Nintendo's Splatoon has been a constant for me since I bought it in June as a celebratory "we moved!" present. I beat single player in a week or so, and I've probably played at least one or two online matches every day since we got the Internet at our new place. My wife Grace has also gotten pretty into it, too. We've convinced a few friends to buy the game (although we haven't had the chance to meet up with them much), and I play with a few forum friends when the opportunity arises. I even have one of those silly amiibo toys everyone covets for the game (Inkling Girl, in case you're wondering). I'm pretty hooked, I must say.
The more I've played Splatoon, the more I've fallen in love with the fascinating universe it's set in. It's set in a future Earth minus humans, who have been replaced by anthropomorphized mollusks known as Inklings. They have their own language, fashion, and traditions, and it's spun off of elements of our own livelihoods. While it's pretty clear that the majority of the game's style is taken from Japan (it was developed there, after all), there are fragments of Western influence as well. I think it's a clever twisting of our world cultures.
But what really gets my inner anthropologist revving is the interaction between players...or the lack thereof. Nintendo restricted the options of squad interplay with other Inklings to simple vocalized shouts of "C'mon!" and "Booyah!"; the former to inspire, call for attention, or rally your allies, the latter to acknowledge a great moment of gameplay performed either by the player or a teammate. Beyond that, in-game discussions have to be performed through other means. Despite this, teamwork is still emphasized and, perhaps more impressively, somehow manages to occur. I've had some amazing moments of team synergy where me and my squad overcome any loss of the ability to communicate and completely dominate the opposing team without a single word being spoken (at least from me to them). And Splatoon allows players from all over the world to play together. Competing with Japanese and European players is common in the lobbies, adding yet another layer to this stunning level of synchronization and camaraderie.