Nintendo’s Mario is teaming up with Ubisoft’s bizarre rabbids in a new game that might be your next favorite Switch title.Mario is coming to Nintendo’s (NTDOY) new Switch console, but he’s sharing the spotlight with some relative unknowns. Ubisoft’s “Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle” is a turn-based strategy-style game co-starring Ubisoft’s (UBSFF) own rabbids, cartoonish bugged-eyed rabbits.
It’s a bizarre mash-up to be sure, but it somehow works surprisingly well. And while I was certainly hesitant about the title when Ubisoft first debuted it during E3 2017, but I’m changing my tune after spending about three hours with Mario and the rabbids.
Not your typical Mario game
The first thing you need to understand about “Mario + Rabbids” is that it isn’t your typical Mario game. You’re not going to spend your time jumping from platform to platform, smashing goombas and kicking turtle shells.
Instead, you’ll take control of Mario and up to two other teammates, including rabbids cosplaying as Mario characters, as you traverse various areas of the Mushroom Kingdom. Of the lot, my favorite is the sassy Rabbid Peach and her expert selfie-snapping skills.
You’ll need to plot out your moves, though, as you can only move your team a certain number of spaces along the checkerboard-style battle area and attack a certain number of times before your turn is over and the enemies take over.
Who are your enemies? Evil rabbids, though they’re likely being manipulated by a greater, more dangerous force. I didn’t get a chance to dig into the backstory for the game too much.
What I did get to dig into, though, was a Mushroom Kingdom that is every bit as fully realized as those seen in traditional standalone Mario titles. Ubisoft pours on the love with references to Nintendo’s characters and games throughout “Mario + Rabbids.” There’s even a special Broadway-inspired tune one enemy sings that will bring a smile to any Nintendo fan’s face.
A different kind of Mario game
Your goal in “Mario + Rabbids” is to defeat the evil rabbids that are running amuck in the Mushroom Kingdom, and to do that you’ll need some serious firepower, literally.
In “Mario + Rabbids,” Mario and his two other party members do battle using specialized guns that warp the evil rabbids they encounter out of the world. As you progress through the game, you’ll unlock new, more powerful guns that have varying affects on your enemies. Get a gun that has a honey…