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Nintendo Switch  header logo

 NINTENDO SWITCH PREVIEW

Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle: Donkey Kong's Adventure Switch preview - Going bananas

Ape escape

Product: Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle | Publisher: Nintendo
For: Switch
 
Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle was the surprise hit of 2017 -a game initially mocked for its bizarre mash-up, it turned out to be an incredibly well-made strategy, and an essential purchase for Switch owners.

Ubisoft has supported it post-launch with various small bits of content to tide over fans, but it's finally gearing up to release a significant story DLC starring everyone's favourite simian, Donkey Kong.

It may have taken its sweet time coming, but after a good hour or more hands-on with the new content, we can say almost for certain that it was worth the wait.

Monkey business

Without spoiling too much of the main game, the Donkey Kong Adventure story kicks off with Rabbid Peach and robot guide Beep-0 being thrown to a whole new area of the Rabbids kingdom and teaming up with DK and a Rabbid version of Cranky Kong to try and get home.

This is an entirely separate story from the main game, so don't worry if you've not levelled up Rabbid Peach all that much - everyone starts from square one in terms of skills and weapons, and you'll need to build them up as you play.

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There's no major changes to gameplay to note, with your time divided between exploring environments to solve puzzles and find secrets, followed by turn-based, tactical battles with your squad.

You're still tasked with clearing missions in a certain number of turns for the highest rewards, and all the core gameplay elements are still there, but with a few twists for each character.

Donkey Kong, for example, attacks with a banana which can ricochet off enemies and deal additional damage to other foes in the vicinity. He can also smash the ground multiple times for an AOE move.

Still got it

He can't slide into opponents, however - you'll instead pick up your target, who can then be thrown off the stage or into other enemies for additional damage.

DK can also pick up boxes, bits of cover, and your own team members, the latter of which allows you to transport them across huge stretches of the map thanks to new Donkey Kong-only ramps.

Rabbid Cranky is a little more conventional and comes kitted out with a devastating shotgun, though his team jump now allows him to fly over enemies before blasting them with his weapon rather than simply jumping on their heads.

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These new moves don't switch up the gameplay too much, but they can make for some very entertaining moves, like throwing a Bounce box behind an enemy to launch them towards you and bring them out of cover.

The exploration sections have similarly not received much of an overhaul, but the new puzzles provide a welcome break from the intense fights you'll be facing.

A particular highlight was a Captain Toad-inspired time-trial puzzle involving raising platforms and pushing a barrel to the right point, something we hope there's more of in the finished product.

Go ape

Overall, Mario + Rabbid Kingdom Battle's Donkey Kong Adventure DLC doesn't make any huge changes to the formula, but its new additions make a convincing argument for lapsed fans to return.

If you loved the base game, then you're basically guaranteed to love this too - the new characters, moves, and puzzles are the icing on the cake for what is already a magnificent experience.

There's no clear release date just yet, but Ubisoft is promising a June 2018 launch, so expect it to land very soon indeed.
 

Reviewer photo
Ric Cowley 22 May 2018
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