out there, with the graphics looking a little dated. However, the gameplay is first class and can be quite rewarding if you start racking up the wins. True to form, Barcrest has prioritised the bonuses in this one, with the few on offer proving very engaging indeed.
Let’s start with the free spins feature, which is triggered by landing the gold vault scatter five times on the reels. You will be prompted to choose a vault, which will reveal how many spins you have won. Additionally, you can gamble these spins for a chance at even more, though be careful, as you risk losing them all. However, landing the vault symbols can also trigger another feature, the Big Bank Bonus. Fifteen vaults will materialise on the screen, but this time you’ll find different gemstones behind them; sapphires, diamonds and rubies. They will reward multipliers if you manage to find three matching ones. The highest of these is a 250x your stake value, so you could land the big bucks if you’re lucky.
7’s To Burn
You might have thought the last one had a bit of a classic feel to it, but this one takes the cake! 7’s To Burn is a three-reel slot based entirely on symbols from old fruit machines. It’s almost like Barcrest tried to replicate the physical reels as authentically as possible and the result is a game that feels quite minimal in contemporary terms but is an extremely entertaining product. Given the name, you won’t be surprised to hear that the visuals are dominated by graphic flames and various old school symbols like cherries, BARs and 77s.
While many of Barcrest’s offerings are certified feature fests, this title goes against the grain. You only get the one featured here, Hi Roller Spins. You will be given five spins for this, with the flaming 77 symbols in the game serving as wilds for the duration of them. Because there's only one bonus, there's a fair bit value attached to the symbols. Landing three of the cherries, lemons, oranges or plums will result in a payout of 8x your stake. The watermelons and BARs will offer a higher value of 20x, while the gold bells and stars stand at 40x. The 77s are the most valuable in the game, with normal one worth 100x and the flaming 77 valued at a huge 250x your stake.
In all honesty, we could write an entire blog on this series alone. Actually, we have! Yes, Rainbow Riches is an immensely popular franchise, so much so that, if you’ve played on an online casino, you have probably heard the name. It is an Irish-themed slot, so you can be sure to see plenty of rainbows, leprechauns and pots of gold. The original was an immediate success, which was mainly due to the three bonus features it debuted with. The first of these was the Road to Riches, a wheel minigame where you must spin to land on either a number between 1-6 or a ‘collect’ icon. Land numbers and you’ll be able to keep spinning, but collect will end the round. When it’s over, the total will be added up, converted to a multiplier and applied to your stake.
Then there’s the Wishing Well bonus, which is triggered by landing the associated symbol three or more times, a multiplier will then be applied to your stake. The last one is the Pots of Gold bonus, which will activate when you land 3 of the Pots of Gold scatter symbols. This will prompt a new screen to appear, displaying the leprechaun in a field with twelve gold pots. Each of these will have a hidden value attached and you must spin to decide which you’ll get.
Now, Kerching hosts many of the Rainbow Riches title and the best part about the franchise is that each one is geared towards a new playstyle. Barcrest achieves this by focusing on a single gameplay mechanic and expanding it as much as possible. Take Rainbow Riches Free Spins for example; it focuses entirely on the free spins feature, which can be re-triggered up to 999 times. You will also receive more spins than in other slots, so if you are a fan of that particular bonus than it’s obviously going to appeal. With so much variety on offer in this slots saga, you might have trouble choosing which to play. Well, lucky for you, we’ve got a suggestion.
The Pick of the Bunch
In our blog covering the series, we put one game above all the rest, so we’re going to give a little summary of that one now. It’s called Rainbow Riches Pick n’ Mix and, true to its name, it offers a boatload of bonuses to choose from. We mean that literally too as you’ll be able to pick up to three features out of five before you start playing. The lower the number, the greater the chance you have of triggering one and you can always reset how many and which bonuses you have picked. Each one has a symbol associated with it and, if you land three of them, the effect will trigger. Land five and you will be rewarded with a 500x your stake multiplier. The bonuses contain ones used in previous games and include the Road to Riches minigame and the free spins. The others can offer symbol changes, coin wins and more.
Play them at Kerching!
If you’re in the mood to for a classic, fruit machine experience, you can find all the Barcrest games we’ve mentioned right here at Kerching. Of course, there is plenty more to play if you’re after something a little different. For a more modern design, why not try out Kitty Glitter? Or, if magical creatures are up your street, give the immensely popular Pixies of the Forest a go. As always, if you’re a newbie, make sure to check our promotions page to see our latest welcome offer.
Remember, when you play slot games, you need to be gambling responsibly. If you have any issue with this, visit BeGambleAware for free advice. Or you can get in touch with our support team at [email protected].