Although many were worried about the mashup between Nintendo's Mario and Ubisofts' Rabbids, the latter which have qualities that make many adults cringe, the actual product finely balances the line between keeping the Nintendo faithful happy while allowing the Rabbids' crazy and zany antics, all within a surprisingly deep and entertaining turn-based strategy game, along the likes of the new XCOM.
Some of the game's best moments are the interactions between the main cast, a mix of Mario, Luigi, Peach and Yoshi, along with Rabbid counterparts, Rabbid Mario, Rabbid Luigi, Rabbid Peach and Rabbid Yoshi - who are all imbued with their namesakes personality, amped to 11 and twisted.
In classic strategy RPG fashion, battles get increasingly harder as new abilities, heroes, and enemies are introduced. It isn't as hard as XCOM, with a simplified cover system (no sight, 0%, 50%, 100%), no permadeath, and teams of 3 (Mario required always), but crazy random abilities like fire (cause running around randomly), bounce (extra damage for "ring out"), vamp (heal on hit), and abilities like dash hits, team jumps/stomps, fear/attract, etc. keep things interesting - along with analogs to overwatch, shields, explosives/area weapons (with splash, friendly-fire damage), critical hits and other familiar elements. In classic XCOM fashion, it feels so good to plan out a strategic attack that executes better than you expected, but the RNG can hurt you as much as it can help, as occasionally the enemies, who can use many of the same abilities, will get lucky, destroy your cover and critical with multiple bounce hits and overwatches to knock out one of your heroes in 1 turn. Weapons can't be changed, each hero has their own primary and secondary (gun with explosive or melee), and upgrades can be bought, with usually 2 secondary types per character. For example, Mario has a "blaster" and hammer with choice of honey or bounce effects, while Luigi has a sniper and a exploding drone with bounce or oil effects.
The main quest has upwards of 40 main levels, each or each pair with a Gold Medal awarded if none of the heroes are knocked out, as well as challenges once each world is competed, keeping even experienced players occupied for a few dozen hours completing challenges and trying out all of the combinations of heroes.