Barcrest is one of the biggest iGaming success stories out there. Ever since 1968, Barcrest have been designing and bringing to life gaming terminals in Bingo halls, arcades, casinos and, of course, pokie rooms.
Although the transition from the physical into the iGaming era has not always been smooth, some of their titles have become online casino mainstays and some of the best B. The inimitable Rainbow Riches is a prime example and can always be found at the best Barcrest casinos listed on InsideCasino.
Barcrest's original MO has always been centred around the design and manufacture of analogue fruit machines. Serving the land-based pokie machine industry, the company forged a reputation for developing many of the top games you say when you play online pokies in NZ. Such was Barcrest’s success that it soon branched out into the amusements sector across Europe. The 1980s, 90s and 00s saw continued growth as Barcrest expanded into digital gaming. By 1997, this pokies outfit had become a market leader with its presence entrenched in pokie bars. At this point, the company had produced and sold over 35,000 pokie terminals.
Despite the continuous strides made in online casino gaming, there have been a number of behind-the-scene changes. In 1998, gaming behemoth the IGT casino company bought out the company for a sum of NZ$60 million to increase their European exposure, though pokie games continued to be produced under the Barcrest name.
The most iconic online pokie released during this period was undoubtedly Rainbow Riches. Produced by the company’s talented in-house production team, this legendary title helped increase the brand’s notoriety even further.
Then, in 2011 IGT sold Barcest to Scientific Games for the comparatively paltry sum of around NZ$40 million. To this day it continues to operate as part of the Scientific Games network, which includes other highly visible pokies developers like WMS (Williams Interactive) and Bally Technologies.
Rainbow Riches, Barcrest’s primary cash cow, has now been spun into a variety of different pokies and games. The original Rainbow Riches pokie remains unaltered but it now shares the limelight with numerous variants including Rainbow Riches: Reels of Gold, Pick and Mix, Rainbow Riches: Leapin Leprechauns and Rainbow Riches Free Spins. Leapin Leprechauns wins the award for being the most surreal variation. Although a fixed odds game, it cleverly offers an illusion of skill as you guide a leaping Leprechaun through the clouds, leaping from floating islands, much like a Super Mario game.
Other original titles include the Thai Flower pokie, Legend of the Pharaohs, Action Bank, Ooh Aah Dracula, and Arabian Charms.
Since the Scientific Games takeover, the company remains somewhat in flux. SG also revealed that it would stop manufacturing the fruit machines and gaming terminals that Barcrest had become so famous for, to instead focus on online video pokies and server-based gaming. To this end, SG acquired Global Draw in 2006 - a server-based system that allows gaming terminals to be networked across the world.
More recently, SG Gaming has expanded its product portfolio to include a new gaming terminal called Riviera. Available to NZ online casinos, it features an HD multigame menu as well as a suite of jackpot pokie games offering jackpots of up to NZ$20,000. Some of these games include Spartacus, Rainbow Riches, Pots of Gold and Black Night.
Read on as we now take a look at some of the most popular and addictive Barcrest online pokies.
Arabian Charms was released in October of 2014 and is a five-reel pokie with twenty pay-lines. It includes two bonus features: the Golden Trail Bonus and the Arabian Charms Mystery Win Bonus. The golden trail is activated by landing three Genie icons and requires the player to spin a wheel to determine how far up the trail he moves. The Arabian charms bonus feature is triggered at random and is signified by a Genie, which replaces symbols to form winning combinations.
Boulder Bucks is a more recent Barcrest pokie game having launched in 2016. Comprising a prehistoric theme, the game follows a standard five-reel format and has ten pay-lines. It also offers several free spin bonus rounds including a side-game in which the player must choose dinosaur eggs, some of which contain multiplier bonuses. Although there aren’t as many pay-lines as Arabian Charms, Boulder Bucks offers a higher RTP as well as more elaborate gameplay.
Call of Fruity offers a playful take on the hit video game, Call of Duty and makes use of five reels as well as ten pay-lines. There are three bonus features: the Pick Me Bonus Round, Bombsight Bonus and the Fly-By Bonus. Of these three features, the Pick Me Bonus occurs most frequently and allows you to activate the Bombsight Bonus by landing pineapple grenade symbols on reels 1, 3 and 5 of the same spin. But it’s the Fly-By game that generates the biggest wins of all and is unlocked after landing three aeroplane bonus symbols.
Barcrest’s Crown Gems pokie follows a standard five-reel format and has ten pay lines. Released in 2016, the gameplay is fast-paced and includes colourful visuals. However, despite the sleek presentation, there are no bonus rounds to speak of. Nevertheless, this particular pokie can be played with a mere 10c stake which makes it perfect if you play $1 deposit casinos.
Based on Robert Louis Stevenson’s epic horror story, Dr. Jekyll Goes Wild is a standard 5x3 pokie game. Symbols include a deserted London Street, Big Ben, murky street lamps and the good doctor himself. Should three to five scatter symbols appear on the reels, up to 20 free spins then become available. There’s also a Big Bet bonus that unlocks specific features should the player stake at least NZ$20.
Flame of Fortune consists of the same format as most Barcrest pokies - namely a five reel, 3-row base game with 10 fixed pay-lines. In addition to the standardized Big Bet feature, the pokie also includes a bonus game called Fortune Drop. This gets triggered by landing five golden symbols and leads to a mini-game in which the player must match a string of symbols to win cash.
Golden Chief also features five reels but with the addition of up to one hundred potential pay-lines. Based on Native American culture, this particular online pokie title boasts a variety of bonus features such as the Cash Canyon, Totem Riches and a Free Spins side game. As is the case with Arabian Charms, the Cash Canyon mini-game requires the player to travel as far as possible on a trail to earn high-value bonuses. For the Totem Riches feature, the player must climb totem poles to win multipliers.
Barcrest’s flag-ship online pokie is renowned for its simple but addictive gameplay. There are three unique bonus rounds: the Road to Riches, the Wishing Well and the Pots of Gold Bonus. For the Road to Riches feature, players must spin a wheel to determine their progress along a path. The further they get, the bigger the payout. The Wishing Well round is a simple ‘pick me’ game in which the participant has to pick one of three wells with the goal of revealing a cash value. The Pots of Gold game is similar and consists of thee spinning pots – the player must choose one to reveal a multiplier.
The Thai Flower pokie game has become massively popular both online and off. Found in pubs and betting establishments across the globe, game-play is actually pretty basic with five reels and ten pay-lines. Although it’s devoid of any bonus features, it does include a free spin game that’s activated by landing three Lotus icons. Despite the game being of medium variance, you’ve got the chance to win up to 210 times your stake – this is perhaps why the game is so widely played.
Thus far SG’s modernisation strategy has succeeded with the Barcrest brand still very much visible in the online casino sector. Although much of this is due to the enormous success of the Rainbow Riches franchise, being able to enjoy continued recognition and exposure in such a tumultuous industry is no mean feat.
Now that the majority of gambling revenues are generated by the online sector and playing on mobile casinos continues to dictate the industry’s direction, Barcrest will hope to use its considerable experience to forge new paths into the future.
We have compiled a list of online casinos in New Zealand that offer Barcrest games. These casinos are licensed to operate and feature Barcrest’s most popular games.
You can win real money playing Barcrest pokies as long as you play the real money version. To increase your odds of winning it is advisable to play the demo version of the game first before playing the real money version.
There are a few games that stand out more than others among the numerous online pokies and classic casino games released by Barcrest over the years. These include Arabian Charms, Boulder Bucks, Call of Fruity and other online slots.