Splatoon is a colorful, fast-paced shooter from Nintendo—but it’s a shooter without weapons. You use your shooter to shoot ink. It’s coming to Wii U at the end of May, and it looks pretty freaking awesome.

You play as an Inkling, a squid-like creature that can turn into a human kid. In your squid form, you can glide through pools of ink at super speeds. As a kid, you can run, jump, shoot ink guns, throw ink bombs, and control all kinds of other cool ink weapons. All of the violence in this game is paint-based, which is fantastic because it gives us a great, nonviolent alternative to shooters like Call of Duty.

Splatoon arena

An ink-soaked arena

Four main game modes have been announced so far for Splatoon. First up, Turf War. Two teams of four go head to head by covering a shared arena with their team’s paint color. The team whose paint covers the largest surface area when time runs out is deemed the winner.

Then we’ve got Hero Mode, which is a single-player campaign. One player goes on a mission to take down the evil Octarians. This campaign has a lot in common with the Super Mario games in terms of boss battles, obstacle courses, puzzles, and collectables. Players have to cover ground with ink in order to traverse complex areas and splat bad guys.

Octarian army

Evil Octarians shooting ink.

Battle Dojo allows two players on one console to race to pop balloons in a shared arena. And Ranked Battle lets Splatoon’s most skilled players challenge each other in online ink combat.

In addition to playing in these gameplay modes, players can also hang out in the main plaza area and shop for clothes, shoes, headgear, and weapons for their Inklings.


An Inkling goes shopping for a new jacket!

Three Splatoon amiibos have been announced so far. Each one will allow you to play a custom mission for cool Inkling gear that you can’t get anywhere else.

Splatoon comes out on May 29. Be sure to subscribe to the Pixelkin YouTube channel for more great family gaming videos.

This article was written by

Courtney is Pixelkin's Associate Managing Editor. While working with the Girl Scouts of Northern California, she mentored young girls in teamwork, leadership, personal responsibility, and safety. Today, she spends her time studying adolescent development and using literary analysis techniques to examine video games.