Pokemon Magikarp Jump might be a silly game, but admittedly, it’s super fun.
For those of you who are even the least bit familiar with Pokemon, you probably already know that Magikarp is likely the singular most useless Pokemon in existence. Aside from the fact that it’s completely weak, competitively speaking, it also has only one attack (at least, up until a certain level, but by that point you’d already have a Gyarados): splash, a useless, time-consuming move that has Magikarp helpless flailing around, doing absolutely no damage at all to the foe.
In Pokemon Magikarp Jump, however, Magikarp, along with its special move, finally gets the break that it’s been waiting for all this time.
As a huge Pokemon fan, the first thing I noticed upon starting this game was that it begins almost exactly the same as the main series games. It’s definitely a nostalgia trip to those who have tried the Pokemon games before, and a nice introduction to those who haven’t yet. Mayor Karp has almost the exact same lines as Professor Oak, which is a really cool nod to the original games.
In the main series, you can catch all sorts of Pokemon – in fact, it’s highly emphasised and encouraged that you catch ’em all – and train them while battling other Pokemon with them. In Magikarp Jump, you can only own Magikarp… and you’re training it not for battle, but for Jumping competitions. See, we told you, that formerly useless Splash move is finally getting some valuable screen time!
Now, unlike in the main series games – or even the other spinoff titles – players of Magikarp Jump don’t really have a lot of things to do. Gameplay is limited to just tapping and clicking away on the screen. It’s good for little kids whose attention spans are rather short, but for older players, it gets repetitive really quickly.
This doesn’t mean that playing Pokemon Magikarp Jump is just a one-time thing, however.
Training Magikarp up to be a Pokemon Jumping Legend!
Remember the jumping competitions? In order to win, you have to get enough Jump Power, or JP, therefore making your Magikarp a bigger and better jumper. Players can level up their Magikarp through feeding them berries, and they get Jumping Points by training them through 3 different activities. Once you click the ‘Train’ button, though, your job is done; everything that happens afterwards is already automatic. If you’re lucky, you can encounter random events, which could give you extra coins, which you can then use to unlock cool stuff, like better food and more effective training regimens. You can have 3 chances to train. If not, you can simply wait for 30 minutes to get a new shot at training.
Once you level up your Magikarp enough, you can take on the League together. Level 11 is the maximum level your Magikarp can get to, and once it’s at this level, you’ll have no choice but to take on the League. To win the jumping battles, your Magikarp must be able to jump higher than anyone else. There are 8 stages in this League – reminiscent of the 8 badges you need to take on the actual Pokemon League – and you have to own the best of the best Magikarp in order to get a shot at winning.
If you get tired of your Magikarp (aww, the poor dear!) or if you reach the maximum level (this increases based on your player rank), you can catch a new one which you can then train for jumping battles. But no matter what, eventually you will have to retire your Magikarp because -spoiler- it will unavoidably evolve into Gyarados. And in the world of Pokemon Magikarp Jump, Gyarados are the worthless bunch.
Even though you can only own Magikarp, technically you also have access to other Pokemon called Support Pokemon. You can get them through winning leagues or by buying friendship items. They serve as a friend of sorts to your Pokemon, and they have different skills which can help you train your Magikarp to be the very best, like no Magikarp ever was.
Overall, Pokemon Magikarp Jump is quite an enjoyable experience. Gameplay is quite lacking and we wish it was a lot more interactive, but there’s no doubt that it’s a fun way to pass the time. Whether you’re a fan of the franchise or a newbie to Pokemon, Magikarp Jump is definitely worth a try.
How I’d like to see the Pokemon Magikarp Jump mobile game develop further
My other gripe with the game currently is the lack of interaction. You can tap the screen madly during trainers but it makes no difference. I’d like to see some skill based training that rewards you. Think back to the good old days of Track & Field, although, there might be a few broken screen complaints from super diehard Magikarp trainers!
It’d be awesome to see more of a social element to the game. Currently it’s a solo mission with only Magikarp and a few poke-favourites to keep you company. Adding a multiplayer option so you could show off you hard earned retired Magikarp would be great. Even coop training to extra benefits would really add to the game in terms of engagement.
Requirements: Android OS 4.1+
In-game Purchases: Yes
Age Range: PEGI 3 ( suitable for all age groups)
Download Size: 53MB