Game Reviews

Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope review

Strategically charming

₹ 3,999

Mario and Rabbids' second adventure is more fun and more layered than the first game and this time it requires more creative thinking to work!

Sequels usually don’t end up creating as much excitement as the first time around but Mario + Rabbids improves over the previous game in every way possible. You’d be foolish to think that this is nothing more than a Mario game. The XCOM-style turned-based strategy is what makes this game an absolute delight. However, it’s the free-flowing movement and the healthy roster of heroes that add the real spark of hope to this flavourful sequel.

Story: Rabbiding plot

The plot of Sparks of Hope is rather simple. It’s occasionally straightforward but always charming in a Mario kind of way. Even if you skip through all the dialogues, the charming characters and their wacky personalities will immediately start to strike a chord. 

It’s a game that you can easily pick up and play whenever you’re travelling or hunker down and turn up the difficulty to make it challenging. It’s really up to you. The open-style floorboard allows Mario and the company to execute commands in very interesting ways. For instance, if you move close to an ally, they can help you jump over an obstacle and flank an enemy. There’s no grid system so the movement is limited by a radius inside which each character is allowed to move. It reminds us a lot about Gears Tactics and how that improved the XCOM formula.

Characters: Mario time

The characters are by far the most intriguing part of the game. Each character moves and behaves differently in a very distinct style. Mario runs exactly like how Mario would in other games meanwhile everyone else has their own little quirks and behaviours that make each encounter feel unique. Rabbid Luigi and Rabbid Peach are two of the wackiest of the lot. Rabbid Luigi has almost a skater-boy charm and often acts like a clueless child. Rabbid Peach on the other hand is a social media influencer who moves with her arms flailing out like she doesn’t care about anything. It’s funny and quite informative from a visual standpoint. It really encourages you to try out new characters as in when the roster expands throughout the story mode.


The Sparks add a new layer of combat abilities. There are so many different types of Sparks that the game constantly tempts you into customising your top three picks. Luckily, you don’t have to stick to any particular character for the sake of the story. From setting enemies on fire to turning invisible, the choices for Sparks are plenty. The game lets you choose your heroes before entering a battle. You can even choose to swap or assign Sparks before the combat begins.  

It also lets you see the combat arena before you choose your three heroes to drop in and vanquish evil. However, turn-based combat can either be a mindless activity or quickly turn challenging depending on the difficulty. On higher difficulty, the game offers plenty of noggin-scratching challenges if you don’t bring the right abilities to take out foes quickly. The Sparks bring elemental damage or buffs to your characters and enemies also can dish out elemental damage. So it’s only a matter of time before you lock into a game of rock, paper and scissors to take out enemies quickly.

Each hero also has different abilities. Mario has his dual pistols that can do a good amount of damage, meanwhile, Luigi has a single-shot sniper to take out enemies from afar. Princess Peach is primarily a protector but can also do area damage. Rabbid Mario is a bicep-kissing brawler with massive gauntlets for close combat area-based damage and a higher health reserve to take a beating as well.


Mario + Rabbids is one of our favourite games of this year and it really makes the Switch tempting again. This is an excellent game that manages to marry the charming legacy of Mario games with thought-provoking turn-based battles. There’s plenty of flexibility in its difficulty approach and the game gives you an extensive list of abilities to keep you happy for hours.

Stuff Says

The turn-based strategy game that ignites a new spark for Nintendo Switch fans
Good stuff
Bad stuff
  1. A big roster of characters

  1. Varied abilities make it fun

  1. Could be slightly easy for some

  1. Sparks add another layer of combat fun

  1. The main story is forgettable