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Ubisoft’s newest game is Final Fantasy’s Fort Condor with Rabbids

A Rabbid holds an umbrella gun in Rabbids: Legends of the Multiverse.

It’s been a busy few weeks for Ubisoft. The publishing giant released a big shooter with XDefiant, launched The Rogue Prince of Persia into early access, and shook up the development team behind The Prince of Persia: Sands of Time remake. That all happened ahead of the company’s annual Ubisoft Forward live show next week. In the middle of all that chaos, you might have missed that the publisher snuck out another new game.

Rabbids: Legends of the Multiverse is out now exclusively on iOS devices via Apple Arcade. The new mobile title is a cross between a traditional deck builder and a strategy game where players have to fight off waves of foes by summoning allies via cards. Of course, it’s infused with the hyperactive charm of Ubisoft’s most chaotic mascots, making for a more kid-friendly version of its hybrid genres. While it may not be as strategically satisfying as the more tactical Mario + Rabbids series, this bite-sized oddity shows what kinds of games are a snug fit for a platform like Apple Arcade.

Fort Rabbids

In Rabbids: Legends of the Multiverse, players control an unlucky Rabbid who finds themself at the center of an intergalactic mishap. After a scientist gives them a camera that can take instant photos of any critter and spit it out as a card capable of summoning it, our little hero gets dragged across time periods in a spacefaring washing machine. It’s a simple setup that mostly serves as an excuse to bring players to themed biomes like a fantasy realm and a Wild West world. It’s cute enough for young players, even if the theming isn’t terribly creative.

What’s more intriguing is its strategic gameplay, the closest parallel to which is Final Fantasy VII‘s Fort Condor minigame. In each stage, the player character auto walks down a straight lane as enemies approach. Armed with a deck of 12 cards, players spend energy to summon Rabbids and other creatures to protect the hero during their march. An energy gauge at the bottom slowly refills throughout the level. Each card generally requires two to five pips of energy in order to summon the Rabbid within. It’s a game of management, as players need to be strategic about how they’re spending energy throughout.

Rabbids battle in the old west in Rabbids: Legends of the Multiverse.

In my go-to deck, for instance, I had a few lowenergy summons like archers who could pluck away at approaching enemies from afar. That gives me a little space to build up my gauge by the time they get close, letting me drop a bulky Rabbid that can tank damage. That’s a four cost card, though, and sometimes I might find that I need to pivot on the fly. When the screen fills up with enemies, I might want to play a card that rains down toilet plungers on all enemies to take out a pack of rats or flock of birds. Small decision-making moments like that reward players who tool around with their deck and try to mix up their allies.

That solid foundation is surrounded by a few shiny hooks that encourage players to grind out its 50 quick story levels and amass resources. There’s an extensive upgrade system that lets players power up cards using coins and other currencies like crowns. (Thankfully, there’s no way to buy those with real money as this is an Apple Arcade exclusive.) The main attraction, though, is an online PvP mode where two players go head-to-head for three minutes to see who can defeat the other’s hero first. It almost plays like a more real-time version of Hearthstone, with players juggling mana to overwhelm the opponent’s forces and attack them directly.

While clever, the concept does feel a little limited. Story missions offer some delight thanks to some comedic cutscenes and goofy Rabbid foes, but each level more or less feels the same. I’m generally just walking down a straight line, summoning my allies strategically, and taking out a boss at the end. It feels a bit more like a minigame that would appear in a larger Rabbids game — another way in which it feels linked to Fort Condor.

That scope does work for the platform it’s on, though. I don’t get the sense that the developers want players to blaze through its entire story in one repetitive sitting. The levels and matches are meant to take a few short minutes each, making it the right length for a “waiting around” game. I banged out some levels while lounging on an airplane, eating a burrito, and casually kicking back in a hotel room. It’s not quite an auto-battler, but the limited hands-on time needed means you can lay your phone down on a table and poke at it while drinking something with the other hand. While mobile games can be as complex and active as console ones these days, sometimes this is the kind of pace I want when I have a few distracted minutes to spare.

Rabbids battle in a street in Rabbids: Legends of the Multiverse.

To Apple’s credit, it’s been smart about nabbing games like this for its service in recent years. Titles like this or Puyo Puyo Puzzle Pop aren’t going to wow players or rake in awards, but they truly do make the service feel like a proper arcade. At this point, I’ve got a nice rotation of games that I can pluck away at for a few minutes at a time. The service’s commitment to updating titles helps that, giving me good reason to keep them installed longer than I normally would. That’ll benefit Rabbids if it gets updates, as its deck-building potential is a little too limited at launch with its modest card lineup.

If you’re already an Apple Arcade subscriber, this is the exact kind of curiosity that probably keeps you paying every month. If you’re not one already, this isn’t likely to move the needle. Its a bit repetitive and its loud humor will be an acquired taste (it’s mostly for kids, who will gulp it down like a sugary fountain drink). But it is the kind of game that’ll be a pleasant surprise in your backlog if you ever do decide to give the service a try.

Rabbids: Legends of the Multiverse is available now on iOS via Apple Arcade.

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Giovanni Colantonio
Giovanni is a writer and video producer focusing on happenings in the video game industry. He has contributed stories to…
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