claw game

Trolled by the crane game: Japan’s UFO Catcher machines are getting increasingly tricky

There’s nothing quite like the joy of pumping shiny coins into a “UFO Catcher” machine or crane game and getting a fuzzy toy in return. As long as you can figure out the machine’s “sweet spot”, you’re almost guaranteed a prize.

But in Japan, where crane games feature a wide variety of prizes including anime figures and snacks, the game designers have been coming up with sneaky ways to trick you into feeding in even more coins in pursuit of a reward. Check out these epic crane game fails

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Must try harder: This crane game in Japan is laughably bad 【Video】

Crane games, AKA claw games or even “UFO catchers” if you’re in Japan, have always been a bit of a con. This much we know already. They’re designed so that the claws exert barely enough force to grip the trinkets we’re so lusting after, and the prizes are usually worth much less than it costs to actually win one of them to begin with. Even so, they’re great fun, and Japan’s arcades are chock-full of them, luring us in with their various exciting, and sometimes not-so-exciting prizes.

But this particular crane game, which asks arcade goers to attempt to pick up a what appear to be miniature moe-style figurines, is not so much tricky as plain lazy.

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Japanese UFO catcher prizes just keep getting weirder…

“Oh shoot, I’m out of dish soap, let’s go to the game center.” If this sentence seems incongruous, you clearly have not spent enough time in Japanese game centers. Sure game centers have good old fashion arcade games, air hockey and photo booths, but a lot of the space is taken up by UFO catchers (adorably pronounced, oo-fo in Japan), aka claw/crane games.

Usually, UFO catchers are filled with cute toys or cool figurines, but sometimes things get a little too practical. Other times, the prizes are just a bit… off. Twitter users across Japan have shared their strange finds with us before, but they just keep coming and they keep getting weirder. 

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Lobsters offered as prizes for claw game all found dead, foul play suspected

A tragic scene unfolded at the Inter World game center in Iwatsuki, Saitama this week. The lobster claw game, in which players get a chance to catch a live lobster became a grizzly spectacle as every single crustacean was found dead.

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Hurl Obscenities at the Crane Game from the Comfort of Your Own Home! Online Remote UFO Catcher Opened

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!

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Expert Mode Claw Game Found in Russia

You know those claw or crane games that are usually found in the corner of a bowling alley or Chuckie Cheese’s? In Japan, they’re widely known as UFO catchers and are a huge industry. In most places you can find entire rooms packed with them offering prizes ranging from key chains to iPads.

A video put up on YouTube revealed the ultimate claw game found in Russia.  In this game, the prizes fight back.

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