There’s a hot new Pokemon mobile game and here it is:

Yep, it’s a game about Magikarp. As a staunch Shuckle supporter, I’m all for giving seemingly useless Pokemon the spotlight, but this seems to be a bit much? I mean, a whole game about making the Magikarp engage in jumping competitions seems like it’s trying a bit too hard, right? That’s what I said when I downloaded it at noon. This is a bizarre game. First off, here’s your professor analog:As you can see, he is actually just a mayor which I guess is still pretty good. Karp tells of a time when the Magikarp of his town were filled with jumping spirit and everyone in town had jumping competitions with their Magikarp. He assumed your character (who is unnamed, uncustomizable, and androgynous enough to confuse at least one other character who decides it ultimately doesn’t matter) was there to bring life back into the Magikarp competition. When he realizes you don’t have a Magikarp, he gives you the best thing to catch a Magikarp (an Old Rod, of course) and you’re well on your way to raising a Magikarp to be the jumpiest Magikarp in town. Karp, it should be noted, pops in every so often to massage your Magikarp.

It’s not a very deep game. You get a pond for your Magikarp and swipe at food for it to gain jump power, allowing it to level up. You can also train it, though these aren’t really all that interactive. Most input is required in random encounters after training. So far, I’ve run into the following:

  • You and Magikarp are on your way home (it’s flopping along next to you) and you have to choose whether or not to have it jump to eat a berry off a tree.
  • Magikarp swims home and finds a shiny object that you have to decide whether or not to take.
  • Magikarp gets lost and has to either stay put or find your character.
  • Some guy comes by and gives you a nugget. No choices here.
  • As seen above, Karp stops by to massage your Magikarp.
  • My current favorite, Slacker Magikarp:
    You can either scold your Magikarp or not.

Each of these will reward or punish you based on your choice, either with increased jump power, various in-game currencies, or more energy for the jumping competition or training. Winning the jumping competition is your main goal, and as long as you win, you keep going forever. You will eventually lose, leading to leveling up your Magikarp, and the cycle continues forever with various Pokemon popping in along the way to help you along. When your Magikarp is finally leveled up (not that long of a process, I’ve been through six of them today already) you guide your little fish friend on a final push through the tournament. Once it loses, at it eventually will, you and your Magikarp walk into the sunset…

Then you catch another one and start all over again, forcing your former charge to meet their replacement:

The old ones show up in your (mildly customizable) pond and each time you can catch stronger Magikarp that grow just a little bit faster than the previous generation. This game is weird and there’s not much to it but it’s bizarre and you can catch different versions of Magikarp. I don’t know what to think about this game. Now you know about it, too. I like it for some reason.