Like Champagne and fried chicken, mixing Nintendo's Mario characters with Ubisoft's hyperactive minion-like Rabbids might sound like nonsense on paper, but once you get your hands on it, you'll wonder why it took so long for something like this to come together. In 2017, Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle was a surprise hit on the Nintendo Switch when it was released in 2017, going on to become one of the best-selling games on the Switch as well as one of the best strategy games available. With its sequel, Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope, on the way, you might be interested in exploring the bizarre world of Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle beforehand. In that case, prepare yourself for a Mario adventure like no other with the ultimate guide to Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle.
What is Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle?
Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle is a strategy game in the same vein as XCOM. You take control of two Mario characters and at least one Rabbid doppelganger, and you must utilize each character's unique set of skills to best enemy forces in some wacky tactical combat. Mario and company are equipped with guns that have different effects and a limited number of turns. Find cover and complete the objective without getting knocked out yourself. The objectives are:
- Defeat All: This is the most common type of mission, and it means you have to defeat all the enemies on the field to advance.
- Reach Area: Typically, these missions have an endless stream of enemy Rabbids that will keep attacking you until you reach a highlighted area of the map. Only one of your team members must make it to the designated area to win the battle.
- Defeat Boss: As you progress throughout the story, you will encounter difficult Rabbid enemies, like Rabbid Kong. Other Rabbids will often accompany these enemies; however, you'll only need to defeat the boss to clear the map.
Outside of battle, the game is broken up into worlds that have chapters, much like many Mario games that have come before. Between each battle, you'll be able to lead BEEP-0 and your squad through what's left of the wacky Mushroom Kingdom and collect coins, travel through pipes, use cannons to reach new platforms, find chests, and more.
What's the story?
Mario + Rabbids starts fairly unassuming at first. An invention called the SupaMerge, created by an unknown but intelligent young girl has the ability to merge any two things together; however, it's not working quite right. When the girl leaves her desk to take a break, the Rabbids appear in what appears to be a dimension-hopping washing machine and almost instantly begin to merge things.
Of course, this goes horribly wrong, and soon the SupaMerge is merging everything insight, and the dimension-traveling washing machine ends up in the Mushroom Kingdom.
From here, the sentient robot known as BEEP-0 finds Mario and asks him if he will help put the Mushroom Kingdom back together and stop the Rabbid that has the SupaMerge from destroying more worlds.
Who is playable?
When the Mushroom Kingdom is in peril, Mario and his friends rise to the occasion. Mario, Luigi, Princess Peach, and Yoshi are all playable, as well as their Rabbid doppelgangers, Rabid Mario, Rabbid Luigi, Rabbid Peach, and Rabbid Yoshi. Each character has a different skill, damage output, weapon availability, and other stats, so don't be afraid to see what combo of three characters makes the best team!
Donkey Kong Adventure, Donkey Kong, and Rabbid Cranky are playable in the DLC episode, but only in the DLC.
What's so special about the music?
Davide Solani, the creative director, went out of his way to hire Grant Kirkhope to compose the music for the game. For those who don't know, Grant Kirkhope is a musician best known for his contributions to video games and the man responsible for the DK Rap. Grant Kirkhope worked on N64 classics like the Banjo Kazooie series, Donkey Kong 64, and Perfect Dark and has a portfolio that touches everything from Minecraft Dungeons to World of Warcraft.
Is there multiplayer?
Yes, and it all takes place in the Buddy Dome. There's no online multiplayer, but you can play co-op missions with a friend locally. In the coop campaign, each player takes control of two characters each, completing the objectives set before you. The more you play single-player mode, the more levels will be unlocked in the Buddydome. If you want to try it out, make sure you have an extra controller to spare.
Is there DLC?
Mario + Rabbids has a Season Pass available for $20. The Season Pass includes 5 co-op exclusive maps, 8 new hard challenges, and cosmetics for your weapons. But the real selling point is Donkey Kong Adventure, a whole separate chapter that sends BEEP-0 and Rabbid Peach to DK island where they meet Donkey Kong and Rabbid Cranky, and they must work together to stop Rabbid Kong. It's a lengthy DLC chapter, complete with new combat levels and a brand-new world to explore.
How much does it cost?
Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle is available for $60 but is often discounted to as low as $10. There is also a Gold Edition available that includes the Season Pass DLC. Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle is often heavily discounted, so watch the Nintendo eShop or online retailers for discounts.
An unexpected combination
Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle is a tactical strategy game that blends the Raving Rabbids with a cast of familiar Mario characters in an adventure like no other.
Updated June 2021: Updated with up-to-date information about Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle.
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Zackery Cuevas is a writer for Windows Central, Android Central, and iMore. He likes playing video games, talking about video games, writing about video games, and most importantly, complaining about video games. If you're cool, you can follow me on Twitter @Zackzackzackery.