Not so Fighting Fish
Magikarp Jump was definitely not the game I was expecting. I'd pictured something a bit more action/platformer-y, and instead got… I guess you could call it sort of a hands-off virtual pet? Though it's not without its charms.
Flop to Victory
There isn't a whole lot to do, but there are ways to speed up your progress.
- Eat everything, all the time. Food is nothing more than free XP, so your Magikarp won't ever get full (or starve). So while not eating won't hurt, it's always beneficial to stuff your Magikarp with food at every opportunity.
- Always tap on other pokemon. From time to time you'll see other pokemon swimming around the enclosure. Tapping on them will give you all sorts of goodies, from more coins to piles of food.
- Decorate your Magikarp's enclosure. You can spend the diamonds (premium currency) you earn via events or completing achievements on fixtures for your enclosure that will grant your Magikarp passive bonuses – like earning more experience from food or getting more money from league battles – for as long as they're in place.
- Look out for pokeballs. If you see a pokeball floating around, tap to open it and earn some extra coins.
- Keep training. You get a few training points at a time, which will be restored over time. Use them all up every chance you get in order to get bigger experience boosts.
- Keep checking the Town menu. This is where you can spend coins to unlock new food and training techniques, as well as upgrade them to yield more experience.
- Try to beef up your basic food and training first. The stuff you unlock ends up being much better in the long run, but food appearances and training selection is random so there are to guarantees you'll get the more advances stuff. By boosting the lower-end food and training you ensure that your Magikarp always gets a worthwhile amount of experience points.
- When a Magikarp reaches its maximum level you'll have no choice but to compete in the league until you either beat the champion or lose a match. Once that's done, your Magikarp will retire and you'll have to catch a new one.
- Retirement is fine. As you progress in the league your training rank will increase, which allows you to train Magikarp to higher and higher levels. In addition, if a Magikarp retires without finishing a league you have to start the league over. This is a good thing! Rematches with old opponents still earn you trainer xp as well as coins.
Take No Carp
Charm is about all Magikarp Jump has going for it, honestly. It's cute and silly and harmless, but it's also devoid of anything you could consider 'gameplay.' This is fine if you know what to expect and don't mind a simple, menu-driven distraction with the occasional adorable cartoon thrown into the mix, but if you're looking for a more game-like game you'll likely be disappointed.