‘Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle’ is the weirdest game from Ubisoft in years

Mustachioed plumber Mario isn’t exactly known for his role in tactical role-playing games, and Ubisoft’s Rabbids certainly aren’t known for anything but bizarre and loud casual games. Yet somehow, the two have collided into one world for what looks to be Ubisoft’s most inventive game in years. Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle is indeed real, and it’s coming exclusively to Nintendo Switch.

After the Rabbids find themselves transported to Mario’s world, Nintendo’s hero must team up with the cartoony animals in order to stop an infestation of malicious Rabbids that are now plaguing the Mushroom Kingdom. During exploration segments, Mario + Rabbids isn’t too different from a standard 3D Mario game, with the team collecting coins and solving basic environmental puzzles as they explore.

But when combat starts, it’s an entirely different game. As Mario and his team move into special “battle zones,” they can move around in a limited area and take cover behind objects. The combat is turn-based and appears similar to XCOM, and each character has unique abilities to take out opponents. Mario, for instance, can attack enemies as they move, while Rabbid Peach can produce a shield to protect her from incoming fire.

If a character uses one of the many Rabbid ear-topped pipes throughout the Mushroom Kingdom, they can zip into the battle and perform a quick combo attack. A “team jump” can also be used to deal extra damage, and certain pieces of cover can be manipulated to deal extra damage to enemies hiding behind them.

Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle‘s existence was already leaked, but we didn’t expect for the game to impress us this much. It’s Mario like we’ve never seen him before, and it looks like the perfect game to play on your Switch in handheld mode. The game hits the Switch on August 29. We’ll be practicing our “WAAAA” in anticipation. Check out more of our E3 2017 coverage here.