WonderCon 2015: Hands on With Splatoon for the Wii U

At the Anaheim WonderCon this weekend, we got a chance to get a first look at the new Nintendo third-person shooter Splatoon, currently available on the Nintendo Wii U. While this is a new IP for Nintendo, it doesn’t lack the classic Nintendo flare, creating a fast paced, fun experience for the Nintendo console.

Matches are set up in a 4v4 arena style, with each team aiming to cover as much of the map in their color of ink as possible. As the player characters are squids, they can transform into their squid form to quickly skate across the battlefield through their ink trail, making getting back to the fray after being defeated quick and easy.


The shooting controls are hectic, but tight. The objective is ink coverage, not kills, so while taking out your opponents will help you achieve victory, splattering everything with ink as you can will help you a lot more. During the display demo we played, the tilt controls controlled the direction of your aiming, while right stick does control camera, the constant fighting against the tilt controls does leave one somewhat frustrated, and accuracy to take out enemies that are attacking you simply isn’t there. We didn’t have time to inquire if this can be disabled like in other Nintendo games using tilt controls, but if it can’t, then that’ll create a major point of contusion for some players.

But, if you can get past that, then Splatoon does offer a lot in a small package. It’s the perfect game to play with or against friends on a Friday night. Matches are quick, less than 10 minutes, and with a creative use of ink diving and bomb throwing one can quickly find a way to overcome and dominate their opponent. Easy to learn, but with a degree of mastery needed to excel, Splatoon for all its flaws is an excellent addition to the Wii U library.