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Lifewire / Kelsey Simon
Long cut scenes
Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle is a bright and humorous turn-based tactical role-playing game perfect for all ages.
Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle is a turn-based tactical role-playing game focused on combining the humor of Rabbids with the world of Mushroom Kingdom. It brings together bright graphics with well-balanced gameplay, creating a fun experience for any age. We played Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle on the Switch, taking a close look at its plot, gameplay, graphics, and appropriateness for kids. We loved every minute of it.
Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle will require a Switch cartridge to play unless you’ve purchased the downloadable version of the game. The setup is simple, once you have it installed and launched, just select the normal game mode and start your adventure. The game automatically saves after battles, or when you enter a new chapter, so you don‘t have to worry about it. Just take care you don’t accidentally quit the game in the middle of a battle because you’ll have to start it all over again.
The story starts off following a tech guru, in what looks like our world. He’s designed some sort of new headset, but suddenly, from the depths of a washing machine, Rabbids pour into his room. Known as mischievous, alien-like creatures, they create chaos while one gets its hands on the newly invented headset. It fuses to his face, opening a vortex between their world and Mario’s. Your goal in the game is to battle your way through Mushroom Kingdom, fighting the crazy Rabbids who‘ve been infected by the fused headset. Your goal is to catch this Rabbid, and set him free from the control of the powerful headset.
This introduction to the story comes through a fairly long cut scene. We were a little irked at just how long it is, but once you finally get past it, you’ll be introduced to the first three characters of the game: Mario, Rabbid Luigi, and Rabbid Peach. From there, you’ll journey through Mushroom Kingdom, which has been strangely altered by the Rabbid invasion. As you play, you’ll be prompted to engage in battles, forcing you to fight mini-bosses and main bosses.
Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle strikes a nice balance between suitable for children, while still being challenging enough for adults to love.
The plot in Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle isn’t too complicated and mostly comes across through dialogue. There‘s a nice back and forth between Mario and a little bot you travel with, sent to you across the vortex by the tech guru who started this whole mess. There’s a funny, witty sense of humor to the whole throughout the game, which will appeal to kids. It does come across as a bit childish at times, but as an adult, that we never cringed too hard.
Check out our guide to the best Nintendo Switch games for kids.
Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle is a turn-based tactical role-playing game (think Fire Emblem). To break it down, in Mario + Rabbids you are given a party of three people. You’ll progress across a map, and come across battles. These battles have set maps, with set boundaries. At the start of each battle, you’ll be shown the other enemies on the board, your position compared to theirs, and whatever your goal is for that battle.
Each character then gets to take their turn. You’ll be shown the squares you can move to per turn, and which enemies are within range to attack. You need to plan carefully who to take down, and how you’re going to move across the map without exposing your characters to danger. Each turn you’ll have to think tactically to counter enemy moves while making your own attacks.
Aside from regular battles where you must defeat all the enemies, the game also has battles with different victory conditions. For example, one is helping Toad across the battlefield while keeping him safe or getting your own characters across the map without losing anyone.
The variety is what helps keep things interesting―that and the mini-bosses and bosses you fight. In one battle, you’ll face a Rabbid version of Donkey Kong. In another, you’ll have to fight a Rabbid duo, one of which can throw ice at you, the other flaming rocks. The bosses are creative and take a lot more tactical consideration compared with the regular fights.
The plot in Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle isn’t too complicated and mostly comes across through dialogue.
As you go, you’ll also unlock new weapons for each character, and even be able to pick special abilities, such as Rabbid Peach’s heal or Rabbid Luigi’s vampire dash. You’ll have to be clever about how you use these special abilities in each fight, they can make the difference between victory or defeat.
After the first chapter, you’ll be sent to Peach’s castle. There, the normal, friendly Rabbids have begun building. You can buy weapons from their new battle station, use a washing machine to replay completed levels, and set up a museum with special art pieces from loot you‘ve gathered. There is also a Buddydome, where you can fight certain battles with a friend. In Versus mode, each person picks three characters for battle. You’ll pick a map, then the two of you can fight it out. This adds another great feature to an already great game.
Take a peek at our guide to the best Mario Party games.
The graphics of Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle are exactly as they should be. They’re bright, colorful, fun, and creative. One map is built of wooden blocks, another of cacti and drums, a third with ice and snow. If you pay close attention, you’ll see lots of Mario references tucked away in the scenery, but with a twist because the Rabbids have altered things. For instance, there‘s a random toilet you come across early on, with a rubber ducky in the water and a Rabbid riding it. The humor in the writing is brought across beautifully in the graphics, tying all the other elements of this game together perfectly.
Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle strikes a nice balance between being suitable children, while still being challenging enough for adults to love it too. The humor will probably set certain kids giggling, and at least pull a small smile from adults. The graphics are youthful in design, with bright colors and cute characters. The craziness the Rabbids cause is also funny, likely appealing more to children than adults. Sometimes the game can get a little difficult, but for young children, you can set the game to easy.
Whether an adult or a child, you’ll find hours of gameplay to keep you entertained.
As with other Switch games, Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle costs the usual $60 (MSRP). You might be able to catch it on sale at some point, but this is a Switch game we believe is worth the full price. Whether an adult or a child, you’ll find hours of gameplay to keep you entertained. Replayability also helps make the game feel worthwhile. There’s plenty to do, from fighting battles again to gain a perfect score, to solving every puzzle, and unlocking all the special art pieces available.
If you enjoyed the fighting system in Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle, you should look for other turn-based tactical RPGs. On the Switch, one option is Fire Emblem. The battles will be on a grander scale, and the game won’t have the same Mario feel, but the fighting system should be similar. It’s a bit more on the adult side and might be challenging for some younger player. XCOM or XCOM 2 aren’t available for the Switch, but are another turn-based tactical RPG worth checking out. If the Mario part was what you enjoyed, we would suggest trying Super Mario Odyssey. It will have similar graphics and storytelling, but with more adventure and platforming.
Highly suggested, for all ages.
Mario+Rabbids Kingdom Battle is among our favourite games for the Nintendo Switch. The gameplay is smooth and the battles are balanced, offering casual fun without being aggravatingly difficult. The story and graphics are also well designed, and flow nicely with the gameplay. We recommend it for adults and kids alike.