Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle was released last year on the Nintendo Switch to much surprise and critical acclaim, for it paired something great, Mario, with something objectively bad, Rabbids, and smashed them together into a quick, deceptively simple, turn-based tactical roleplaying game. Its quick approach to movement and vibrant, colorful aesthetic made it a breath of fresh air in a rather overly serious genre, and the ability to play a few turns on the go made it a go-to game for many tactically minded fans and newcomers alike.
New downloadable content for the game has been teased for a bit and the game’s first large expansion, Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle: Donkey Kong Adventure, has been detailed today with new gameplay trailer (see below) and a developer interview. The expansion sees the core mechanics and conceit of base Mario + Rabbids brought to the tropical realm of Donkey Kong and friends as they try to win their island back from an evil Rabbid Kong. In addition to an entire new island to explore, numerous gameplay mechanics, weapon types and enemy types have been added to the game in order to make the experience feel as new and refreshing as Mario + Rabbids initially felt.
Donkey Kong himself is the leader of the titular party that the core adventure follows, and he is more of a close-quarters tactician, his fists and bongos being his weapons of choice, with the added ability to throw bananas as well as enemy items and cover for some long-range opportunities. He can also move relatively fast, and jump barriers and gaps at designated ramp-like spots on the world-map/battlefield(s). The other newly added character is Rabbid Cranky Kong, who is unequivocally the greatest thing to ever happen to videogames. He is unstable but incredibly strong in combat, with a cane that has multiple versions—shotgun, sniper, etc.—and he rides around the map on a little unicycle thing because, you know, he’s old and stuff. This makes him a surprisingly well-rounded and mobile addition to the game’s combat language. Rounding out the party is Rabbid Peach, who more or less functions the same as she does in the core Mario + Rabbids experience.
The new island itself is not just a backdrop for combat, but rather a complex world that is rife with puzzles and easter eggs that beg the player to explore every nook and cranny during their adventure on the island. This is similar to the first game and yet, the exploration and puzzles in the first game felt like a genuine afterthought. Hopefully, the developers have taken that to heart and crafted a more fleshed-out, fully realized exploratory experience outside of the robust tactical combat experience.
The main adventure in Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle: Donkey Kong Adventure is said to take over 10 hours to complete, and the various exploratory and puzzle-like activities, challenges and numerous opportunities for creativity through tactical experimentation will add even more game time to the DLC as a whole.
There is no release date yet, but Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle: Donkey Kong Adventure is set to release sometime in June. Until then, check out this new developer interview that showcases the new island, combat and enemy types.