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Issue Date: Vol. 44, No. 11, November 2004, Posted On: 11/1/2004


'Stacker' Employs Innovative Prize Program That Automates Progressive Product Awards


Nick Montano
Nick@vendingtimes.net

RICHLAND HILLS, TX - New from LAI Games is "Stacker," a prize-vending device that builds on the factory's smash hit, "Lighthouse." Where "Lighthouse" introduced the concept of merchandising high-end prizes through a skill-based coin-operated amusement machine, "Stacker" expands on the big prize concept with a progressive prize system that allows players to win smaller prizes before trying to earn more luxurious merchandise.

"Stacker" gameplay challenges players to load horizontally-moving blocks up to 15 levels high. At level 11, the game enters a temporary holding pattern in which players can choose to collect a "minor" prize or risk that prize to continue to play for more valuable merchandise.

Players can easily reach the game's minor level, the manufacturer explained, offering them a sense of victory; but "Stacker" then offers the opportunity to win a more valuable prize to satisfy their insatiability, and most players will risk a slighter prize and continue to play for a shot at the more expensive "major" prizes. For best results, the manufacturer suggests stocking the machine's minor prize arms, which hold and vend the merchandise, with items valued at 20% to 30% of the price play. This allows a high winning ratio for minor prize class.

"Stacker's" electronic gameplay gets progressively harder, and, subsequently, there are far fewer winners of major prizes than minor prizes. This increases a player's desire to stack through the more difficult final stages and claim the big prize.

In the United States, LAI games are marketed by Valley-Dynamo LP, which is LAI's master distributor in North and South America. VDLP launched the "Lighthouse" game in the U.S. two years ago, experimenting with the concept of vending such premium products as cell phones, digital cameras, CD players and Nintendo "Game Boys."

"'Lighthouse' has clearly demonstrated that the right merchandise blended with an entertaining game will produce a high-level of repeat plays among customers," observed VDLP's vice-president of marketing Chris Brady. "The game, coupled with smart prize incentives, has become a powerful attraction for players."

Gameplay in "Lighthouse" begins where the previous player ended. A player attempts to move up five levels to reach the "lighthouse" winner zone. To reach the top, players are given three chances to stop an arrow on numbers ranging from +1 through +4; landing on negative numbers sends a player back down the stairs. If a player ascends to the winner zone, the lighthouse beacon powers on and shines on the winning player, who can claim a prize.

"'Lighthouse'" continues to enjoy immense popularity throughout the country, and particularly in the Northeast," Brady said. "Because of its widespread appeal, and its high-end prize payout, this is a game that will be around for a long time."

Brady emphasized that high-end merchandise has catapulted "Lighthouse" to top earning positions at leading locations. And "Stacker," according to the VDLP executive, is an even better way to merchandise products through an amusement game.

"We're seeing fantastic earnings with this new concept that allows customers to win minor prizes with little difficulty and then take a chance to win major prizes , all in a self-contained redemption system. It's great fun for players."

Today's sophisticated, compact electronic goods offer an inexhaustible inventory that can be used to stock "Stacker," Brady pointed out. DVDs, handheld computers and video games, and MP3 players are just of few of the product types that will build player interest. "The ability to keep up with the latest consumer trends gives games like 'Stacker' and 'Lighthouse' an advantage over other amusement merchandisers."

"Stacker" play functions and payout percentages are operator adjustable. It measures 78 ins. H. x 26.7 ins. W. x 30.1 ins. D.

Valley-Dynamo LP, a division of Brunswick Billiards, is headquartered at 2525 Handley-Ederville Road, Richland Hills, TX 76118. Information on "Stacker" can by had by calling (800) 248-2837 or visiting valley-dynamo.com on the Web. The game will also be on display in Orlando, FL, at the upcoming International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions trade show in booth #2632.

LAI Games is the product development unit of the LAI Group, whose name celebrates Leisure and Allied Industries, a leader in interactive entertainment since 1958. LAI Group also is involved in FEC and street operations. Its international headquarters is located in Perth, Australia.


Topic: Music and Games Features

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