I first heard about Splatoon a few months back when my friend Petitmew wrote about it on her blog, so when the folks at Nintendo asked if we wanted to try this game out in our capacity as a Nintendo Blogger Family I said I would love to.
To describe Splatoon as a third person shooter would be to do it a huge disservice. Technically, yes, that’s the genre of game it falls in to, but, as with all their games, Nintendo have taken the genre and recreated it in a family-friendly way. In the game you control a cartoon character who, whilst appearing human, also has some squid like abilities. Armed with an ink gun your aim is to cover the playing area with your colour of ink, and splat your opponents along the way. To add to the fun you can also transform into a squid, and refill your ink canisters, or slide along the ink with speed.
At this point I must confess that I’m not a first or third person shooter kind of a girl. Ever since the early days of Wolfenstein 3D I haven’t been able to get on with this genre at all. I just get completely lost, and end up running around in circles. Something about the control mechanism doesn’t gel with my brain at all (and anyone who’s ever played Everquest or World of Warcraft with me will confirm that!). However the geekdaddy is a massive fan of these games, and so he took it upon himself to do the testing for this one. And his verdict? Well, he finds it really fun. You can hear him talk about it in his own words on episode 60 of our podcast, starting at about 23:45. The geekdaddy has been playing rather a lot of Splatoon, and even got the geekdaughter playing with him. The giggles I could hear from the front room as they coated the world in ink were something to hear, I can tell you.
With Splatoon Nintendo have taken a classic genre and re-designed it for the family audience. This is a game I would be happy for both my kids to play, although there are quite a few different controls to master so I’m not sure how well my 5 year old would get on with it – he hasn’t tried yet. My 7 year old really enjoyed it though, and as the game is rated PEGI 7 it feels like that is about right.
Splatoon has online play, so as well as playing through the story mode, or having battles locally, you can go online and battle against other players. It also has amiibo support, so if you get one of the three Splatoon amiibos and touch it to your Wii U gamepad controller you can unlock character-specific challenges to win exclusive gear for that character.
If you’re a fan of third person shooters and are looking for a family-friendly varient, then Splatoon could be just your kind of thing. I forsee loads of fun in the months ahead as the kids try to keep up with their father in the ink shooting department!
Splatoon is available via the Nintendo online store, and also through other video games retailers. It’s always worth shopping around to make sure you’re getting the best price. I usually buy my video games from Amazon, and they are currently selling Splatoon for £26.74 (affiliate link). You can also buy a special edition that comes with the game and an inkling squid amiibo for £50 (affiliate link).
Disclosure: Nintendo sent me a free download of Splatoon for review purposes. All words and opinions are my own. Images (with the exception of the first one) provided by Nintendo. The Amazon links in this review contain my affiliate ID – if you make a purchase after clicking I receive a small commission payment, at no additional cost to you.