Crane games, claw machines, UFO catchers, whatever you want to call them can be found scattered all across East Asia taking in reams of cash with promises of prizes ranging from giant stuffed phallic mushrooms to game consoles.

Oh, how I look back fondly on lining up my plastic pincers precisely over a PSP only to have them go limp at the last minute. The nursing staff and I had many a chuckle as they stitched up my knuckles from punching repeatedly into the Plexiglas window.

Thanks to Netch and their remote web browser operated crane game, instead of getting charged with destruction of property I can get enraged in front of my own computer screen!

To play you convert real yen into NP (“Netch Points” I assume) at an exchange rate of 1 yen per NP which can be bought starting at 1,000 yen (US$11).

At 100 NP per play you take control of one of several machines offering 40 different types of prizes. Just like in a real UFO catcher room you can check around to see how the prizes are arranged or if other players have knocked something into a good position.

You operate the claw simply by clicking on the buttons seen on screen. There are also buttons to toggle cameras between a front and side view of the machine for better perspective.

On the webpage you can watch a demonstration of the game.

▼ Oh, look! A figure is just sitting there ripe for the plucking. Let’s just line up the front side…

▼ Change the camera to get it right on there…

▼ And we go in for the kill!

▼Looks good…

▼ Ah you #*%$sucking &%$licker!

▼ $%##$ piece of $#$% $$#% from a filthy $&##$!

Ahhh, fun.

In the event where you actually happen to win something, Netch will send your prize to your home with free shipping. It’s perfect for hikikomori and the morbidly obese who still want to inject a little rage filled play into their busy day.

As far as possible latency issues, I’m not sure. My wife doesn’t want me throwing another monitor across the room so I can’t try it out.

Also, regarding possible shenanigans surrounding a remote online operated UFO catcher; if you’re worried about that to begin with these games are probably not for you.

Source: NTECH via Gadget Soku (Japanese)
Video: YouTube – ネッチ ネットキャッチャー

Here’s the full video. The player actually does win in the end.