I wish, I wish I didn’t get attached to this fish….

Main ImagePokémon: Magikarp Jump
Intial Release Date: May 23, 2017
Developers: 
SELECT BUTTON inc. 
Publishers: 
The Pokémon Company 
Platforms: Android, iOS
Game information was freely provided by IGDB.com

Everyone likes Pokemon, right? The franchise has seen success primarily on handheld consoles and makes sense to see a release of a game on mobile. After the craze of Pokemon Go, the next Pokemon released mobile game is a clicker game (just tapping the screen, with no real skill at all needed) called Magikarp Jump!

Per the description in the Itunes and Google Play Store.

“What is this world coming to?! It’s a Pokémon game all about the weakest Pokémon ever—Magikarp! Anyone can play this simple game in their spare time to create the most majestic Magikarp ever in this official Pokémon app!”


Of all the Pokemon to build a game around…. Why??

In this game, you live in a town that is known for raising Magikarps and having them compete in jumping competitions! The higher the level of Magikarp, the further you can go!

How does one raise a Magikarp? You first select a rod to fish up your Magikarp from the lake to raise in your pond. You have a chance to fish up different types of Magikarp: standard, orange, calico, gold, and more as you progress in the league competitions. Once your Magikarp settles in the pond, fruit will appear that you click on and Magikarp will swim up and eat earning JP. The more JP you earn, the higher the Magikarp gets. You can also earn JP from training your Magikarp through exercises. The max level of your current Magikarp is contingent on your Trainer Level. You earn more Trainer experience through league victories.

 

While in your pond, fruit you have currently unlocked will appear over time. There are a set number of fruit you can have in your pond if you turn the game off and check back in at a later time. There are more advanced food choices that can appear if you unlock them by using coins you earn through League battles, achievements, events, or changing in diamonds. Each food item has an unlock cost (some can’t be unlocked till you reach a certain trainer level or beat a certain league) and you must unlock the previous ones in order to get the others. After unlocking the food, you can use your coins to level it up earning your Magikarp more JP for each one it eats. As you level the food up, you have level thresholds you can get to and earn support candies to use to level up Support Pokemon.

 

Another common way to level up your Mighty Magikarp is to train it doing various tasks. Much like the food, training exercises are unlocked using coins and can have level or league requirements to have the chance to unlock. Ways to train your Magikarp are: Having it slam into a Sandbag, Slam into a tree, Slam into a rock, and more! So have your stupid silly fish just flail and slam itself constantly to level up.

During training, in the pond, and after completing a league battle events can be triggered. There are achievements for the amount of these events you have triggered earning you diamonds or coins. What happens in these events? They can be having your Magikarp jump for a berry in a tree (to earn JP), scold your Magikarp, find a Pokeball (or is it a Voltorb?!) on your way back, to even having Magikarp find itself lost and separated from you (HOW DOES THIS EVEN HAPPEN??). There are more events than that, but those are just a few. The events can earn you positive things like coins, JP, diamonds, items, or training points. They can also have adverse effects such as loss of  JP, loss of coins, accidentally evolving your Magikarp, or even DEATH.

 

Wait.. Magikarp can die?? YUP. In certain events, when Magikarp jumps, he can be snatched up by a fearsome Pidgeotto or mistake a Voltorb for a Pokeball laying on the ground. Death by explosion or being eaten alive… what a way to go… and be careful, not even the pond is 100% safe. Pidgeottos can swoop in and nab your karp if he’s on the surface! So there’s that feeling of dread and responsibility for the Magikarp on your hands…

 

Once a Magikarp is at full level and competes in a league till he beats it or loses a match (once at max level), your Magikarp gets to retire and you get to go through the whole process of raising another Karp to victory! The plus side to making it this far is raising the motivation of the Karps you are fishing for, which means they level up quicker! You also get Trainer experience points. However, your Magikarp can be forced to retire due to accidentally evolving or being killed. You still get Trainer points for raising your friend, but don’t get any motivation bonus added.

So how does Magikarp risk evolving? Well, your Magikarp is holding an Everstone which allows it to go over Level 20 without evolving. Be careful, as you can end up breaking it by touching your Karp too much and letting it evolve after level 20 which is a forced retirement. You can also do the event “Macho Karp” which the positive is allowing that single Magikarp to go one level higher for that generation or accidentally evolving due to trying too much. It’s a 50/50 risk.

You can also have other Pokemon friends such as Pikachu, Rowlett, Meowth, Snorlax, and more join you at your pond as Support Pokemon. You unlock them in league victories or by using Diamonds to get them. Each Support Pokemon has a different effect to help out their friend: added JP, coins, giving food, etc. You can level up the Support Pokemon by using the support candies you earn by leveling up food, training, or finishing every fifth league victory on the league map (the first time only).

How does one get more Diamonds? You can earn them by competing in the league (like the support candies), through events, leveling up your trainer, finding them in sunken treasures in your pond, or through Microtransactions. Buying stuff in the game is completely optional and unneeded, but the option is there to help people progress faster.

 

My favorite part of the game is, of course, naming the Karp. I’ve had Karp lead me to victory such as Karpe Diem, Karp Crusader, and (my favorite) Eric Karpton. I found myself trying to find some kind of play on words with the Karp name.

 

This game is a fun little time sink that requires no skill at all. Just tap your screen. It is good at passing the time, and allows you to skip the mini scenes and battle scenes if you’ve passed it with a previous Karp. The only thing I wonder is just, why Magikarp?? Of all the Pokemon to center a game around. I found myself worrying and being attached to my useless Karp. And having had several attempts at events go awry, so much blood on my fingertips. I didn’t ask to get attached and sympathize with this fish, but Pokemon managed to do this. Now I have an attachment to a Pokemon I’ve never thought I would and only thought was useful when it turned to Gyarados. But here we are…. Thanks Pokemon Company. Thanks a lot.