Splatoon is a 2015 third-person shooter developed and published by Nintendo. The game focuses on paintball-like Turf Wars between Inklings, who try to cover the most ground using weaponized ink. The game was first revealed at E3 2014, and was released for the Wii U on May 29, 2015.
Splatoon was first created by the EAD in late 2013. The team had thought of over seventy game ideas, but decided to focus on a game involving inking turf. At first, this concept featured black and white blocks of tofu with noses that sprayed ink. The game featured a top-down view, allowing the tofu blocks to blend in with their splattered turf.
However, these characters presented a variety of problems, so development began on a different character that was vaguely humanoid in shape. A rabbit was chosen as the design, because its floppy ears would indicate what direction it was traveling when viewed from above. Many EAD developers criticized this idea, so ideas such as Mario, robots, and macho men were considered. The rabbits were later scrapped in favor of humanoid squids, which, the team felt, fit the theme better. They could also be easily used as arrows on the map. However, the transformation mechanic was yet to be integrated during this period of development—these anthropomorphic squids did not transform fully into squids before swimming around, unlike the final game's Inklings.
In Hero Mode, the Octarians, the historic nemesis of the Inklings, built an underground facility, accessible from Octo Valley via a number of kettle-shaped teleporters. After the disappearance of Zapfishes from the Inklings' world, the protagonist, wearing the Hero Suit and wielding the Hero Shot, must infiltrate these bases and rescue all the Zapfish. By retrieving these electric fish, the Zapfishes 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.
Splatoon is a third-person shooter with online multiplayer as its primary focus. In the main mode, Turf Wars, which eight players are divided into two teams of four and tasked with covering the arena in as much ink of their team's color as possible in a set amount of time. The playable Inklings have two main forms—their human form, in which they can use weapons to spread ink and splatter opponents, and their squid form, which can swim through ink at amazing speed, recharge the player's ink tanks, and hide in similarly-colored ink—and may switch between either at will by pressing or depressing the left trigger. Players can also utilize Sub Weapons, such as Ink Bombs, and Special Weapons, such as Ink Launchers, with the right shoulder and stick, respectively. Teams are awarded points based on the amount of land they cover in their team's ink, and the team that covers the most territory within a specified time wins the match. There is also a Ranked Battle mode where players' wins and losses influence their ranks.
Splatoon also features a single-player Hero Mode, which sees the player travel to Octo Valley and traverse levels based on 3D platforming and puzzle-solving. In this mode, the player uses the Hero Shot, a modified Splattershot .
Regular Battle can be accessed 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.
Ranked Battle are able to be accessed by players once they reach level Level 10. The modes included in this category require a higher level of strategy compared to regular modes, and wins and losses will be counted toward players' ranks. Players begin with a 'C-' rating, but are able to improve and regress based on how well they perform. Ranked Battles were released when a large amount of players reached 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 - a yet to be released game mode, where a team has to move the self-titled Rainmaker weapon to the other side of the map.
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. There are 3 selections to choose for the number of your squad members. It was featured in the August 5th Update.
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 of a lobby can decide the number of players on each team, allowing for intentional asymmetrical battles. A password can be assigned to a lobby to make it private. It was featured in the August 5th Update.
A local 2-player multiplayer mode. The GamePad player uses the GamePad screen, the Pro Controller player uses the TV screen. They compete against each other on the Turf War maps to pop the most balloons.