Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope is the upcoming sequel to the most bizarre collaboration in gaming since Kingdom Hearts intertwined Disney and Final Fantasy. Ubisoft’s intentionally annoying Rabbids franchise and Nintendo’s iconic Super Mario series collided in 2017’s Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle, and it was met with open arms and much acclaim.
It successfully combined strategic combat, crude humor and Mario’s charming visual style. Now the sequel will take players to space and face a new enemy in different worlds. Here’s everything we know about Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope, including info on the release date, gameplay, story, setting and more.
Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope release date
Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope launches on October 20, as revealed during a Nintendo Switch Direct Mini that went live in June. Pre-orders are now live (opens in new tab).
A tweet from Geoff Keighley confirms that Ubisoft will launch Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope, Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora, and Skull & Bones between April 2022 and April 2023. And now that we’re in April, we can probably expect some updates to these games. Last month, a massive leak of Ubisoft’s future lineup revealed details about an Immortals Fenyx Rising sequel and new Prince of Persia. Sparks of Hope is also featured on the cover of this month’s Edge Magazine, further bolstering confidence in the game’s release date.
Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope gameplay
Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope lets players control a group of three characters, traversing vibrant worlds with turn-based battle scenarios plotted throughout the journey. To emerge victorious, players must use their ability to attack, make team jumps, and activate special moves. The dash attack allows characters to use their limited movement to run through enemies and deal a certain amount of damage. And with team jump, characters can use each other as trampolines to reach higher ground or bridge gaps.
Characters like Mario can even deal damage on a team jump by landing on an enemy’s head. Each character gains special moves, where Luigi can automatically shoot an enemy that performs a move action in his line of sight. Mario can also give his party members a boost that increases their damage, assuming they are close enough to him.
Each character can be customized with their own primary and secondary weapons. For example, Mario used both a blaster and a hammer to swat enemies, while Luigi features a long-range sniper and an explosive robot that follows enemies to their doom. Players buy new versions of these weapons with gold coins, and each comes with modifiers that can glue enemies with honey or make them bounce off you.
In Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope, the combat movement changes drastically. Players will no longer select where to go with a cursor, but will have the ability to move them freely on the battlefield. Kingdom Battle had the players walk linear paths with forced encounters plotted alongside them. Sparks of Hope seems to have open areas with enemies around the world who will throw you into an instance battle if they come into contact with you. This is quite exciting, as it encourages exploration and allows the player to avoid combat if they want to.
September’s Ubisoft Forward opened with a new take on Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Home. It begins with a cinematic trailer of a series of Rabbids dancing on a beach with Mario, Luigi and Princess Peach.
Then we got a first look at one of the game’s quests and got to see a big fight. The video covers the Terra Flora area, a series of floating islands with giant pink clouds and tons of greenery.
Secrets, collectibles to collect and lots of NPC interactions. We can reveal hidden paths and interact with the environments in other ways to unlock secrets. We see Mario, Luigi and Rabbid Rosalina get on a train to the top of the volcano in the region. However, the train is chased by One Angry Wiggler, who starts the big fight against him.
We get a brief overview of how players can prepare for battle in advance, equip sparks, prepare weapons and determine skills. We see Bowser using a Bowzooka and the other teammates teaming up and using their Sparks to gain the upper hand. Mario uses a Spark that lures enemies in before using one of his special abilities. We see Bowser knocked out completely, forcing Mario to use his stomp attack to keep jumping on enemies before destroying the One Angry Wiggler once and for all, protecting the train from destruction.
Obviously Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Home requires a lot of teamwork between all the group members to survive these battles. If you’ve played the previous game, you know pretty well how difficult it can get later. With all the strategies available here, especially thanks to the unique Sparks, it seems like there are countless ways to play.
Most importantly, Rayman has been confirmed to be coming to Mario + Rabbids as part of the game’s third DLC. We probably won’t see it for a while, but it’s at least exciting to know it exists.
Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope Story
Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle begins with a genius inventor with a powerful technology accidentally stolen by Rabbids. Her faithful robot companion, Beep-0, is sucked into a wormhole that launches him into an alternate dimension where Mario and his friends reside. With this technology, a confused Rabbid accidentally mixes a number of different characters from the Mario universe with his own kind, causing the Mario + Rabbid hybrid monster to run rampant.
In Sparks of Hope, players fly into space when the Luma from Super Mario Galaxy and Rabbids interact to create Sparks. Now a dangerous villain named Cursa is on a mission to consume as many Sparks as possible in hopes of taking over the universe.
Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope Trailer
Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope has received two trailers. The first is a pre-rendered movie showing how the DNA between Luma and Rabbids somehow crossed, creating the titular Sparks. Suddenly, the bony hands of a mysterious figure crush some Sparks in a projection. Our heroes then head to the arsenal, pick up their weapons and get ready to save the universe.
Shortly after, Rabbid Rosalina is revealed, and as our heroes disembark from their ship on a mysterious planet, we see that each has an elemental spark floating above them. Rabbid Rosalina’s Spark is ice blue, Rabbid Peach’s Spark is fiery red, and Mario’s Spark glistens with yellow dust. A whole host of bad guys surround our heroes, that’s when they all come together for a big fight, and the title screen appears.
The second Sparks of Hope trailer gives fans a taste of what to expect from the game. Unlike its predecessor, it will have open areas that will allow players to explore it non-linearly. Instead of battles taking place at key moments on a forced path, it seems that if you get too close to a wandering enemy, it will follow you. If that enemy makes contact with your party, he will throw you into an instance and force you to fight them. Another important difference is that you no longer choose where you want to go on the battlefield. Instead, use the joystick to freely move your character around the arena.
A new trailer was shown during Nintendo’s June Direct Mini, giving us a release date, new gameplay footage and cutscenes to ponder. Sparks of Hope launches on October 20.
Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope also received a gameplay demo with stories, in which Ubisoft takes a closer look at exploration, combat skills, new allies and saving the cute little sparks.
Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope characters
Mario + Rabbids gives the player control over characters from the Super Mario series including Mario, Luigi, Princess Peach and Yoshi as playable characters. There are also an equal number of Rabbids, each dressed as the iconic characters but with “Rabbid” in front of their name. Players can have a team of up to three of these characters, and the game starts with Mario, Rabbid Luigi, and Rabbid Peach in the party.
Sparks of Hope will feature new playable characters, with Rabbid Rosalina in the game’s reveal trailer, likely implying that Rosalina will also be playable. There are also the titular Sparks, which are the result of the merging of Luma and Rabbids; these are used to aid players in battle.
According to the Sparks of Hope website (opens in new tab), there will be “9 heroes to build your dream team.” This number is odd as every Mario character usually has a playable Rabbid counterpart. It’s possible that the mysterious Rabbid who stands alongside our heroes in promotional materials is the ninth character to break this trend.