What’s the deal with that?
To beat Magikarp Jump is giant a waste of time
I hate saying that I’ve invested time into this game and I’m thankful that I didn’t buy into the premium model. Why? Simple, it made the predictable victory so much more rewarding.
For those of you that don’t know, Magikarp Jump is a game made by Select Button and published by The Pokémon Company roughly two years ago. A game in which your only goal throughout endless hours of gameplay is to eat food and jump higher than your opponent. When you can’t possibly jump any higher your Magikarp is effectively put out to pasture, and you basically have to start the game over again. There are checkpoints, but the thing that kind of bothers me about this game is that it beats itself as long as you continually tap the screen. It doesn’t matter how you play the game, if you’re tapping buttons on the screen, then you’re moving forward.
The whole game is designed to take a long time to level up your karp and make you sit on the edge of your seat when it comes down the latest jump. The only reason for doing so is so that they can incline you toward buying premium additions, so that you can have it all be over faster.
Here’s the thing though. I knew this from the beginning. Why did I waste my time with something so trivial and unimportant?
The why isn’t important. Karp don’t care
I continued playing Magikarp Jump for one reason. It’s the same reason why people suggest that some movies are particularly good to watch on an airplane: Magikarp Jump is shamelessly, unabashedly itself. There’s something so simplistic, and almost elegant in a way, about a ‘phone game’ that’s entirely geared to just be ‘a game for your phone’ — nothing more, nothing less. Magikarp Jump only takes time. It doesn’t matter if you’re good or bad. It doesn’t care. All you have to do is keep tapping the screen while you’re waiting for the bus or while you’ve lost reception.
You can tell from the beginning of the game that an end is in sight. It’s walled off and far away, but it’s visible from your progress screen. You can see that there’s only so far you can go, and all you have to do is tap your screen to get there. The game tries to make you give up by being boring and knowingly telling you that tapping it is a waste of time. To try and get you to purchase an in-game accelerator so that you can waste time faster. But not me.
Completing the karp jump is a testament to what you can achieve if you just work at something. Sure it doesn’t mean anything, but it is an accomplishment in the eyes of the application. Hours upon hours of time wasted on something stupid, but at least that something stupid is unequivocally completed.
There really isn’t one. If you want to unlock stuff that you haven’t unlocked after the game is done, you can. The old fisherman provides you with some tools to catch some new new kinds of karp and level them up faster. But really, what’s done is done. You can beat the same level you beat earlier, again. The karp don’t get harder or jump higher. Every venture into the karp jumping world is predetermined.
I might continue to play Magikarp Jump just to jump higher. If you look for play-value or meaning in the game you won’t find it. The real value of the game lies in the lessons that it imparts. There’s just something about doing a thing that gets done, and the post game lets you really finish what you started. Plus, it’s comforting that no matter what you do, as long as you tap the screen, the outcome won’t change.
For other analyses, you can read about my adventure with I Love You Colonel Sanders!.
Image Source: Too Far Gone via The Pokémon Company