Today, it is time for my recap of day 9 of the 10 day video game challenge on Facebook. As a reminder, this isn’t a top 10 list, but these are the ten most influential games in my life as a gamer. Today’s game is Splatoon for the Wii U. Of note, much of what I have to say applies to the sequel, Splatoon 2 as well.
This game was one of my first experiences with online play (I know, talk about late to the party). I had dabbled with online with Pokemon previously, but Splatoon knocked it out of the park in terms of quality. With only a few small general hiccups, this game handles online very smoothly, and was the first action based game I played online extensively.
The core game play mechanic of spreading ink helped hammer home the game design principle of elegance I had learned about in my studies. With elegance in video games, the goal is to have one action to have multiple purposes. In this case, the ink that is spread by players can do the following:
- Contributes to your win condition.
- Contributes to the opponent’s loss.
- Can fight off opponents.
- Improves your team’s mobility.
- Decreases opponent’s mobility.
- Improves your team’s hiding ability.
- Decreases your opponent’s hiding ability.
- Powers up your special meter, for a strong attack.
This is a lot of functionality for one general action. I’d imagine few games get this much mileage out of a single action. For those who are unfamiliar with the game, the goal is to spread more ink than the opposing team in three minutes time. The game is a shooter, so this is done through gun-like weapons. Imagine running around with super soakers filled with paint, with 8 players, and winning a game by making a bigger mess.
The mess you make can be really cathartic, while the music and colorful graphics make the game feel like one big party. Additionally, you get some rewards for playing, even if you lose (the rewards are larger for winning, of course). Luckily, these rewards don’t give you a huge advantage over more skilled players, and the leveling system allows a lower level player to win against higher level players, assuming there’s enough of a skill gap.
The Splatoon games are a fresh take on the shooter genre, as you don’t have to “kill” your opponents to win. In fact, killing your opponents is not the win condition for any of the game’s multiplayer modes. The game isn’t flawless, but it is a sign that Nintendo can pull off online services, and can make a new series of game that isn’t based on one of their older characters.
Now, normally, I’d recommend similar games to today’s game. However, I can’t think of many other games I have played that are similar to this one. The only other shooter games I like include the Metroid Prime games. As such, I would encourage you to try odd games that put a neat spin on tried and true game formulas.
And that was my recap of day 9 of the 10 day video game challenge on Facebook. But how about you? What game would make your day 9? What off-beat game have you played that put a neat spin on a preexisting game type? What do you think of the Splatoon games? Let me know in the comments below!