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Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope: Everything you need to know

Mario Rabbids Sparks Of Hope All Characters
(Image credit: Ubisoft)

Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle was one of the games to make it to Nintendo Switch in the hybrid console's first year. Through a seemingly strange mashup of characters, Ubisoft's Rabbids and the Mushroom Kingdom crew combined their worlds for a truly delightful strategy game, reminiscent of the gameplay found in XCOM. Now, the sequel, Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope will soon grace us with even more silly moments and tactical rounds. Plus, it's bringing Mario and his crew to space!

Latest news

(Image credit: Ubisoft)

As time goes on, we learn more and more about Sparks of Hope. Here are the latest news updates.

June 29 update: Sparks of Hope Showcase gives more insight into the game

On June 29, Ubisoft released a Sparks of Hope Showcase that revealed more about this upcoming strategy game. This included never-seen-before images and an explanation for the game's main plot. 

June 28, 2022 update: Nintendo Direct Mini shows off Bowser

During the June 2022 Nintendo Direct Mini, we learned that Bowser fights alongside Mario and his crew. We also learned the official release date of the game, which is October 20, 2022.

What is Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope?

Mario has found his way into a number of different crossovers over the decades, but Mario + Rabbids definitely stood out from the others. It's a strategy game that borrows elements from XCOM. You control Mario characters along with Rabbids who are dressed up like our favorite Mushroom Kingdom denizens, like Yoshi, Peach, and Luigi. Each character has its own class, attacks, and weapons, which you must utilize to survive turn-based combat encounters with evil Rabbids.

Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope is the sequel to the 2017 original, Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle, this time taking the crew of familiar Mario characters and their Rabbid doppelgangers into space. The team that worked on the first game has returned, including Creative Director David Soliani and composer Grant Kirkhope, responsible for the music of classic games like Banjo-Kazooie, Perfect Dark, and even the DK rap. We can definitely expect some bangers in this new game.

Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope: What's the plot?

Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope is a new adventure that sees the group traveling across space to defeat a malevolent entity known as Cursa while collecting Sparks. The group is joined by Rabbid Rosalina, as well as a new, green-haired Rabbid who wields a powerful sword. New enemies join the fight as well; in the sneak peek look at gameplay, we spotted Bob-Ombs and Goombas, as well as evil Rabbids that resemble Shy Guys and another Rabbid that's reminiscent of Captain Toad.

The Lumas from Super Mario Galaxy have been fused with the Rabbids, with each Luma imbuing party members with special abilities. In one gameplay trailer, we see Mario make use of a red Luma to call down a meteor shower. A blue and yellow Luma were also seen in the trailer, though it's unknown what power they'll grant. We think that these mutated Lumas might be the Sparks mentioned on the Nintendo eShop page.

In the cinematic trailer, we also see Mario wielding two guns in each hand, Luigi with a bow and arrow, and Peach with a cannon umbrella, so we expect lots of new weapons to be introduced as well.

Did Nintendo accidentally leak its own game?

(Image credit: Ubisoft)

It did! Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope was revealed ahead of Ubisoft's E3 2021 show by Nintendo themselves. The Nintendo eShop page went online too early, revealing that the game's reveal was imminent. The first game was also leaked ahead of its reveal back in 2017, so it's either Nintendo's way of keeping with tradition or a funny coincidence.

Playable characters in Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope?

(Image credit: Ubisoft (Screenshot))

In one trailer, we spotted Mario, Luigi, and Princess Peach, alongside Rabbid Mario, Rabbid Luigi, Rabbid Peach, and Rabbid Rosalina. Bowser has also appeared in the artwork, but it's unknown if he has a Rabbid counterpart.

The original game, Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle, also included Yoshi and his Rabbid doppelganger, but he wasn't in the trailer or promotional art. Donkey Kong and Rabbid Cranky, two characters introduced in the DLC chapter Donkey Kong Adventure, have also not appeared yet. There will be nine playable characters in total, according to the Nintendo eShop page.

Is Bowser playable?

(Image credit: Ubisoft)

As of right now, we know that Mario is "joined by Bowser" so it's assumed that players will be able to take control of him, but we don't have confirmation of this yet. Bowser joins Mario and friends because Cursa has taken his minions and he's on a quest to get them back. Sounds similar to why Bowser joins Mario in Super Mario RPG, huh?

When will Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope release?

(Image credit: Ubisoft)

During the June 2022 Nintendo Direct Mini we officially learned that Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope is releasing on October 20, 2022

Updated July 2022: Added information from the Nintendo Direct Mini and Sparks of Hope Showcase.

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Mario unites with Rabbids once again

Mario and his Mushroom Kingdom pals join together once more with their Rabbid counterparts for strategic battles. Use each character's strengths to get the upper hand on enemies as you make your way into space to defeat the big bad. 

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Rebecca Spear
Gaming Editor

Gaming aficionado Rebecca Spear is iMore's dedicated gaming editor with a focus on Nintendo Switch and iOS gaming. You’ll never catch her without her Switch or her iPad Air handy. If you’ve got a question about Pokémon, The Legend of Zelda, or just about any other Nintendo series check out her guides to help you out. Rebecca has written thousands of articles in the last six years including hundreds of extensive gaming guides, previews, and reviews for both Switch and Apple Arcade. She also loves checking out new gaming accessories like iPhone controllers and has her ear to the ground when it comes to covering the next big trend.