ABOUT Splatoon is a third-person shooter video game developed and published by Nintendo for the Wii U. Since its worldwide release in May 2015, it has won 12 awards including Best Game (British Academy Children’s Awards, 2015), Best Nintendo Game (33rd Golden Joystick Awards, 2015), Best Shooter (The Game Awards 2015), Best Music (Giant Bomb’s 2015 Game of the Year Awards), and Most Promising New Intellectual Property (2016 SXSW Gaming Awards). It’s been highly praised for its art style, music, character customization, and game mechanics. As of June 2016, worldwide sales of the game have reached 4.42 million.
GAMEPLAY Splatoon features a single player campaign, online four-versus-four multiplayer matches (regular and ranked), and local one-versus-one multiplayer matches. It is rated E10+ for everyone 10 and older.
・Gameplay Mechanics Players control characters called Inklings who have the ability to shapeshift between human and squid forms. Inklings are equipped with ink weapons that can be used to cover the environment with ink or to “splat” opponents or enemies. When transformed into a squid, players are somewhat hidden from opponents and enemies while they travel through the environment they’ve covered with their team’s ink color. If they travel into the opposing enemies’ ink, they receive damage. This travel also replenishes their ink supply. Players are also equipped with a secondary attack (such as ink-filled balloons) and a special attack.
・Multiplayer Players can choose to play regular and ranked four-versus-four multiplayer matches as well as local one-versus-one matches. Turf Wars, Splat Zones, Tower Control, and Rainmaker are the four online multiplayer modes; The first is the default mode for regular matches while the latter three are rotated between for ranked matches. Battle Dojo is the local multiplayer mode. There are two multiplayer maps that rotate every four hours.
Turf Wars: The team who covers the map with the most ink within three minutes wins. Splat Zones: The team who controls designated areas for the longest time wins. Tower Control: The team who captures and escorts (or comes closest to escorting) a floating tower to within a designated location in enemy territory wins. Rainmaker: The team who captures the Rainmaker and brings it towards the enemy territory wins. The player holding the Rainmaker has an attack similar to the Inkzooka but cannot super jump.
Single Player Campaign War veteran Cap’n Cuttlefish recruits players to become Agent 3 and rescue The Great Zapfish, the power source of Inkopolis, from the Octarians in Octo Valley who stole it to alleviate their lack of electrical power since losing the Great Turf War.
Players are met with unique challenges as they play through 3D platform levels and battle bosses. They’re equipped with an ink weapon that can be improved at the cost of Power Eggs that are scattered about each level or new weapons can be purchased at the cost of blueprints unlocked by clearing bosses. Players can also look for the Sunken Scroll”hidden in each level which adds depth to the story of the campaign through backstory and lore.
CHARACTERS With the exception of Judd and birds, all other Splatoon characters are aquatic animals. Below is a selection of Splatoon characters.
Jelonzo: A jelly fish from a distant waters, and a charismatic clerk of the clothing shop Jelly Fresh.
Sheldon: Sheldon is obsessed with weaponry and what one might call a “military otaku.” The shellfish runs the the weapon shop Ammo Knights.
Crusty Sean: Crusty Sean is a Japanese tiger prawn and owner of the shoe store Shrimp Kicks.
Judd: Judd is a tuxedo cat, complete with a bow-tie fur marking, that is either sleeping at the base of the Inkopolis Tower or officiating Turf Wars.
Annie: Annie is a sea anemone and owns the head gear shop Cooler Heads. Moe, a clown fish, lives atop her head.
Cap’n Cuttlefish: Cap’n Cuttlefish is the only known adult Inkling. He is a decorated veteran of the Great Turf War who now carefully watches over Inkopolis.
Spyke: Spyke is a sea urchin that can be found in the back alley of Inkopolis Plaza. Spyke sells gear that was seen worn by other Inklings in the plaza as well as item slots for Super Sea Snails. Spyke can also reroll an item’s abilities.
Squid Sisters: The Inkopolis pop idol group Squid Sisters are comprised of cousins Callie and Marie who are both Inklings. They host Inkopolis News and Splatfest.
Agent 3: The character players become during the single player campaign. Not much is known about Agent 3 whose appearance changes based on player choices, but Agent 3 is an Inkling.
Squid Squad: A band comprised of three Inklings and a sea urchin. Their music is used in multiplayer matches.
Zapfish: Zapfish are electric catfish used as the main energy source for Inkopolis. There are normal, small Zapfish and one Great Zapfish, who differs in appearance to the other Zapfish, in the single player campaign.
Inkling: Inklings are a race of squid-like humanoid that populate Inkopolis. After much of the world was covered with water from rising sea levels and the human race went extinct, Inklings found and fought for the little land that was left. 100 years before the setting of Splatoon, the Inklings fought the Octarians in a battle for land called the Great Turf War. The Octarians were forced to retreat indefinitely in Octo Valley located underground. Inklings can shape-shift between humanoid and squid form.
Octarian: Octarians are a race of octopus creatures. They lost the Great Turf War and were forced to live underground in Octo Valley. The Octarians stole the Great Zapfish in additional to several normal Zapfish in hopes of keeping Octo Valley functioning.