Ubisoft has officially confirmed Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope for Nintendo Switch, coming 2022.
It’s a follow up to one of the Nintendo Switch’s best third-party exclusives, Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle which was first released six months into the console’s life.
We were big fans of the original, where the colourful world of Mario met the intense strategic decision making of XCOM 2 – even if the sight of Mario and Peach packing heat felt more than a little incongruous.
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Ubisoft’s connection to the game comes from the Rabbids – rabbit-like creatures which first appeared in the Wii launch title Rayman Raving Rabbids before becoming an enormous franchise in their own right. The world of the Mushroom Kingdom and Rabbids collide with Rabbid versions of Mario, Luigi and Peach teaming up in tactical turn-based combat. Word has it that rather than being turned off by the madcap nature of the Rabbids on the precious Mario franchise, Nintendo encouraged Ubisoft to push things further.
From the clip Ubisoft showed, it looked like more of the same here albeit on a galactic scale. Indeed, one of the first characters we get a glimpse of appears to be a Luma from Mario Galaxy… only to turn out to be a Rabbid based version.
Earlier in the day, the Nintendo.com website accidentally published the game ahead of Ubisoft’s big reveal. It was swiftly taken down, but not before the description and accompanying media was widely shared.
“Team up with Mario, Luigi, Princess Peach, Rabbid Peach, Rabbid Luigi, and their friends on a galactic journey to defeat a malevolent entity and save your Spark companions,” the pulled description on the Nintendo site read. “Explore planets throughout the galaxy as you uncover mysterious secrets and compelling quests!”
The release date is listed as 2022 for Switch and Switch Lite consoles. Possibly the rumoured Switch Pro as well, if that’s unveiled at E3, but so far nothing has been confirmed on that score.