Splatoon 2

is the ultimate realisation of paintball - only better because it doesn't leave any bruises.

This brightly coloured, fluoro explosion of a game has you running around a wonderfully designed urban area trying to cover as much of it as possible in the gloriously goopy paint colour of your team. A rival team is trying to do the same and the only way to stop them is to splatter them in paint as well. You have three minutes. Go!

It's here that Nintendo's typically eccentric spin surfaces and takes a solid shooter game and morphs it into a brilliant one. At the push of a button, your character instantly transforms into a squid - yes, squid - that swims through the paint you've splattered everywhere. In squid form, you move at breakneck speed and near invisible to your opponent. This allows you to hoon around the levels like a slippery assassin, popping up out of the murky broth in your human form, splattering an opponent and then slipping off again.


That sounds like stealthy, slow gameplay. Splatoon 2 is anything but. It's frenzied, frantic fun that is almost a sensory overload as you and your online teammates zip around a level spraying hot pink or electric green paint everywhere while cutesy, but not grating, J-pop plays in the background.

Its short burst, machine gun-style, three-minute rounds, lends it an addictive "one-more-go" gameplay that can see you putting off bedtime for an extra hour or so.

Of course, this being Nintendo there are typical, baffling quirks - mainly to do with the hoops and restrictions of chatting online with pals while playing. You need to download an app for your phone/tablet and have that beside you while gaming. It works fine as long as you're in a private room; when venturing into standard online play it won't work at all, which is not great. It's not a deal breaker but it is needlessly restrictive and desperately in need of an update so as to join us here in 2017.

Pleasingly, there's also a fairly robust single player campaign that sees the game become more of a 3D platformer. Great for when you're on the bus or want to hone your shooting skills.

Splatoon 2 is Nintendo doing what they do best, brilliantly characterful gaming that offers oodles of family-friendly fun.

No squidding around, Splatoon 2 is really great and can be considered another must-have for Switch users.


Nintendo Switch


PG (mild violence and online interactivity)


It's splattering time