Stay away from these arcade games

I've always said you should stay away from crane games. In my first book, Tokyo Geek's Guide, I wrote the following regarding game centers (i.e. game arcades): The first floor is crammed with UFO Catchers (crane and claw games), a couple of Taiko no Tatsujin (Drum Master) (a particularly popular game that attracts players of any age and sex) and a few kid’s games such as card-based games. These cabinets are strategically placed near the entrance because they are more likely to attract casual passersby, young couples and families. Originally UFO Catcher was the name of a prize game that arcade industry giant Sega created in 1985 and derives its name from its UFO-shaped claw. It has proved so successful over the years that even today all crane games (including those made by other companies) are called like this. Anyway whatever the type, you’ll better avoid them like the plague because they are nothing but coin suckers. Though deceptively easy, your chances to get one of those cute stuffed toys (unless you are blessed with beginner’s luck) are close to naught. It’s not by chance that revenues from UFO Catchers can be as much as 40 percent of all game revenues at arcades in Japan.

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