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Any one who has ever been to a lounge, pub or arcade has probably seen or even played the popular video games Golden Tee Golf, Silver Strike Bowling, and Target Toss Pro (Bags and Lawn Darts).
What you may not have observed is that all of those titles were created by a Midwest-based company, Incredible Technologies, in Arlington Heights, Illinois, a northwest suburb of Chicago.
Founded in 1985 by Elaine Hodgson and Richard Ditton, Incredible Technologies (IT) started out by designing operating systems and programming for pinball games.
Now, 24 years later, IT is on the cusp of branching out onto casino floors in a big way with a line of electronic gaming devices which build upon play features established by the existing competition but are revolutionary in their concept and design.
There's a rich history of Chicago area-based amusement game manufacturers who transitioned into the development of gambling devices.
Bally Manufacturing opened in Chicago in 1932 and became known the world over for the Ballyhoo pinball game. The small company evolved into slot machine giant Bally Technologies.
Williams Gaming was started as a pinball game manufacturing plant in 1943. The company entered the slot machine market in the early 90's and today ranks as one of the industry leaders as WMS Gaming.
IT's breakout arcade product came in 1989 when they rolled out Golden Tee Golf. The game generated such world-wide acclaim that it set the stage for Incredible Technologies to become the leading designer and manufacturer of coin-operated video games and online tournament systems in the United States.
Now in its fifth generation, Golden Tee Golf remains the company's flagship product and enjoys a reputation as the most successful arcade title in history.
Incredible Technologies will soon be venturing out of lounges and amusement centers and into a new frontier: the casino gambling world.The artists, animators and engineers of Incredible Technologies adapted the company's
patented Nexus Hardware System to a slot machine format, produced a patented Breeze gaming cabinet featuring a 19-inch LCD with over 16 million colors, and went on to create something they call Magic Touch gaming software.
Although unwilling at this point in time to gamble with its "golden goose" franchise and morph Golden Tee Golf into a gaming device, the company has developed six unique products which it hopes will open the doors to untapped revenue flow.
This columnist was invited to Incredible Technologies corporate headquarters for the opportunity to check out and play the slot titles they've created, which include "Cars", "Money", "Fish Store", "Fruit", "Magic Touch Poker" and "Magic Touch Keno".
Among the interesting concepts they've developed with their slot products is the ability to not only know, but choose, game volatility via "The Prize Guy" component; accrue and save bonus credits in the "BonuSave" feature; and experience unique "Angle Pays" and patent-pending "Sidewinder" horizontal spinning wheels.
Vacationers aboard "Independence of the Sea", the largest ship in the fleet of Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, have already experienced playing the games.
Company executives anticipate they will begin popping up in land-based casino properties in the U.S. by late summer/early fall of this year.
This article is provided by the Frank Scoblete Network. Melissa A. Kaplan is the network's managing editor. If you would like to use this article on your website, please contact Casino City Press, the exclusive web syndication outlet for the Frank Scoblete Network. To contact Frank, please e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
John G. Brokopp