Video Games Weekly: Magikarp Jump
The mobile game Pokemon Go was all the rage during Summer 2016, but its popularity was short lived due to missing features, unpopular decisions, and lack of communication between creators and users. This summer, Pokemon quietly released a new game for Summer 2017 called Magikarp Jump, although I do not believe it’ll be as popular as Pokemon Go. Nevertheless, this is a cute mobile app to recommend/play with kids, tweens, and teens who are still hardcore Pokemon fans.
Platform: Android and iOS Devices
Rated: No official ESRB rating, but I’d give it an E
Single or Multiplayer: Single
Storyline: If you don’t know anything about Pokemon, you might be a little lost as to why this game is so popular. Magikarp is a Pokemon that looks like a goldfish, and all he does is flop around. Magikarp is beloved because as useless as it is in combat, it is very adorable looking. One reason why trainers tend to keep Magikarps around is if you manage to gain enough experience fighting while using Magikarp, it’ll eventually evolve into Gyarados.
Magikarp Jump is a game dedicated solely to the fandom’s love for Magikarps. Rather than running around collecting different kinds of Pokemon, players are only given Magikarps to level up by gaining jumping power (JP). Players can compete in leagues in order to win badges. There are currently six leagues, although Pokemon may create more in the future. The game overall is silly and riddled with inside jokes for dedicated Pokemon fans to appreciate.
Gameplay: There are three ways to get JP for your Magikarp. First, players can have their Magikarp eat food while swimming around. All players have to do is tap the food swimming around in the tank:
Second, players can “train” their Magikarps. Players have to tap their device as fast as possible in order to get the most amount of JP.
Finally, there are random events that can grant extra JP, but that is only if the player makes the correct choice. If the player makes a wrong choice, their beloved Magikarp can get eaten by a Pidgeotto!
A new element in this game is how players can only train their Magikarp to a maximum level which correlates with the trainer’s level. Once Magikarp reaches their maximum level, it has to retire and the players begin once again with a new baby Magikarp. This in turn encourages players to spend coins and diamonds (the game’s currency), which can be earned slowly for free or purchased with real money. I personally haven’t spent a dime in this game, which is nice because many mobile games make it impossible to progress without spending real money!
Players can also use diamonds to unlock tank decorations, power ups, or friendship items. These “friendship items” bring other Pokemon to cheer your Magikarp on during battles, as well as give other bonuses. These speciality items can be purchased at a very slow rate as players earn diamonds for free, or they can be purchased right away using real money.
Audience: Kids, tweens, teens, and adult Pokemon fans will enjoy this small quirky mobile game.
Verdict: A fun game to encourage your patrons to play during the summer.
Pricing: Free, with the option to purchase in-game currency.
Questions? Comments? Tweet them at me!
By: Alanna Graves
About Karen Jensen, MLS
Karen Jensen has been a Teen Services Librarian for almost 30 years. She created TLT in 2011 and is the co-editor of The Whole Library Handbook: Teen Services with Heather Booth (ALA Editions, 2014).
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