Splatoon 3 Tableturf

Duncan Schiller, MVC writer

Splatoon 3 was recently released, and it came with a cool new feature: Tableturf Battles. This is a card game that is like the main feature of Splatoon online, Turf Wars. The goal of these turf wars is to cover as much ground as possible with ink, and, similarly, the goal of Tableturf Battles is to have as many tiles on the board as possible by the end of 10 turns. Tableturf Battles are puzzle-style games in which cards are the weapons, and the board is the map. 

Here are the basic rules for Tableturf Battles, for a better understanding.

  • One card may be played per turn, and the player cannot see what the enemy will play.
  • Cards can only be played when they are touching a tile of the same color.
  • The more tiles a card covers, the higher its rating is.
  • If two cards are played on the same tiles, then the card with the lower rating wins.
  • And finally, special tiles may be used to allow placing a card over enemy tiles.

Those are pretty much the basic rules, and will serve as a basis for explaining the ups and downs of gameplay. With all that out of the way, the first topic: the gameplay.

In Tableturf Battles, the goal is to control the most tiles on the board. This is done in a simple turn-based system, where the player chooses a card to play, and the enemy plays theirs at the same time, like in the game War. This simple system makes the gamemode really easy to pick up and advance in.

Now then, of course, with so many weapons and characters in the Splatoon series, it is only fitting that there are over a hundred unique cards with unique patterns to emulate them. These 100+ cards are collectable in packs that are found scattered around the story mode of Splatoon 3, as well as prizes from ranking up in online battles. Cards need to be placed strategically in order to claim a victory. My favorite card for an opening is probably Big Man, which has a power of seventeen tiles. My favorite card for strategic tile placement has to either go to the Fizzy Bomb, or the Splat Bomb. Both are great cards for filling up those tiny gaps left by other cards. With so many choices, there is a deck for everyone.

Although my standpoint on Tableturf Battles is mostly positive, there are a few minor issues I have with it. The most glaring issue with Tableturf Battles is that it can only be played against CPUs, and not other players. This limits the experience significantly, because what point does a competitive deck have if there is nobody to use it against? Another issue I have is with the customization of matches. There are set CPUs and maps to work with, so if someone wanted to fight against Sheldon in the default arena, then that is just too bad. Also, the fact that card packs are not purchasable can also limit the player, since cards are random from packs.

But all this aside, I truly do believe that Tableturf Battles are probably the best addition, other than the crab tank, to Splatoon 3. Plus, it can be played offline, so people can practice their skills on a long road trip, for hours of fun. The multiplayer issue will most likely be added in for a later update, so do not worry about that. Overall, they are a very fun addition to an already great game, and only add to the experience and variety of Splatoon 3.