A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
Team-building, camaraderie, collaboration are unspoken goals.
Positive Role Models
Nonplayable characters razz each other, fostering spirit of playful competition while avoiding overinflated sense of ego, importance in winning matches.
Ease of Play
Default motion controls will likely throw, annoy players, but switching that off provides solid controls.
Violence & Scariness
Players tote guns, lob bombs, "splat" competing opponents with paint. Enemies vanish, reappear after a few seconds when defeated.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Sex, Romance & Nudity
Some female avatars can wear revealing attire suggestively, exposing midriff.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Sex, Romance & Nudity in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Products & Purchases
Supports amiibo characters, collectible figures purchased separately to supply additional content.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Splatoon 2 is a third-person shooter. It's a multiplayer-focused game where players use paint guns and bombs to take down enemies, who disappear and re-spawn. There's a sizable single-player mode that functions as a lengthy tutorial for how various tactics can be deployed in multiplayer modes, and it also yields items that can be used to provide experience or loot boosts in the online modes. Players can challenge each other online, but in-game can only communicate by a handful of simple reactions to celebrate victory or moan about defeat. An upcoming smartphone application will enhance matchmaking and allow for voice chat options. Some female characters can wear some midriff revealing or suggestive clothes, and the game supports amiibo characters that can be purchased separately to unlock additional content. Under the CCPA law you have the right to protect your personal information. Make a Do Not Sell request to Splatoon 2.
Is It Any Good?
This kid-friendly shooter is an absolute blast to play and can easily get players covering their opponents in ink for many hours. This is especially true online, where you can join friends and enjoy either facing off against them or teaming up. Easily the best online mode is turf war, where two teams of four have three minutes to splat ink on as much territory as possible while strategically submerging themselves in their team's color and blasting enemies. It's also a prerequisite to play this mode for a while, as horde mode and league battle don't open up until after you've won enough games and leveled your character up sufficiently. While these modes have a certain mystique and prestige due to the difficulty in unlocking them, the reality is they're variations on capture the flag and king of the hill. Fortunately, new events, weapons, gears, and stages are all promised as free roll-outs postlaunch.
That said, what's here is a lot of fun. The game has an innate ability to melt hours, having you vow to play "just one more game" until it's 1 or 2 a.m. before you know it. That said, the game is probably best experienced in short bursts, because even though it's hard to put down, it'll easily start to feel repetitive. Still, there's no beating just how fun turf war is. The levels in all online modes get swapped out depending on the hour, and the sheer amount of gear and weapons you can unlock, level up, and invest time into learning all invite you to test multiple strategies out so that you can get better. Sometimes you'll want to hang back and play defense; other times you will understand why and how offense can be more important. If you're looking for a fun, addictive, and engaging shooter that the whole family can enjoy, Splatoon 2 has easily got you covered.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.