If somebody told me during the Switch Announcement that Nintendo would be partnering with Ubisoft for a Mario/Rabbids crossover game, I’d have called them crazy. Then, if they proceeded to tell me that it would be an XCOM-esque strategy game and a fantastic title, I’d probably have tuned you out at that point. Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle is a surprisingly solid strategy game, one that rivals even XCOM in terms of entertainment value.
The story is fairly simple, the Rabbids have gotten their hands on a device that merges two things into one. Then proceed to merge themselves into the Super Mario universe, and wreak havoc upon the Mushroom Kingdom with their new device. The story has a few cameos and complications along the way but the premise is still simple to its core. A few of the Rabbids have merged with some iconic items, and have created Super Mario versions of the Rabbids. Throughout your journey you will be accompanied by other Super Mario characters, as well as Rabbids dawning classic Mario outfits.
The word XCOM is thrown around a lot when describing how Rabbids plays, and it is hard to find a better fitting word. Combat is turn-based, the characters are given a certain number of movements and abilities to perform each turn. Once you are through, the enemies perform their turn until one side is gone. The simplicity leads the way for some creative strategy however. For example, in one turn your character could dash into an enemy for a melee attack, team jump off an ally to a safe location, and then fire upon another enemy. Stringing together the attacks in this way feels very satisfying and allows the player to pull off some fantastic combos.