Today, during the latest third-party focused Mini Direct, Nintendo finally announced a release date for Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope, his cartoonish take on a tactical game co-created with Ubisoft. It will release on October 20, 2022 exclusively on Nintendo Switch.
Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope, developed by Ubisoft Milan, made its first official appearance at the French mega-publisher’s E3 2021. But, if we are talking about technical details, tactical game leaked in advance, when it appeared on the Nintendo website a few hours before the presentation. Oops! Ironically, Ubisoft also revealed the game’s release date ahead of this official event.
As part of Mini Direct, Nintendo has released a new gameplay trailer demonstrating how combat works in a tactical and colorful sequel.
This time around, you can move freely before using your weapons, allowing you to charge at enemies and lead characters directly to cover or key locations on the map. It also looks like you no longer need to have Mario on your team, which should provide even more team combos and variety.
Nintendo also says that Ubisoft will reveal more about sparks of hope tomorrow during “special showcase” streams on Twitch and YouTube.
Like its 2017 predecessor, excellent Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle, sparks of hope is a turn-based tactical game starring characters from the Mushroom Kingdom and Ubisoft’s “don’t call them rabbits” mascots. Although these games have many attributes of similar tactical games (cough in XCOM), they are largely on their own. Instead of the linear movement that usually defines such games (cough in Fire Emblem), Kingdom battle bypass options are presented, which have long been staples in Mario games. Think warp tube travel or the ancient art of head-jumping. sparks of hope plays with this format even more, completely abandoning the grid-based system.
The first game starred Mario, Luigi, Princess Peach, and Yoshi, along with rabbit versions of these characters. (Ubisoft and Nintendo expanded the game to a well-received The Adventures of Donkey Kong extension.) Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope, meanwhile, will be presented with a list of nine people, including Rabbid Rosalina. Also just announced today, Bowser will become a playable member of the squad. It’s nice to see that he and Mario are getting along.
The first game remains one of my all-time favorite Switch games and I’m excited to play this new one when Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope breaks into our world on October 20, 2022.