‘Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle’ for Switch adds competitive mode in free update

Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle currently features a great single-player mode as well as cooperative challenges, but Ubisoft isn’t stopping there. On Friday, December 8, the game will add a competitive mode — and it’s absolutely free for all players.

“‘Versus’ challenges players to handpick their three-hero squads and use every attack and technique available to them to claim victory across small, surprise-filled maps,” Ubisoft’s Mikel Reparaz said in an announcement on the UbiBlog.

Because the characters you choose haven’t been enhanced with weapons and abilities acquired during a campaign run, the Versus mode will let you choose three pre-upgraded characters. In addition to the standard equipment, you can also pick options suited to a particular element, Such as melee attacks. Contrary to the story mode, you’re free to have a team of only Rabbids or only Mario characters.

But your actions will be much more limited than in the story mode. With only three actions per turn, you’ll have to plan your moves carefully, as a character who leaves his position might not be able to return before the enemy team has a chance to strike. Teams can get the competitive advantage over their opponents by finding special power-up blocks, which provide bonuses such as extra turns, on each map. The full matches won’t last particularly long, but you can increase the number of turns in case you want to have an endurance match.

“And just to be sure that things heat up near the end, there’s the ‘Showtime,’ option, which kicks in as the match nears its end and turns regular items into super items, while also opening up new ways to get around the map, like pipes or trampolines,” Reparaz said. “If one team is on the ropes, these are a potential lifeline that can yank them back into the lead.”

Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle caught us by surprise when it launched in August, as it managed to mix the charm of both Mario and the Rabbids with strategic gameplay similar to X-COM. It’s available now exclusively for Nintendo Switch, and it shouldn’t be overlooked when shopping for gifts this holiday season.