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PowerPutt Begins Shipping; New Viddie Appeals To Casual Players

Posted On: 10/26/2008

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ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, IL --  Incredible Technologies shipped the first 500 units of its latest videogame in late September. IT said the new PowerPutt miniature golf game meets a demand in coin-op for simple and intuitive play for all ages and both genders.

According to Don Pesceone, IT's senior vice-president of sales, locations want games that are easy to learn, quick and fun. Power Putt meets this demand, he said, and offers appeal beyond the tavern location base. "It is ideal for bowling centers, movie theaters, FECs and restaurants, too," he said.

PowerPutt's crossover potential is huge, Pesceone emphasized. "The game appeals to kids, women and men who want a casual but compelling entertainment experience without the complexity common to other videogames."

The trackball-controlled game is simple: just aim and putt. The straightforward play is meant to please patrons who prefer a relaxed challenge that doesn't require background knowledge. IT is reaching for a wider audience beyond the core Golden Tee base. "Research shows that nearly everyone understands how to play as soon as they approach the game," Pesceone reported.

IT suggests a play price of $2 for 18 holes of simulated mini-golf. Ten frames on the company's Silver Strike Bowlers game usually costs a buck. Both games offer fast throughput.

PowerPutt's colorful courses include the Freaky Tiki, a Polynesian-themed challenge that features Easter Island-style stonework and glowing lanterns; Dusty Trail, which pays tribute to all things Western and features a giant cowboy boot mid-course; and Skull Island, a swashbuckling challenge based on the ongoing pirate craze.

As many as eight players can participate in a single game, and a tournament mode for four to 16 players is also available. As with real miniature golf, timing, aim, angles and force must be considered with each hole. Players are rewarded for taking risks -- attempting to make difficult bank or trick shots -- but can infer simpler routes, too, making the game non-threatening to inexperienced and young players.

PowerPutt is currently available as an upgrade kit. Dedicated games, bundled with IT's new pedestal-style cabinet, go into production this month. The new "screen-free" cabinet style allows operators to source monitors at their discretion, and also reduces shipping costs (see VT, July).

PHOTO: PowerPutt is shown here in dedicated format. The new packaging will include IT's pedestal-style cabinet that ships without a monitor, giving operators the freedom to purchase their own high-def flatscreens.
Pesceone praised the modern look of the new dedicated versions: "Playing on the new pedestal cabinet -- especially with a high-definition screen -- is an entirely new videogame experience," he said.