‘Splatoon’ is a Blast For Squiddos of All Ages

Splatoon © Nintendo
Splatoon © Nintendo

It’s an all-out, all-ages turf war in Splatoon, exclusively on the Wii U! Every member of your family will love taking control of an Inkling to spray, splat, and roll their paint to claim their territory and battle it out with players worldwide. Splatoon is a completely family-friendly shooter that parents can feel good about while kids have a blast.

The goal of each Splatoon online battle is to cover as much of the ground with your paint color as possible. Players can also take aim at each other, but the objective of online play is to cover ground, not earn kills. Choose from a variety of weapons, including paint guns and rollers, and you’re on your way to earning points for your team of four players.

There’s no voice chat, which some veteran FPS might find dismaying, but it is a relief that your kids won’t be in danger of hearing words you rather they didn’t.

© Nintendo
© Nintendo

As Inklings play in turf wars and earn levels and money, they can visit the quirky shops in Inkopolis to customize their characters. Clothes, shoes, headgear, and weapons not only give your Inkling just the right look you want, but also add to your stats and grant abilities to give you the edge in your next paint-filled battle.

Inkling Girl amiibo © Nintendo
Inkling Girl amiibo © Nintendo

Solo play is also an option. In Octo Valley, players must take on the dastardly Octarian army to save the Zapfish. Solo play is a great way to hone aiming and weapon skills, and take on some serious boss battles. You can also pick up the Splatoon amiibo figures for extra solo challenges to earn unique gear.

If it’s a family feud you’re in the mood for, head to the Battle Dojo for a one-on-one local battle. As one player focuses on the GamePad and the other on the TV, the goal of the Battle Dojo is to burst as many balloons as you can find. Tally up the total and one member of the family has bragging rights for the day.

Quick Game Tips

  • You may be immediately tempted to turn off the motion controls, but leave them on! The game is much more responsive in aiming with motion controls on.
  • Even the littlest of players can take part in online play and help the team. All they have to shoot is the ground, which most young players can handle. I can enjoy watching my kindergartner play and help the team, even if she isn’t the best at aiming yet. And then I demand my turn.
  • Shooting the walls helps get you where you’re going faster, but won’t count toward your point total.

If you’re not comfortable with your kids playing first-person shooters yet, this third-person shooter is a game you can rest easy about. With a goal to splatter paint on the pavement, not other people, it has a shooter feel without any worries of violence.

Pick up Splatoon now for another family-friendly multiplayer hit from Nintendo at a retail price of $59.99. Nintendo even plans to offer frequent game updates and events, giving you a lot of paint for your buck.

GeekMom received a promotional copy of the game and amiibo figure for review purposes.

Kelly Knox is a freelance writer in Seattle, WA, where she contributes to local parenting magazines. She also writes for StarWars.com, Geek & Sundry, Forever Young Adult, and more. You can find crafts and art projects for geeky families at her blog The St{art} Button.