Merit Entertainment has now released its megatouch ION and Force 2006.5 software. This is a free upgrade for systems currently running 2006 software. Merit’s latest release adds Sudoku6, the ability to link up to an AMI-powered jukebox, new trivia and picture content, and several improvements under the hood, including improved touchscreen responsiveness. A Merit Force or ION game system can now serve as a remote song selector for any digital jukebox from Rowe, TouchTunes, or Merit’s own MoD Box.

The update features an array of classic and brand new games, such as merit’s take on the popular puzzle solving game with Sudoku6. Sudoku6 features incredible 3D graphics, a condensed 6X6 game board so a player can finish in a short amount of time, a bonus speed round for high scoring players, and choice of three levels of difficulty. For Force systems not yet running 2006 software, successful games including Feeding Frosty, Monkey Bash, 2, Uno 52, and new Mini-Golf courses will be ‘welcome additions. ’
Unique to Meganet-connected machines, will be two advance trial downloads – Uno and Draggle Drop. Only MegaNet operators can get either of these games before the 2007 release at the end of the year. Uno, the popular card game, even supports together for group play. IONs automatically link using their built-in wireless networking. MegaNet will also continue to provide new images for Penthouse and Chippendales Channels. Megatouch ION and Force 2006.5 software includes other features such as exclusive mega-level, Kid’s Club, and merit-thon games, as well as the classic Merit favorites. Meanwhile, Dawn Young has joined Merit as territory sales manager. Young’s territory will consist of Eastern Canada, as well as parts of the eastern Great Lakes States,

“Dawn is a true professional, who has demonstrated her skill at consultative selling of products and services to the benefit of the street Operator Forum,” stated Bob Mills, Merit’s vice president, North American sales. “Her talent, combined with the depth and range of Merit’s product lines, will make for a winning combination. ” Young comes from a strong sales and marketing background, recently holding positions at NEC/Mitsubishi and JVL. “The strong Merit brand, market; position and vision for the future make merit a wonderful company to be associated with and to contribute to,” said young, who will be based out of the Toronto area.

Face Place offers ‘viral marketing’ solution

Face Place Photo Booth has come up with a ‘unique’ way to reach guests long after they ’ve left an operator’s poker forum location. The 5th Frame is a feature of the Face Place Photo Booth that provides operators and location owners the ability to add their branded message to every photo strip. By adding the 5th Frame, guests can take home messages on their photo strip. Each Face Place Photo Booth ships with an interface cable allowing the operator forum a means to communicate with the booth hardware.

With a laptop compute running a Microsoft operating system and five minutes, operators have all the tools they need to create their own 5th Frame. Designed in co-operation with Polaroid, the Face Place Photo Booth combines the photo entertainment visitors desire with the reliability and performance features operators and location owners demand. It does this without chemicals, ink cartridges or any consumable item other than the film the photo strip is printed on.

Steve Pope’s mobile

Merlin Darts ’ vice president of sale and marketing Steve Pope is on his travels again. After returning to Illinois after the Chicago ASI show, Pope attended the inaugural PDC World Series of Darts at the Mohegan Sun Casino in Connecticut, which UK player Phil Taylor won with a 13-5 victory over Adrian Lewis. The event was shown on ESPN TV. Pope will soon visit a Las Vegas darts event and is considering trips to Spain, Taiwan and Hong Kong in the near future to promote the Wild Bull board – the first electronic dart product to feature a bristle board and steel-tipped darts. “We’re signing a big partnership soon,” Pope told InterGame.

* To support tournament play, Sega has set up an Extreme hunting website at

* American Vending Sales East will open a new, larger facility located near the New York city metropolitan areas. AVS East will continue to provide ‘top-notch’ amusement and vending sales, parts and repair service at the new location as well as the current Lakewood, New Jersey facility. The new office is set to open on July 1.
* Smart Industries has developed a patented laser beam kit for all its cranes, whether customers buy a new Smart Laser Crane or want to add the laser system onto an existing crane. Each laser Crane kit comes complete with all the parts and instructions to hook it up and a new decal, which lets customers know what makes this crane so different from previous ones.
Operators in the US are saying that this will be the ‘next big innovation ’ to the classic crane poker game, says Smart. A laser beam follows the path of the claw and shines down into the playfield, so customers can precisely line up the claw with the prize they ’re targeting. Smart, from lowa, is currently working on ways to connect their Laser Crane Kit to other brands of cranes