Mario is certainly no stranger to bizarre crossovers; after all, Nintendo’s iconic plumber has competed against his one-time rival Sonic the Hedgehog in more Olympic sports by now than most trained athletes. However, none of his previous collaborations have raised eyebrows quite like Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle, his joint adventure with Ubisoft’s Rabbids. Fans were bewildered, to put it politely, when the first piece of concept art of the rumored collaboration leaked online, which showed Mario and friends wielding gun-like weapons and accompanied by four bug-eyed Rabbids dressed like the Mushroom Kingdom heroes.

Despite this rather poor first impression, however, the game managed to defy all expectations when it was officially unveiled at E3 2017 this past June. We were pleasantly surprised by its depth and challenge when we recently got to go hands-on with with the strategy RPG, and that level of polish is just as apparent in the final build. In GameSpot’s Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle review, critic Edmond Tran said the game “triumphs in creating a magical game world that is undeniably delightful” and called it “a consistent delight.”

Reviews of Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle have begun cropping up online, and it appears other critics are just as taken with the game. We’ve collected a sample of other Mario + Rabbids reviews below. For a broader look at the game’s critical reception, be sure to check out GameSpot sister site Metacritic.

  • Game: Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle
  • Developer: Ubisoft Paris, Ubisoft Milan
  • Platform: Nintendo Switch
  • Release: August 29
  • Price: US $60 / £45 / AU $90

GameSpot — 9/10

“Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle exudes off-beat optimism that never dissolves. It’s a consistent delight, no matter how challenging the road becomes, because Kingdom Battle’s unique turn-based tactics system is in every way a pleasure to engage with. Coupled with the annoyingly infectious allure of Rabbids, and the always delightful, colorful world of the Mushroom Kingdom, Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle is an implausibly engrossing formula that is positively challenging and endlessly charming.” — Edmond Tran [Full review]

Eurogamer — Recommended

“On first sight of that leaked artwork, with Mario frowning and pointing his shark-nosed blaster into the camera, many wondered why Nintendo would ever have said yes to the pitch for Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle. It seems like such a risk. Even setting the guns and the wobbly tone aside, the Rabbids are not Sonic, and XCOM is not the Olympics. The game’s director Davide Soliani says that Rabbid Peach just made Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto laugh, and it’s true that character embodies a winningly silly sense of fun that permeates the game and is hard to resist. But Miyamoto will also have seen a game put together with great imagination, wit and prudence that makes its chosen genre easier to get along with while also refreshing it; that is at once simple and sophisticated; that fits clean and clever concepts together until they add up to a great deal more than the sum of their parts. And that man knows a beautifully designed video game when he sees one.” — Oli Welsh [Full review]

IGN — 7.7/10

“Based on its colorful world, beautiful animation, and source material you might expect Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle to be ‘My first turn-based tactics game.’ But you’re in for a surprise: even for XCOM vets some of its battles are challenging puzzles. Some of its tougher levels do devolve into a trial-and-error slog, but a good mix of enemies, objectives, and character abilities keep things interesting.” — Dan Stapleton [Full review]

Polygon — 8/10

“Mario + Rabbids manages to walk a narrow road, offering up a legitimately challenging squad tactics experience without alienating the family friendly Mario audience. While it doesn’t quite have the full layer of spit and polish of an in-house title, Ubisoft comes damn close to capturing that Nintendo magic.” — Russ Frushtick [Full review]

US Gamer — 4.5/5

“Mario + Rabbids is not a concept that I expected to get this much love. This is a legitimately great strategy experience, tailored toward the sensibilities of Nintendo and the capabilities of the Nintendo Switch. It’s a charming adventure for Mario, and the Rabbids don’t get in the way, even if they don’t necessarily add much either. In the same way that the original Super Mario RPG showed Square Enix using Nintendo’s property to create some magic, Mario + Rabbids delivers something close from Ubisoft. If you’re up for the challenge, pick up Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle. It’s worth it and I’m glad it exists.” — Mike Williams [Full review]

Game Informer — 8.5/10

“I was as skeptical as anyone when I heard the words ‘Mario’ and ‘XCOM’ uttered in the same sentence, but Kingdom Battle didn’t just prove me wrong–it ended up being my favorite Mario game in recent years. Nintendo and Ubisoft took a big risk working together outside their comfort zones, and that risk paid off.” — Jeff Marchiafava [Full review]

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