Try Nintendo’s new competitive shooter Splatoon for free this weekend

Get in on a test run of a multiplayer shooter, Nintendo-style.


Dennis Scimeca

Internet Culture

Posted on May 8, 2015   Updated on May 28, 2021, 9:22 pm CDT

Nintendo is holding three one-hour sessions this weekend for Wii U owners to try its upcoming shooter Splatoon for free, the company announced in an email.

The Splatoon Global Testfire, currently available for download on the Nintendo eShop, will allow players to sample Splatoon’s Turf War mode on Friday from 8-9pm PT and on Saturday from 4-5am PT and 12-1pm PT.

Splatoon is a third-person shooter designed to support online play in which players compete to control maps. You claim territory by spraying it down with ink. Players can “swim” through the pools of ink they lay down, allowing them to quickly reposition themselves.

Splatoon has held our attention since Nintendo revealed it at an E3 2014 virtual press conference. It was immediately apparent how different it was from everything else on display. Competitive shooters are new territory for Nintendo, to say nothing of online competitive shooters. The company prides itself on being family friendly, and we’d guess that few people think “family friendly” when they think “competitive shooter.”

Nintendo has also been comparatively slow to embrace online gaming in general. For all these reasons, Splatoon represents a refreshing change of pace for Nintendo.

Splatoon will be released for the Wii U on May 29.

Illustration via Nintendo

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*First Published: May 8, 2015, 12:07 pm CDT