Review: The Umpire Strikes Back – cricket-themed slots game

If the Test match between Australia and South Africa gets rained off, why not try a cricket based online game to keep you occupied?

If the Test match between Australia and South Africa gets rained off, why not try a cricket-based online game to keep you occupied?

The Umpire Strikes Back, a Microgaming online slot machine, is one of several casino sites which take cricket as a theme.

The Star Wars pun in the name, continued throughout all the bonus rounds, indicates that it is not one of the more sober and serious ones, though – and this initial impression is confirmed by the video graphics that greet you when you put your deposit in and play. There is a rotating background, with the cartoon umpire wielding a cricket bat in vaguely threatening fashion, as hapless players compete alongside him.

Overall they are cheerful and funny, and the rotation aspect is great, as it keeps the visuals fresh when you play for longer periods. You might well want to, because The Umpire Strikes Back is really cheap to wager on (minimum $0.10 a go) and has a fine selection of bonus rounds to entertain you and boost your final payout. These include Going Solo, Sky Yorker, Use the Fours and Over Kenobi (do you notice a theme emerging)?

The great thing about these games is that they have plenty to make them interesting to those who don't follow cricket, which will be one of the big bonuses for Microgaming, as it will extend the appeal of the game beyond the cricket fanatics.

This is crucial, as even the best slots games can sometimes focus so intently on developing that aspect that they forget about those who prioritise a great casino experience. The jackpot ($10,000) is another part of The Umpire Strikes Back which will please everyone, although some dedicated online slots fans might find the lack of a wild or scatter symbol, and free spins feature, a little frustrating. These are really there to help you win a payout, though, and there are other features on this game that do that, so you shouldn't miss them too much, if you opt to spin this sporting slot.