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Hyperbowling, 10/7

With Hyperbowling, the bumpers become part of the game. The different colors presented on the bumpers are worth different multipliers. For example, if your ball hits a green section, you'll earn twice as many points.

John Losito, a former PBA bowler and owner of Lincoln's Sun Valley Lanes, has kept his company on the cutting edge of the bowling industry.

With his facility being a major player in tournaments both locally and internationally, Sun Valley Lanes has been a Lincoln fixture since it opened in 1977, hosting events like the 2016 World Youth Championships, the collegiate national championships on three occasions and the women's pro tour.

"We have a reputation for being an upper-echelon facility," Losito said.

And now Losito has added a new concept to his lanes — Hyperbowling — and he says the new game modes will modernize the sport. 

"We were actually the first center in the world to offer (Hyperbowling)," Losito said. "We were a beta site for the manufacturer, so we secretly tested this product for about six months before they announced it to the world."

Currently, Hyperbowling exists at only four bowling centers in the world, in Lincoln, California, Florida and the Netherlands, with a large-scale release expected in 2019.

"Hyperbowling is the first change to bowling since its inception, it is really revolutionary," Losito said. "It is a game played with colored targets that act as multipliers, built into what is called an intelligent bumper. Some can be played better as a group, some are better one-on-one."

Every Hyperbowling game is played with the bumpers up, and they light up with targets for the player to hit.

The game types are called Hyperbowl, Hyperbowl Pro, Hyperactive and Hypersquad, with Hyperbowl being the starting point for new players.

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Each hit target coordinates to a different multiplier, resulting in game scores in the thousands.

Each game also has increasing levels of difficulty once a level has been beaten, resulting in smaller targets, moving hazard zones and bigger point bonuses, done completely digitally, bringing the sport into the era of smartphones and laptops.

Games also only last five frames, can be switched to traditional games with scores intact at the push of a button and are now paid by the hour, instead of the traditional pay-per-game model.

Losito said the new games are meant to appeal to casual bowlers, video gamers and those who aren't good at traditional bowling.

"Just like any video game, as you progress levels, the challenges become more difficult," Losito said. "At the end of the day, research has shown that normally only 15 percent of the population bowls, and of the rest that choose not to, 70 percent of them don't because they aren't any good. With the bumpers being up, suddenly you can't gutter. You take away that aspect of it, and all of the sudden you can reach these people."

Losito described the program as "Top Golf for bowling," and compared it to augmented reality video games.

With such short games, and some luck involved in each, Losito expects Hyperbowling to appeal to casual bowlers.

"With faster paced games and five shots a level, you'll need to be lucky," Losito said. "Hyperactive is designed so anyone can win any game."

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Reach the writer at 402-473-7223 or ckeene@journalstar.com.

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Newsroom intern

2018 fall semester intern at the Journal Star.

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