Blog · Japan Life

Crane Game Shenanigans

Crane Games.  They are everywhere.  Popping 100~200 yen per play.  These machines are very popular in Japan.  Almost every game center has a couple dozen of them for you to play and earn prizes.  Most of these are very attractive and an easy money grab if you aren’t prepared with the right techniques and skills.  One Key note is that there are “impossible to get” prizes.  These impossible to get prices also include the ones that you may be able to get but would be guaranteed to spend more than the total cost of the prize itself.  They are set to be that way so it is best to do some research before diving into one.

These are very simplistic in terms of control.  Most machines consists of either a Joystick and drop button or Button 1 for “X axis” and Button 2 for “Y axis”.  The claw is usually 1~3 pronged.  Joysticks allow you to move the claw around freely for a certain amount of time while the buttons let you move once in each direction until you let go.

There are many factors when it comes to winning a prize.  These factors include: Operator Settings, Player skills, Type of Machine, Type of Prize, and Type of Challenge and Techniques.

The Operator settings consist of setting the speed of the claw movement, how wide the claw opens up, the power of the claw’s push and pull, and the power of the claw’s grip.  Pretty much all the machines run different settings and will need to be tested before grabbing the prize.

There are many types of machines as well.  UFO Catcher 9 is currently the most common.

Types of prizes consist of Boxes, Small and Large Plushies, Capsules, Papers, Balls

Type of Challenges and Techniques include Pulling, Lifting, Sliding, Flipping, Grabbing, Hooking, Dragging, Dropping, and Positioning.

I will go into more details in the future as I get more prizes and experience but for now, these are some prizes that I have earned.  One of them took more money than it should due to my inexperience and bad habits of perception but some also took much less because of the right techniques used at certain places and times.

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Well until next time, there will be more prizes to come in the future and more pictures.  Also, I will update with more tricks and techniques for different scenarios and prizes.

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