HOW TO WIN AT SKILL TESTER MACHINES
WARNING: SPOILER ALERT!
Most of the prizes in Japanese Skill Testers are totally adorable, and will feature a lot of official merch of the current cute mascots (eg. Rilakkuma, Hello Kitty, that whole Arpakasso deal). You’ll find most game centers will have a level dedicated to these machines.
Before you end up spending your daily food budget on trying to figure out how to win a take-home “Japanese Experience” souvenir, I’m just going to go ahead and tell you how to do it. Use this information however you like - suggestions: impressing your friends with your “natural flair”, making “if I win-” bets with people you don’t like, hoarding super-cheap, tres kawaii gifts for your friends back home, etc.
The claw won’t “pick up” the prize - have you seen how flimsy those things are? They’re not even trying. The trick is to use it’s “opening” motion to push the prize into the drop tunnel. So, for example, if you need to knock a prize to the left, make sure that you aim the claw for the right of the prize. When it drops down, and opens, one of the claw’s talons should push the prize over to the left before retracting back. The prizes closest to the drop are the easiest to get, so long as they’re not wedged in.
Alternate technique: (don’t make bets with this one)
Be a big baby and act all stressed out and depressed about how much of a huge loser you are to the staff, “wah, wah, I tried so hard and I still can’t win! :’(” - the more pathetic, the better. They will actually just give you one of the prizes if it’s small. Not joking. Worth a try if you have bad aim and really want one!