A new Pokémon game has landed on Android and iOS app stores and it's causing quite a splash. Magikarp Jump, a game Nintendo quietly announced earlier this year, has taken cues from Niantic's Pokémon GO with another staggered launch, only available in select territories right now.
Magikarp Jump's release date in the US, UK and Australia is yet to be confirmed, though the game has been available to play in Italy for more than a week and is now making its way to Japanese smartphones.
Watch the Japanese launch trailer for Magikarp Jump below:
You might remember a mini-game from Nintendo 64's Pokémon Stadium, called Magikarp's Splash. Like most mini-games, it essentially boiled down to you furiously mashing buttons faster than your opponent, in this case to make your Magikarp leap — fins flailing — into the air.
The premise is a similar one in Magikarp Jump, as you train your useless fish to jump higher and higher while avoiding those pesky Pidgeotto hunting for a free lunch. And of course, it wouldn't be a modern smartphone game without in-app microtransactions offering rapid levelling and advanced access to upgrades.
Early reviews of the game have praised its colorful art style and comedic trappings. However, training your Magikarp to a high level without the aid of real currency is, as in most free to play games, an arduous grind.
Without Pokemon GO's augmented reality hook, it's hard to see Magikarp becoming a global phenomenon any time soon, even with an official song.
How To Download And Play Magikarp Jump
If you live in Japan or Italy just head to the app store and download the game now. If not and you can't wait for your region's official release — a wait that could be days, weeks or months — then you can take the following steps:
- Create a new Apple or Google Play account
- Register using an address in Italy (find a public building or museum)
- Enter the store in your new region
- Download Magikarp Jump
Otherwise, you could always just flop about for a while and wait for the situation to evolve...