I’m still not sure what I think about this, but thought it was worth sharing:
I saw an advert online to install an app from the Play Store – ‘Crane Game Toreba; win real prizes!’. Out of interest due to a childhood of playing skilltesters, I wanted to check out what it was
I’d been watching a few YouTube videos on arcade games, and the Japanese ones are a bit different to the ones I’m used to in Australia:
I installed the app; their main website is toreba.net with links to Android and iOS versions of the app. Weirdly, the app lets you pick a Japanese crane game with a particular prize, and play it. You get 3 shots for free with a new account, then need to start paying for turns.
I say weirdly, because this isn’t an animated game. It’s a real life crane that you control, with two webcam views. Via the internet, you’re remotely controlling an electronic and mechanical crane in Japan, trying to win a prize.
The prizes themselves are very Japanese, of which many I have no idea what they are. You can also win food, or sometimes both; such as a soft toy watermelon slice. Something we all need in our lives.
Here’s someone winning a ‘Grand Blue fantasy Byi stuffed’ with the crane, which again I’m not sure what it is….
I was suckered in after my 3 free shots and not winning, but decided to play a ‘ping pong’ game instead. This is where a ping pong ball is scooped up, and dropped into a second area. You win if the ball lands in a particular hole.
It took a few shots, but I won! They sent me a link of the replay of my win, which you can watch too.
The cost to play incudes free shipping worldwide, which means this thing should turn up on my doorstep in a few weeks:
I’m sure my son will have fun with it, being 17 months old. I don’t think I’ll play the game again either, but there’s something both interesting and strange about this whole setup. Remote controlling a silly game somewhere else in the world to try and win a prize seems both so right, and so wrong.
If nothing else, try the game for your free 5 shots. You don’t have to use a credit card, and it just seems to use your Play Store or Google Play account.
Referrals used to exist but seem to be gone now, but you can register your credit card for 5000TP: http://www.toreba.net/info/topic/info_news/128016
Update 1st August 2016
A few days ago, my prize turned up in a giant box! Here it is on my couch for scale.. makes a great pillow.
Update 31st August 2016
I decided to play again with some credit I received, and won a ‘Star Master’ which projects a bunch of lights and stuff. Here’s me winning it!
Update 19th June 2017
I hadn’t played this for ages, but some comments here reminded me to try again. This time I won some sort of racing track, which took about 8 turns to win: