Splatoon is a new video game released for Wii U. This game consists of a multiplayer option and a single player option. In multiplayer, teams of four compete to paint the game area with different colors of ink. The goal is to cover as much area as possible before time runs out. If you have more area covered than your opponent, your team wins. You can play with friends or the game will match you with people. In single player mode, you fight your way through levels, battling bosses to win a rare type of catfish called a zap fish. Ultimately, you must save the great fish zap that powers the entire city of inkopolis.
Although this game is a “shooter game”, it is relatively benign. The game is rated E for everyone and this is true in game action. There is really nothing in this game that can worry parents. My nine year old son learned it very easily, learned the backstory and got into the game very quickly. There are different stores to buy different weapons and accessories, which helps to keep the game fresh and attractive. The individual player is challenging, but it didn’t seem too difficult, at least for a nine-year-old. Since the game is marketed for young players, it seems that they have reached the sweet spot of difficulty.
There doesn’t seem to be an in-game chat option in Splatoon like in other games like Plants vs Zombies. In-game chat can be a problem area for younger players, as older players sometimes enjoy the game and don’t filter their language in games with younger players. In Splatoon, there is no need to worry about inappropriate language or other interactions with other players.
I have even found the game entertaining to watch. It has funky music and is very colorful with somewhat androgynous characters. My son chose a character that looked like a girl to me, but I was sure it was not long hair but drops of ink falling. I have found his interactions with the game to be quite imaginative.
As a parent, I would recommend Splatoon to other parents as a fun game for your younger children that is fairly easy to learn and offers many hours of fun with little need to worry about game content or online interactions.