T-Life Treasures: Claw Games

T-Life Treasures is a mini series of articles that feature “treasures” or interesting activities to do around the T-Life Hostel and Taichung area!

The Claw Game

When exploring the T-Life Hostel area, one of the most common sights you will see are entire stores dedicated to a single arcade game: the claw game. Also known as the crane game or skill crane, this arcade game consists of a glass container full of a variety of prizes and a single metal claw that is controlled using a joystick and a button. The goal of the game is to direct the claw over the targeted prize, press the button, and watch as the claw picks up the prize and drops it into the collection hole below.

Sounds simple enough, right? For a mere 10元, you can get your hands on a brand-new prize of your choice! Well, unfortunately it really isn’t that easy. Although the game is simple, many of the machines that can be found in this area have little tricks that prevent people from easily winning the game.

The main difficulty of these machines is that while the claw does fully close around the target prize, it almost always releases its grip before it even moves. To make matters worse, sometimes it even flicks the target prize so that it lands even farther away from the collection hole. Despite these tricks however, it is still very possible for you to win a prize from the machines. Therefore, here is a step by step guide for you improve your chances at winning your own new travelling companion.

Step One: Find the Right Machine


Since each machine has its own set of prizes it is extremely important for you to not only find one that you want, but one that can easily fall into the hole. What this means is that, the most success can be found when trying to get prizes that are closer to the hole, are round, and are in a position that allows it to potentially bounce off other prizes and into the collection hole. While it is still very possible to get prizes that are in more difficult positions, it may require more attempts to move the target prize into a better position before it can get closer to the collection hole.

Step Two: Position the Claw


Next, it is time for the execution. Generally, the position of the claw should be directly above the target prize that you are trying to win. To do this, be sure to use both perspectives from the front and from the side of the machine to correct the claw’s position. At the same time, be very aware of the position of each part of the claw to avoid hitting other prizes and to make sure the contact points will hit your target prize. If you need change the rotation of the contact points, moving the claw around the machine and against other prizes can help. Don’t forget to check the time remaining while you’re doing this because the claw will not only drop once you hit the button, but also when your time runs out!

Step Three: Hope for the Best


After the claw drops, it is time to hope for the best. Even though it is now out of your control, this time can also be used to examine how the claw moves as it drops down, lifts up, and moves to the collection hole. For example, in many of the claw machines around T-Life Hostel, the claws tend to drop towards the left. Therefore, if another attempt is necessary, then you will know how to fix the position of the claw relative to the new location of your target prize.

Step Four: Try Again, Maybe?


Most times, prizes are not won after the first attempt, but better positioning and valuable information are often gained. By moving the prize closer to your goal and using the observations from the previous steps, you are now one step closer to reaching your target prize. If the target prize is moved even further away or into a more difficult position, this would also be your time to decide whether or not to cut your losses and find a new machine to start over again.

Step Five: Winner, Winner!


Once you have successfully completed these steps, it is time for you to win your target prize. As you watch it fall into the collection hole, you can be proud that you have achieved your goal. Finally, while basking in your glory is a great feeling, there has been an occasion where the claw has attempted to reach into the collection hole and take the prize back. So, be sure to grab your prize as soon as possible!

Extra Tips!

  • Keep in mind that since there are so many machines, it is very possible that your ideal prize can be found in another machine and in a better position. Feel free to shop around!
  • The prizes in the machines are often rearranged and sometimes even switched out by the store owners. This can be beneficial for better positioning or be another reason to continue playing!
  • Sometimes, the claw will close completely and remain closed as it brings your prize to the collection hole. Don’t rely on this though as it is a very rare occurrence!

    To test these tips, a 250元  challenge was used to win the prizes above!

Although you can find these claw machines all throughout surrounding area and in Taichung, here are the directions to a close location near T-Life Hostel!