Splatoon GO is a free augmented-reality app developed by Niantic, Ninkancho, and its parent company Nintendo for iOS and Android devices as well as the Display system. It is a Splatoon spin-off and the successor to Pokémon GO, and as such, it features superficially similar gameplay and game mechanics to each.
Splatoon GO was first conceptualized when Nintendo was looking to make a spiritual successor to the smash hit Pokémon GO, alongside other ideas such as Animal Crossing GO and Kirby GO. Splatoon was settled on to use its status as a fresh new IP to the fullest, as it was less than two years old at the time and the Final Splatfest had recently built up the series' relevance. Nintendo pitched the idea to Niantic, who agreed to create the app.
During development, emphasis was placed on patching bugs and making the game fair for all players. It was decided that Splatshop hotspots would be distributed more evenly around the world to let all players buy items easily, and that there would be items that could remotely influence ink coverage so that Splat Zone placement could be population-based without making the game less fun for those in suburbs and rural areas.
Upon first starting the game, players must choose between three Inkling teams, represented by their orange, teal, and indigo ink colors. All three teams are rivals of the computer-controlled Octarian team, represented by purple ink. However, there is vitriol between the teams as well.
Players walk around in real life to generate blobs of their team's ink color around them on the in-game map. Ink can only be spread on land, as it will dissolve in water. Points are earned by covering opposing team ink with the player's own. The teams' shared goal is to cover all Octarian ink, while individually they also seek to have the most ink coverage worldwide and to control the most Splat Zone hotspots, both of which provide point bonuses. The player will also regain ink when they are surrounded by much of their own ink color.
Splatshops are, in high concept, similar to Pokémon GO's PokéStops. They provide a variety of services to players of any team. Splatshops can convert points into cash for free, and sell weapons and ink refills.
Currently, one weather effect has been implemented into the game: rain, which thins ink coverage in areas experiencing rainy weather in real life. Splatoon GO was able to connect to devices' weather applications at launch to detect when the local weather was rainy. This system was effectively bugged in that more ink would disappear when more people were playing nearby a rainy area. An update patched this by making weather effects reliant on servers rather than the clients (players' devices).
Many Main Weapons from the original Splatoon are available, maintaining their unique stats and playstyles as well as is possible in the new gameplay style.
The map area can be pressed to use the item manually and in the player's current direction. However, this uses ink more quickly. Tapping while a Shooter is in use fires blobs of ink ahead, usually continuously. Tapping while using a Roller will flick a set of ink blobs in front of the player. Long-pressing the screen with a Charger will charge a long linear blob of ink to shoot ahead by releasing the map area.
The range diagram in the Type column refers to the general range of the weapon type when using it by walking, not necessarily that of the individual weapon whether using it by walking or manually.
Most Sub Weapons from the original Splatoon are available, with tweaked effects to mesh well with the new gameplay style. To protect player privacy, items like the Point Sensor and Squid Beakon are not available.
Most Special Weapons from the original Splatoon are available in Canned form, with tweaked effects to mesh well with the new gameplay style. Unlike Sub Weapons, Canned Specials can only be used once every 15 minutes. To protect player privacy, items like the Echolocator are not available.
World News is a live news program starring Callie and Marie, and the successor to Inkopolis News from Splatoon. It broadcasts when the player starts the game after closing it, and automatically while playing under certain circumstances. Updated news can be viewed manually at any time by tapping the button with the World News logo.
World News consists of various segments run back-to-back when needed. Two main segments are used for every broadcase. The Squid Sisters will first report which team has the most worldwide ink coverage, as well as which is in control of the most Splat Zones. Local weather is reported next, with rainy areas nearby being marked as such, and Callie and Marie expressing concern if dangerous weather is imminent.
Update News returns from Splatoon, being added to the program after an update to the app, and this time explaining the changes that have been made. A Splatfest News segment is broadcast the week before a Splatfest is set to begin, explaining the theme and offering banter between the Squid Sisters.
- Suggest Splatfest themes in the comments section!
Callie: Before we reveal the current ink coverage, some special news!
Marie: What is it? What is it?!
Callie: We've recieved word from… on high.
Marie: You don't mean… Wait, I thought we didn't have any more Splatfests planned!?
Callie: That's right! There's going to be a Splatfest soon!
—Squid Sisters, before Cats vs. Dogs Splatfest News segmentSplatfests are monthly events that involve players joining one of two temporary teams beforehand, based on a subject-vs.-subject format. Players will earn cash if their team has the most ink coverage on a worldwide or regional scale, with the amount of cash dependent on how much ink the player contributed during the Splatfest.
Several features of the main gameplay setup become inactive during Splatfests. Splat Zones are disabled during Splatfests, and neither they nor ink coverage in the main game affect points during the events. Octarian ink will also cease to be spread. The main game's ink coverage does not reset during a Splatfest, though it becomes invisible in the meantime.
December 2016: Cats vs. Dogs
Callie: It's time to vote for your favorite pet! Again.
Marie: Talk about déjà vu…
Callie: On one side, the Internet's favorite furballs… CATS!
Marie: And on the other, man's best four-legged friends… DOGS!
Marie: So, I guess you're rooting for Team Cat again, Callie?
Callie: I'm actually siding with Team Dog this time!
Marie: WHAT? You can't do that! I bet you're only switching teams because us dog lovers won last time!
Callie: I don't see why you can't just switch to Team Cat, Marie. You're enough of a snarky jerk to fit the role!
Marie: Callie, don't act so jealous. I'm sure both teams still have a fighting chance.
Callie: Well, I guess the Splatfest can't be Dogs vs. Dogs…
Callie: Alright! I choose Team Cat again! (Let's forget about that whole "snarky jerk" thing, okay, viewers?)
Marie: If you winners out there stay loyal to Team Dog, I'm sure we can pull off another victory!
Callie: Come on, cat people! Let's win this cat-and-mouse game once and for all! It'll be the ultimate underdog story!
Marie: You mean, underCAT story.
Callie: Dahh, I've been outpunned!
Marie: So what about YOU folks? Which pet do you like more?
Callie: Press that voting booth button and pick your favorite today!