If you've played a fruit machine in a British amusement arcade or cafe in the past 25 years, chances are it was developed by Barcrest.
The Manchester-born machine manufacturer has been providing games for decades, and even thought the firm has changed hands once or twice during its lifetime, it still churns out some excellent online slots for the masses.
Established in Manchester, England, in 1968, Barcrest started out producing machines for bingo clubs, arcades and pubs, and quickly became the UK's biggest fruit machine manufacturer.
Innovation followed through the 1980s as the developer's fruities were distributed across Europe and new 'MPU' machines appeared. These motherboard cards allowed for more innovative 'skill-based' features on fruit machines in cafes and arcades (think Trail Bonuses and 'board games'-style rounds).
Like a much-loved toy being passed down to new children, Barcrest has experienced various takeovers in recent years.
It was a market leader in offline machines even in the late 1990s - manufacturing and selling over 35,000 in 1997 alone - but attracted the gaze of a much bigger fish.
International Game Technology (IGT) UK bought out the firm in 1998 in a deal worth £42 million as IGT aimed to gain a foothold in the European market. However, Barcrest still continued to develop the games under their own name.
Then, in 2011, IGT sold off Barcrest to Scientific Games in a deal worth £35 million. Scientific bought out another slots giant, Bally, in 2014, for $5.1 billion, which brings Barcrest and Bally under the same roof for the first time.
Although in terms of land-based slot machines Barcrest are all about the classic three-reelers, they've still managed to launch some pretty impressive online video slots.
Starting off as a popular land-based title, Monty's Millions made a seamless transition over to online casinos. While rather innovative at the time, with its Scatters and Wilds and free spins, Monty's Millions has started to look rather dated but still maintains a good fanbase. Similarly, Ca$hino is a simple 5-reel slot with free spins and a 'roulette wheel' bonus feature.
More recently, the darling of the casino free spins bonus - Rainbow Riches - is one of the best Irish-themed slots on the market, while a range of Monopoly-themed slots have proved popular.
Super Monopoly is a great game based on the classic board game and really taps in to the famous Barcrest trail bonus round.
In 2016, trade shows were buzzing over new slots titles like Ooh Aah Dracula, designed with the mobile market in mind.
Featuring some impressive graphics (though still nothing on the scale of a BetSoft or Sheriff Gaming) and a free spins feature that lets you cash in your wins from the first round of spins or take a punt on what you can earn in the next round of spins. There's even a 'Best Strategy Indicator' which gives you hints on what statistically is the best decision to make after a bet.
If you're interested in trying out some cracking Barcrest slots for free, you can test an excellent selection here at VegasSlots.co.uk.
Click on the links above and you can try out Rainbow Riches, Monty's Millions or Cashino without risking a penny. We also have some top UK casino reviews if you want to put your bankroll where your mouth is and go for the big jackpots.