A Look Back at ‘Splatoon’

This game about squid girls isn't what you think it is


By Cheryl Tan

Splatoon 2 is set to release today (21 July) so join us as we look back to why the first Splatoon game (that came out in May 2015 for the Wii U) was such a hoot.

Splatoon is an a platformer-type third-person shooter with both offline and online modes. In Hero Mode (offline), after the disappearance of the Zapfish from Inkopolis Plaza, the protagonist (that’s you!), wearing the Hero Suit and wielding the Hero Shot, must infiltrate the Octarians’ (historic nemesis of the Inklings) bases and rescue all the Zapfish. By retrieving these electric fish, the Zapfish and Great Zapfish will return to Inkopolis and keep providing power to the city, and the Octarians will be stopped from activating The Great Octoweapons, invading the Inklings’ world, and claiming their land. Each level requires you to rescue several Zapfish before finally defeating the boss to move on.

The Battle Dojo is a local 2-player multiplayer mode. The GamePad player uses the GamePad screen while the Pro Controller player uses the TV screen. They compete against each other on the Turf War maps to pop the most balloons.

Credit: Nintendo Everything

In online mode, there are four different ways to play; Regular, Ranked, Squad or Private Battle.

Regular Battle (can be assessed by players of all levels):

  • Turf War: An online mode consisting of four players in two teams. The team with the highest ink coverage wins the match.
  • Splatfest: An online mode hosted by the Squid Sisters, that asks players questions like “Cats or Dogs” or “Pop music or Rock music?” They then compete for their chosen side, and the winning side’s players all receive a Super Sea Snail. It is specific to each region, and happens on scheduled days for a specified amount of time.

Raise your level (of freshness) by playing regular battles to buy items with special abilities that you can equip later on.

Ranked Battle (can only be accessed by players once they reach level Level 10):

  • Splat Zones: A mode similar to King of the Hill and Capture the Flag, where two teams battle to take control of zones.
  • Tower Control – An Inkling must take control of one tower and ride it towards the enemy base. The first team to get the tower to their enemy’s base wins.
  • Rainmaker – where a team has to move the self-titled Rainmaker weapon to the other side of the map.

Squad Battle:

In Squad Battle, players and their friends can form a group — or squad — of two up to four players, and compete against other squads in Ranked Battles.

Private Battle:

In Private Battle, groups of two to eight players can select the rules and stages to play, though battles will have no effect on players’ levels nor ranks. The host can decide the number of players on each team, allowing for intentional asymmetrical battles and a password can be assigned to an area to make it private.

Hang out at the lobby with other players and read their messages or see their drawings — some of which are pretty damn funny.

The interesting thing about this game is that each player has two forms, their human forms — used to spread ink and shoot enemies, and their squid forms — that allow them to move extremely fast through ink or recharge their ink tanks. Unlike traditional shooter games that use bullets and are violence-packed, Inklings, as their names suggest, shoot others with coloured ink. So even if you don’t enjoy shooter games, this one is both fun and family-friendly for both adults and kids alike.

Splatoon 2 will be a direct sequel to Splatoon and is set 2 years in the future of the previous game. Be sure to get it when it comes out on 21 July for the Nintendo Switch!