Magikarp Jump is a…SPLASH

I was going to talk today about more Fire Emblem stuff, but then suddenly I started seeing ads this week on my Instagram and Facebook from Pokémon and its associates about a new app called Magikarp Jump.

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I initially didn’t have interest to download the game because frankly, it looked kind of stupid. I don’t dislike Magikarp as a Pokémon, but the only reason I usually catch one is so I can evolve it into Gyarados, and in this game you can’t do that, no matter how much you train. Plus, the meat of the game is simply to make your Magikarp the highest jumper.  So why would I download the game?

Well, you can thank my husband for that. He downloaded it earlier this week and plays it daily. I watched him off and on to see what all you can do in the game, and that’s when some of the small details really got to me.

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The game is really straight-forward. You’re asked to fish for Magikarp and train them to compete in jumping leagues so that one day you can have the highest jumping Magikarp in the world. To achieve that, you feed your Magikarp berries while in its pool, get boosts from support Pokémon, like Pikachu, and train it using a variety of techniques that, more often than not, involve your Magikarp slamming itself against either a counter or a formidable force, like a tree or a punching bag. These methods let your Magikarp gain JP, or Jump Points, and gain levels too.

When you think you’ve gain enough JP, you compete against other Magikarp in various leagues to see who can jump higher. If you win, your trainer gains experience points as well, which increases your motivation score, allowing your Magikarp to grow faster. If it loses, however, it is forced to retire.

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Like I said, the essence of the game isn’t that exciting. What made me download the game was the sense of randomness the game provides. When your Magikarp retires, you get to fish for a new one, and this game introduces many, many different patterns your Magikarp can show on its scales. There are patterns with calico splotches, fishbone patterns, and even shiny Magikarp!

Plus, as you’re training, you might encounter the mayor of the city, who will come by to massage your Magikarp, letting you train him an extra time. You might find that your Magikarp is slacking off and you’re given the choice to either scold him, or leave him alone. Random chance makes it to where scolding him will either pump him up some more, or even make him feel bad about himself and lose JP. You might even find a Pokeball in the pool and open it up, either rewarding you coins, or revealing a Voltorb that electrocutes your Magikarp and kills it. That’s what I’ve enjoyed about the game. It keeps me on my toes just enough to keep me interested.

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Will I be playing this game months from now? Maybe. Probably not, but if the game keeps me on my toes the way it has so far, maybe. Magikarp Jump a quirky game that I know Nintendo put some actual thought into. It’s not the most fun I’ve ever had in a game, but it’s something nice to pass the time when I’m bored. I don’t want to give too much away, but I’d recommend at least giving it a fair shot. Who knows? Maybe you’ll encounter something random that no one else has.

– C