LOS ANGELES – Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle is the game from E3 2017 that I didn’t know I wanted until I saw it. When I first heard that Nintendo’s Mario and Ubisoft’s Rabbids would be coinhabiting a game world, I assumed it’d be yet another forgettable party game, which would hold gamers’ attention for exactly as long as it took the novelty to wear off.

I could not have been more wrong. Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle is a turn-based tactical game with role-playing elements, more like XCOM or Valkyria Chronicles than Mario Party. Ubisoft let me go hands-on with the game, and to my surprise, it’s not only creative and unexpected – it’s also challenging, ambitious and a whole lot of fun. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild didn’t convince me to get a Switch; Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle just might.

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