Impossible? These are the 10 hardest games on the Midway at the 2022 NY State Fair

Looking to win big prizes at the New York State Fair? Get ready for a challenge.

Most of the games at the 2022 NYS Fair are located on the Midway and offer a variety of challenges, including feats of strength, hand-eye coordination and a little bit of luck. The hardest carnival-type games are the ones with the biggest stuffed animals or they cost the most for a single try, but some are still more difficult than others (depending on your skill set).

Which games are impossible? None (technically), but we went out and tried the 10 hardest games at the NYS Fair:

Beat the Bar game at the New York State Fair Restaurant Row. (Geoff Herbert | [email protected])

beat the bar

Where: Restaurant Row near the Toyota Coliseum

How much: $10 (for a chance to win $150)

Difficulty rating: 8 out of 10

Why it’s hard: If you’re not an American Ninja Warrior, your grip strength will be tested as you have to hang from a bar (that moves slightly) for 2 minutes straight for men, or 90 seconds for women and children. Don’t pull yourself up and put your weight on the bar, either.

NYS Fair Midway Games

Blockbuster game at the New York State Fair Midway. (Geoff Herbert | [email protected])

Blockbuster (or Tip ‘Em Over)

Where: Midway

How much: $5 for one ball

Difficulty rating: 7 out of 10 for blocks, 8 out of 10 for milk bottles

Why it’s hard: Basically, you throw a ball to knock three blocks off a shelf or to tip over three metal milk bottles. That requires a little bit of strength, strategy and good aim. The milk bottles are especially tricky because they’re weighted.

NYS Fair Midway Games

Shoot Out the Star game at the New York State Fair Midway. (Geoff Herbert | [email protected])

Shoot Out the Star

Where: Midway

How much: $10

Difficulty rating: 8 out of 10

Why it’s hard: You use a BB gun to shoot out a red star on a piece of a paper, but you can’t shoot off the entire piece of paper. If you’re a hunter (or really good at first-person shooter video games), this may be easy for you, but it’s still harder than it looks.

Roll 'Em Down, Add Them Up

Roll ‘Em Down, Add Them Up at the 2022 NY State Fair

Roll ‘Em Down, Add Them Up

Where: Midway

How much: $5 wins large prize, $10 wins choice

Difficulty rating: 6

Why it’s hard: This is a classic carnival game, where you roll six balls down a ramp into slots with numbers on them: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6. Your total score must be less than 10 or more than 31. That means most of your balls must be 1 or 6, depending on your strategy. In other words, you need a little bit of math and a lot of luck.

NYS Fair Midway Games

Wacky Wizards game at the New York State Fair Midway. (Geoff Herbert | [email protected])

WackyWizard

Where: Midway

How a lot: $5

Difficulty rating: 8

Why it’s hard: You have to move a small metal ring down a twisted metal wire without touching it – as the wire spins around and increases in difficulty with angles. Game operators know how to do it (and make it look easy), but it’s surprisingly difficult.

NYS Fair Midway Games

Ring toss game at the New York State Fair Midway. (Geoff Herbert | [email protected])

Poor Dave’s Ring ‘O Bottle

where: Located at the midway near the ladder climb game

how much: $5 for a family bucket of rings. One of the cheaper games on this list with 10 cents for 1 ring. This game is cash only.

Difficulty rating: 8

Why it’s hard: While you can have up to 30 rings for the family bucket, the rings are hard to work with. The bottle nozzles are small and hitting the body of the bottle is guaranteed.

PS The attendant at this game claims that the Poor Dave’s Ring ‘O Bottle is “probably the hardest game on the midway.”

ladder-climb

Ladder Climb at the 2022 NY State Fair

Ladder Game

where: Midway near the Poor Dave’s Ring ‘O Bottle

How much: 1 climb for $5 or 3 climbs for $10. This game is cash only

Difficulty Rating: 7

Why it’s hard: While the ladder game is infamous during fairs, it sure is hard to beat. The rope ladder swings with your body movements and is angled in a way that feels like climbing instead of crawling. There’s also a rule that both feet have to be on the red pedal towards the end for at least 3 seconds for you to win the prize.

NYS Fair Midway Games

Ring a Duck game at the 2022 New York State Fair Midway. (Geoff Herbert | [email protected])

Ring A Duck

Where: Midway

how much: $5 for 3 throws

Difficulty rating: 6

Why it’s hard: This game looks to be a little easier than Poor Dave’s Ring ‘O Bottle but don’t let the large yellow ducks fool you. The ducks are swimming through water and the job is to throw a ring around their necks. As if the moving environment wasn’t enough, rings will easily tip the ducks over and the score will go down.

PS Consider the beaks.

NYS Fair Midway Games

Hystriker (hammer) game at the New York State Fair Midway. (Geoff Herbert | [email protected])

hystriker

Where: Midway

How much: $5 for 2 hits

Difficulty rating: 7

Why it’s hard: The hammer is heavy, the target is small, and it feels like the world is against you. Well, the world is because no matter how hard you hit, your score isn’t high enough to win the prizes. Hand-eye coordination is difficult when you’re lifting a hammer the weight of two elephants.

Hoops (longshot)

Hoops (longshot) at the 2022 NY State Fair

Hoops (longshot)

Where: Midway

How much: $3 for 1 shot or $5 for 2

Difficulty rating: 7

Why it’s hard: Stand behind a line and throw basketballs towards the sky, or at least the hoops that seem to be nearly 10 feet above you.

Other games

There are many games throughout the fairgrounds, mainly located on the Midway. Some are hard for some people and easy for others, but the rest of the games we gave a difficulty rating of 5 or lower, including pop the balloon (dart toss), smaller basketball shots, water guns (race to shoot water into clown’s mouth ), fishing, find the duck, claw machines (like at arcades) and I Got It (bingo-like ball toss to get five in a row).

If you want to guarantee you go home with a prize, try the kiddie games that say “winner every time” or find ones with lots of different prize sizes. But if you want to impress a date or win a stuffed toy that’s bigger than your entire body, try the more “impossible” games we rated above.

Sign up for the NY State Fair Newsletter

Stay up-to-date on all New York State Fair news, food, music, schedules and more with our free newsletter. Get it in your inbox all 13 days of the 2022 fair. Sign up here.

Read more about the 2022 NY State Fair