Why is Splatoon a good game?


Courtesy of Splatoon Press Kit

The Inklings draw their weapons to mark the beginning of the battle in Splatoon 1.

Sonia Jezierski, Opinions Editor

2015 marks the year of the first Splatoon game getting released. The Japanese video game designed for the Nintendo Switch hit the market with its appealing graphics and adorable characters. The third-person shooter game features customizable avatars that are created to match their player though the creatures are not human. 

The game’s incredibly twisted lore leaves players anticipating future games to come and it goes a little something like this; a few thousand years from now, humans no longer exist. The planet has been struggling with climate change for many years and due to its extreme sea level change, the inhibitors of the planet had to adapt, leading to the creation of Inklings and Octarians. The two were not friends however and battled over land leading to the Great Turf War. The Inklings were victorious, inhabiting and industrializing the city now known as Inkopolis.

Splatoon offers different kinds of competitive multiplayer game modes for players to enjoy. The most popular one is Turf War, where eight players are randomly selected into two separate teams with two different colors of “ink” assigned to each team. The objective is to use your selected weapon to cover as much ground with the color of your team’s ink before the timer of three minutes runs out. While Turf War allows you to play with others on all different levels, my favorite mode, Ranked Battle, uses an anarchy-based system for its pairings. Four different mini-games rotate out every two hours. 

My true belief is that the game is designed to avoid the risk of players losing interest in a foolproof way. Video games frequently use tactics such as rewarding players when they level up to gain their attention for longer, however, Splatoon doesn’t offer that incentive anymore after you surpass some of the few first levels. So why do players continue to choose Splatoon over other games? 

Attention to detail is one of many important things consumers notice when purchasing new products. The relatability and attention to detail create a perpetual loop of finding new hidden detail making the game feel constantly new. Splatoon’s popularity is greatest in Japan where it was designed and due to its familiarity as the game takes place in the city of Inkopolis which game designers created with inspiration from the city of Shibuya in Tokyo, Japan. 

Due to their win in the Great Turf War, the playable avatars in the game are Inklings. The game’s charm can be greatly accredited to the attention to detail throughout its creation. Characters such as Inklings are designed with inspiration from squids allowing them to turn into squid when in contact with ink. This feature works similarly to a power-up letting players speed up their movement and sneak up on others simultaneously. Another detail that makes this game incredibly special is its soundtrack which was specifically created for the game itself. The vocals of each song are sung in a gibberish language made up specifically for Inklings. Even the bands and songs in the game have their punny names relating to the nautical aesthetic of the game.

I’m thankful for having Splatoon to  cushion my experience of the 2020 quarantine depression. Like many others, I wasn’t sure what to do with myself in this confusing time around the world. Distraction can often be our worst enemy but sometimes it proves to be our best friend. People use distractions to escape the reality they are in when things aren’t going the way they want them to. Distraction is not a solution to problems but sometimes it eases the painful reality we can’t escape. Perhaps that’s the beauty of video games. Sinking deeper into the vivid colors on the bright screen, we are able to use inanimate characters to make us feel like we are needed somewhere in times when we feel forgotten. 

Though I do not condone excessive playing of video gameI instead of attending classes, they are a great way to make yourself feel like you are in control of something even when you feel you are surrounded by chaos. Ultimately, a game is a game, and playing Splatoon is an experience I recommend to everyone.