Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle


Ooh, nice. I was kicking myself for missing the $30 Black Friday deal, but this is almost as good.

Anyone played this multiplayer? Seems like it could make a great introduction to tactics games if it’s reasonably full-featured and not just a throwaway.

And how are the new weapons from the DLC handled? I like the idea of getting another set of levels from the season pass, but hate when games dump a bunch of overpowered promo weapons on you from the get-go and throw off their own balance.


The season pass is $20 so the bundle doesn’t save you any money. Just wait for all the dlc to come out first to make sure it’s good and then it’ll probably be discounted too in the future.


Buying anything the day before Xenoblade Chronicles 2 releases? Crazy! :)


That’s what I was thinking, too.

@Profanicus which is fine, since I have no intention of buying it


Free local versus mode coming tomorrow!


Aw, I have no local friends to versus with. I can imagine this being a blast if you’re well matched.


Totally grabbing that. Awesome.


I’m playing this now, and while the battles are entertaining, who thought that the overworld traversal was anything like a good idea? I know that you need something in between battles, but mazes and sokoban? Kill me.


I thought the light puzzling in the overworld fit in well for what the game is. They just screwed up by requiring you to do multiple passes through the worlds as you get more powers; after the first time you’ve already seen all the gags etc., so the second time around is considerably less interesting.


Yeah, the backtracking/repetition through uninteresting mazes is actually where most of my annoyance comes from.


You only have to do one additional pass which includes new challenges and the secret chapter. The new ability you get at the end of each world is for the secrets in that world and future worlds so the backtracking is limited. You shouldn’t be repeating much besides the wandering around to be honest.

The puzzling I found light, quick, varied and occasionally smart, certainly nothing worse than the shrines I remember doing in Zelda!


This was a lovely read by Jake Solomon:

As I said in my Quarterlies entry, it’s the movement in Mario + Rabbids that sets it apart from XCOM and what made it such a joy to me:

Playing Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle, I had many moments where I laughed out loud, or felt a twinge of jealousy at a particularly clever mechanic, or felt that most coveted gaming moment: the exhilaration of a worthy challenge finally overcome. All of this happened in a game in a genre I supposedly know as intimately as anyone can.

Mario + Rabbids reminded me of how much I still have to learn as a designer. Making XCOM is very rewarding. It is also excruciating. Every version is a yearslong process fraught with stress, doubt and long, long hours. When it’s that hard to do something well, you can convince yourself that you must be doing it right. Innovating on core concepts seems not only risky, but wrong somehow. As a designer, your vision narrows, and any challenges to your core design pillars sound like heresy.

What a joy, then, to have another team come along and upend your thinking, showing you that there is always room to improve on old concepts. For example, in XCOM, moving a soldier is typically a simple case of running them from cover A to cover B. That’s how it’s always been, and it’s not something I ever thought of changing. Until I played Mario + Rabbids, that is, where movement is a chain of interesting decisions like springboarding off of your squadmates, sliding through your enemies, rolling through warp tunnels — all before you fire a single shot. Movement in Kingdom Battle adds a whole new layer of tactical interest to every turn. It jolted me into reconsidering one of XCOM’s design principles.


Nice piece. Hope he’s also inspired to do a version of X com for the switch.


Yeah, great article, thanks @geggis . Just finished world 1 yesterday. I handled the boss battle pretty well. I ended up with Luigi getting knocked out of the field in the transition to the second stage, which I had no idea was coming, and being very low on health as a result. So I had to play it very carefully with him after that. I made a bold move with Mario toward the end, again not expecting a certain enemy would appear, which ended up costing me a perfect rating. Tempting to redo the fight to keep everyone alive, but not sure it is really worth that.


I read that yesterday too and it’s such an excellent read! I’m having so much fun playing through the game on my commute.

I just hit the 3rd set of stages (the halloween-themed area) and don’t really see myself stopping anytime soon, which is amazing considering my history of trying turn-based games (including XCOM) and giving up on them early on.

I think Steamworld Heist is the only other turn-based strategy game I’ve ever successfully stuck with.


I still want to get this game but that article pushed it even further out. I prefer the more random, less puzzle style tactics than the narrow, this way or the highway alternatives.


I just started this too, and also really liking it. The emphasis on dynamic movement shenanigans makes for a very different feeling than most tactics games.


I don’t fully agree. Aside from the bonus stages (which are explicitly puzzles, like “kill all enemies in 1 turn”), the stages are puzzle-y, but not single-solution puzzles. I mean, you can choose your units from a list of about 10, so there’s going to be all sorts of potential combinations.

Getting a perfect rating in each mission can be slightly puzzle-y, but that’s mostly about identifying a correct general approach, more than specific actions each turn. A perfect rating is based on # turns, and 0 deaths, but you have a lot of leeway in terms of who takes non-fatal damage and when.

It isn’t even as puzzle-y as, say, Fire Emblem can be.


@Misguided Yeah, that boss was one of the more frustrating ones for me. I really struggled dodging those attacks and kept retrying to get that Perfect score. The cover is brutal and the timing unpredictable.

@LMN8R I’m not too great at sticking with turn-based games either but, yeah, both this and Steamworld Heist I breezed through and thoroughly enjoyed.

@Gendal What @CLWheeljack said. The challenges can be puzzle-y but most of the campaign battles and bosses are plenty wide and chaotic enough for various approaches and reactive play. The stellar movement is instrumental in keeping a lot of options open too.


I think this is exactly right. Not puzzles so much as puzzle-y.