Review: Magikarp Jump

The Sunfish is arguably the most useless creature on earth. These big-ass fish grow to between 247-1,000 kgs. They are huge with tiny little fins, bad eyesight and small, small, small brains. They are clumsy swimmers who avoid being eaten by most predators by their sheer fucking girth and nothing else. Because of their bad eyesight they literally sometimes swim into things so fast they die and have been known to get caught in fishing nets quite often and swim right on up to divers. These creatures, also known as Mola Mola, have been the brunt of many jeers over the years. *Sources: Wikipedia, National Geographic

Now you may be wondering why I just prattled on about Sunfish for an entire paragraph in a review for a Pokémon game. But stick with me. Google no longer deems it necessary to define initial release dates for apps but sometime after 2014, a company named, Select Button Incorporated released a mobile game called Survive! Mola mola! It's a pretty fun casual game where you help a mola mola eat various aquatic creatures in order to grow larger and try and go on various adventures and hope to god your fish doesn't die in some cartoonishly vicious manner which, by the by, you can't avoid. Once they die, you start again with a brand new fish and do it all over again. It's a simple concept but incredibly fun. So, now with that background behind us, what is Magikarp Jump about?

Raising the Mola Molas of the Pokémon world, Magikarp. The Pokemon Company has partnered with with Select Button Inc to create a very fun game based around an incredibly similar concept to Survive! Mola mola! In Magikarp jump you take on the role of a nameless trainer who was brought into "Jumpy Town" where everyone raises Magikarp and they put their companions against each other to see which one can jump the highest. Your goal is to beat 8 leagues, and become the league champion. You do this by trying to raise the best damn Magikarp you possibly can. You grab a fishing rod and fish out a Magikarp and leveling it up by feeding it by tapping on food on your screen and also having it undergo training sessions to upgrade it's JP(Jumping Points). But the game imposes some limitations.

Your trainer rank means everything in this game as it is directly correlated to max level your magikarp can grow to. Above you can see Golden Boi, my magikarp has a level cap of 18. When I began Magikarp Jump the max level was 10. You gain trainer ranks by winning jumping competitions in the Pokemon League and also by going onto the next generation of Magikarp. Oh yeah, In the same way that in Survive! Mola mola! you have to raise multiple mola molas, in Magikarp Jump, you must also raise multiple Magikarp. Ideally you train them until they hit level cap and go through the League gauntlet, trying to get as far as you can until your fish loses. At that point, your Magikarp retires to the pond (you can see past generations swimming around in the background of the pond) and you can begin to train another Magikarp with a higher potential. As you go on you also are able to catch Magikarp with different patterns, such as Golden Boi, who is clearly Gold. Alternatively you move on to the next generation if you take a risk in any one of the random events you'll encounter and it backfires which will result in your Magikarp's death. It is very sad. You see your avatar doing a super sad walk of shame back to the pond all alone and obviously you'll never see them living out their retirement.

This formula works way better than you might think, as you go through the league you unlock different customizations for your pond such as a no fishing sign or even unlocking other Pokémon who will assist you in various ways. These bonuses have the potential to be incredibly beneficial but the draw back is, these are all purchases using the game's premium currency, but so far I haven't had a horrible time collecting enough money, so I wouldn't consider this game pay to win. All in all, Magikarp Jump! a solid casual game experience and  it attached me to the most useless Pokemon in the Pokedex in a way I never though I would be. In lieu of a score, because I am incredibly biased, here is a song about Magikarp.