WTF?! It’s notoriously difficult to win prizes on claw machines, yet they’re still fun, and it makes the sense of satisfaction that comes from grabbing a prize all the greater. Playing them does mean having to go outside, though, but with the right app from Sega, you can play one in Japan from the comfort of your own home.
As reported by Polygon, Sega Catcher Online has just launched on iOS and Android in the US. Essentially, it lets you play a claw machine, which are known locally as UFO catchers, located in Japan via a video feed sent to your phone. As with most claw machines, players move the claw forward first before moving it left or right, it then drops down and tries to grab plushies, pillows, badges, figures, anime collectibles, and other prizes.
Every go on the machine costs between 100 and 200 Sega Points. Buying 130 of these will cost you $1.99, though you can purchase larger amounts at a discount, and practising is free. Like other freemium apps, players can earn extra points by logging in regularly, linking their phones, and performing other engagement activities.
You might be wondering how people receive their winnings, what with the machines being in Japan. The prizes are delivered free of charge from the country to the US, and Sega says they usually take a week to arrive. Players are allowed one delivery per week, but they can get more using their Sega Points.
Sega Catcher Online has been available on PC and Mac since last month, but fans can now use their phones to experience the thrill of paying for a chance to win a small toy before waiting a week for it to arrive.