Umpire Strikes Back Slot

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While the pun in the name of this slot alludes to the Star Wars movie, the theme is more sedate and gentlemanly. This pub style slot is themed around cricket. The star of the show is the umpire, who can raise his finger to say ‘out’ at any time. Symbols include pads, 4 and 6 signs – and some familiar fruit symbols too.

Nudges can be awarded at random – giving you the opportunity to line up wins which you otherwise would have missed. There is also a separate bonus game. This is based around a high / low guess of a numbers. It does include several quirky extras which can extend the game.


Before You Go into Bat: How the Umpire Strikes Back Slot Works

There is only one win-line for this game, which crosses the middle of 3 curved reels. Unlike Vegas style slots, 3 symbols line up every time the reels stop. With all wins a multiple of your bet size, you can spin the reels starting at just pennies.

Below the reels are ‘hold’ buttons. When these are active, you can stop one or two reels from spinning. If you had two of the higher paying (umpire symbols), you could leave these in place and let the 3rd reel spin. To the left of the reels, you will find 4 numbers. These are nudges. They become active after spins at random. You can click the buttons below each reel to move them down one symbol to line up more wins. You can gamble for more nudges, which comes in useful if you need one more to create a bigger win.


Winning Symbol Combinations

The top line win is 1000x your bet, which is yours for lining up 3 of the umpire symbols. This shows a guy with an impressive old-style moustache, and a white hat. Next are cricket bats, which pay 200x for 3 – followed by batsman’s helmets (50x) and pads (25x).

Lower paying symbols are mostly fruits, though there is a 4 and 6 sign with them. These show the number of runs for hitting the ball to the boundary of the field without hitting the ground (6 runs) and along the ground (4 runs). The cherry pays from just 1.


Hi-Lo Bonus Game

If you get 4 cricket balls anywhere in view, the bonus game starts. This is a second screen bonus, with 3 lists. One of these shows puns to do with cricket, with Star-Wars references. For example, ‘Use the Fours’ (use the force) and ‘Imperial Innings’. Below this list and the nudges / wins either side are numbers, with a ‘hi’ and ‘lo’ arrow for each.

You guess whether to go high or low, moving up the prizes each time you are right. Things are made more interesting by extras like the ability to swap number, a no-lose spin or an extra life. You can also step the numbers sideways sometimes. This can be used to swap an unfavourable number for a better one.

While you are at the mercy of random numbers, this is a complex and entertaining bonus. The prizes at the top of the lists are 50 nudges or a 2000x your bet win.


Quirky Cricket Design

References to Star Wars are mostly focused on the words. The logo does have some similarities, though only a little (copyright would have prevented it being too obvious). Overall the design is green, with some hapless cartoon cricketers around the reels. There is an old style digital display which gives fun messages while you spin.

Your screen will look crowded. All the prizes go under and up the right of the screen. The left-hand side is dominated by the numbers for the nudges. This does not leave too much room for the reels, which are small and have a curved effect. Symbols are basic in design, though get the job done without looking out of place.

When you get to the bonus game screen, things look more crowded still. Your focus should be on the numbers and hi / lo arrows here.


Will The Umpire Strikes Back Hit You Out of the Park?

This slot has some different types of features than many traditional Vegas style ones. People used to pub slots will be familiar with them, though they’ll be brand new to many players. Overall this is an entertaining game, which does have the potential for big wins. It has a hi / lo bonus game which has its own set of complexities. What shines through is the humour. MicroGaming must have had a lot of fun coming up with the Star Wars / Cricket puns!

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