For some unknown reason, Magikarp Jump is making quite the splash in the mobile games market. Perhaps it’s the sheer fandom attached to the Pokemon brand or maybe it’s the shock value of a Pokemon like Magikarp being granted its very own game. It’s hard to say what made Magikarp Jump such a popular topic but it is, without a doubt, quite an interesting phenomenon. Unlike Pokemon GO, which garnered attention for its innovative approach to mobile gaming and its fun way of utilizing new technology, Magikarp Jump has become an eye-catcher even without much gameplay or entertainment value at all. It is the best example of idle gaming one could possibly dig up.
“Gameplay” for Magikarp Jump isn’t actually much gameplay at all. Instead, it’s a series of screen tapping that will ultimately allow you to train up one of the Pokemon franchise’s most bland creatures yet. The entire game is really built around the premise of feeding and training your Magikarp. The more you feed them and the more you train them, the stronger your Magikarp will become and the higher it will jump. That’s the entire premise of the game. What’s particularly disappointing, however, is the fact that neither of these activities take place through the use of an actual minigame. Feeding your Magikarp just requires you to tap on the varieties of fruit that are floating around in its habitat. If you want some real excitement, you can even swipe your screen to slide over a few inches and discover a few extra fruits that were tucked away in the corners of the Magikarp pond. Exhilarating.
But wait! There’s more! Throughout the game, you will run into a variety of in-game events that are quite underwhelming but still manage to be the most exciting things you’ll run into. For example, in the midst of all the monotony, the game will occasionally shock you by allowing you to make a decision about your Magikarp. If you don’t pick wisely, however, bad things can happen and all your grinding and screen tapping will go to waste. Why? Because flopping too high in the sky means a Pidgeotto will swoop down and take your prized fish for lunch.
The only good thing about the app, quite frankly, is that it’s absolutely honest with itself. In the very description of the app and in the first few minutes of gameplay, Magikarp Jump will tirelessly poke fun at itself. The game is aware of the fact that it is little more than a personification of why Magikarp has the reputation it has in the Pokemon universe—minus the reward of Gyarados if you manage to just stick it out. Magikarp Jump is bland and boring and progression within the game feels tedious and pretty unrewarding.
But if you’re looking for something to do while you’re on the toilet or if you’ve ever looked at Angry Birds and thought, “Hey, this gameplay is a bit too complicated for me,” Magikarp Jump is your game.