Isn't it a little absurd to base a form of gambling around something intended for children? One of Microgaming‘s last slots of 2015, Bar Bar Black Sheep (we hate the pun too) is a re-make of its classic of the same name. This is rather unbecoming of a gaming company claiming to be innovative and full of new ideas when they literally just re-made one of their old games. Although, as we know with some films, remakes can be a good thing. But was this re-release worth the effort or has the game since passed into irrelevancy?
Now, click to read whichever section tickles your fancy.
|Release Date||November 2015|
|Casino||Vera & John|
|Slot type||Video slot|
|Platform||Android App, iPhone App, Browser|
|Return to Player (RTP)||95.03%|
|Slot Reels/ Paylines||5 reels/ 15 paylines|
|Min/ Max Bets||1p – £2|
|Features||In-game bonus, free spins.|
|Pros||Huge wins, catchy music, bouncy animation.|
|Cons||Minimal features, basic gameplay.|
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Bar Bar Black Sheep is your pretty standard 5 x 3 reel based slot with 15 paylines, making the game simple but fun to play. As the player makes each resolution different symbols pop up including wild and scatter symbols. Get the right ones in a sequence and you can unlock the special features.
And that's about it. There isn't much else to say about the gameplay other than the fact that it's fun, simple and engaging. However, considering it came from an old game with only three reels it's a pretty decent upgrade and has far more to offer. What can you expect when a 2015 game is based off an old game from more than ten years ago?
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Sad to say, there are only two main features of this game so this section is going to be rather short.
The on-screen bonus is a small facsimile of the old game which appears on screen when 2x Bar symbols and a Black Sheep symbol show up in a row. Get it? “Bar, Bar Black Sheep”? That's pretty clever. Once you get to play the bonus game a second reel appears which allows you to win up to 999x your original wager. We like those odds! And we'd say the game allows it to happen pretty often so you have quite a high chance of hitting it big.
Free spins activate when you have 3x Bags of Wool appear on the screel. It activates no matter where they land on the reel. The game then goes into a dark-reel version of itself and increases your earnings to immense heights.
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Performance of Bar Bar Black Sheep is extremely good. Its bouncy animation and colourful farmyard aesthetic make it a game that players can enjoy based purely on the nostalgia factor. The constant “Baa Baa Black Sheep” tune in the background may get on your nerves but it's still fun to listen to.
Some very moral people may question why this game was made as though it was meant for children. We're sure Microgaming just wanted something that would stand out (or re-make something that was popular) but it's easy to see why some parents might not like a slot appealing to their three-year-old. It's just a little bit jarring.
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One for the Master, One for the Dame…
Doubtlessly the most unique thing about Bar Bar Black Sheep is the in-game bonus (other than the fact it's based on a nursery rhyme).
Not only does it allow players to make a lot of money, it shows a stroke of genius on Microgaming's part to somehow implement the old game into the new one.
It plays on people's nostalgia while also creating a note-worthy feature. Only today's technology has allowed this to happen and we hope that, if other companies re-make their old games too, they'll find some way to do the same thing. If not, we simply wish Microgaming would continue to do this with their own titles.
While we think Bar Bar Black Sheep is a decent game to play, we're a little disappointed by its short number of features. One more wouldn't have gone amiss. The features that are there, however, are not only inventive but give out staggering amounts of money.
The theme may be a little baffling and some may even say a re-make wasn't warranted but we'd still encourage you to give it a go. Just try not to hum the tune as you're playing. This writer did and now he can't get it out of his head.