yeah, similar to some folks here, the most i ever played UFO Catchers was when I visited Japan (which…oof, has now been about 10 years ago ;-; ). i landed in Tokyo on my birthday and my friend and i dropped off our stuff and headed to Club Sega in Akihabara. i ended up spending about $100 and won some stuff, which amazed me, because i was really used to crane games in the US that are essentially impossible to beat. i was also super shocked that you could call attendants over to move the prizes back into somewhat-winnable poses if you knocked them over trying or whatever. definitely more addictive because the chances of winning seem actual.
i tried some of the UFO Catchers at the Round 1 that opened on Long Island and found that, while they’re better than the usual, they were definitely not set up to be winnable. i feel like this is something that’s specific to that location, though. the Round 1 i went to in CA (Lakewood, maybe?) had a muuuuch better vibe.
edit: later in the trip, one of our friends, who lived in Kichijoji, wanted to show us how to play Pachinko (we had asked). little did we know, though, that this guy had umm….well, what seemed like maybe a problem? we spent the next 3 hours watching him unload a loooot of yen into crane and pachinko machines. oops :(
but i know how to play Pachinko, now.