Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle – Donkey Kong Adventure

Game review by
Chad Sapieha, Common Sense Media
Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle – Donkey Kong Adventure Game Poster Image
Donkey Kong conquers strategy world in an amazing expansion.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

Simple story presents basic concepts of good and evil. The single-player campaign encourages strategic thinking while co-op play promotes teamwork and communication.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Donkey Kong and his friends are clearly the good guys, battling an evil Mega Rabbid Kong and his minions in an attempt to escape from a parallel dimension. They use a mix of brains and brawn to defeat him.

Ease of Play

Combat requires tactical planning to succeed, but struggling players can receive a health boost before each battle to make things easier. Puzzles involving blocks and switches can be tricky, but are generally skippable.

Violence

Cartoon creatures use fantasy weapons including boomerang bananas and remote control car explosives to damage each other in turn-based combat. Injured characters yelp in pain, defeated enemies disappear in a flash of blue pixels. Defeated heroes stand still, looking dazed.

Sex
Language
Consumerism

Players encounter iconic characters from several popular video game franchises, including Donkey Kong and Rabbids. Requires Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle to play.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle – Donkey Kong Adventure is a paid expansion to the Nintendo Switch game Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle, which is required to play. It's a turn-based strategy game that involves commanding a small team of cartoon heroes -- including Donkey Kong, Rabbid Peach, and Rabbid Cranky -- in battle against cartoon enemies using fantasy weaponry such as a boomerang banana and remote control car explosives. Defeated enemies disappear in a flash of blue pixels, while defeated heroes simply become dazed. Combat requires tactical thinking, and co-op play encourages teamwork and communication. Parents should also be aware that this game features plenty of popular and iconic characters that could raise kids' interest in other games and series.

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What's it about?

Featuring a new cast of characters to master, MARIO + RABBIDS: KINGDOM BATTLE – DONKEY KONG ADVENTURE adds an original single-player story to the basic Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle game. It begins with Rabbid Peach and Beep-O whisked away to an alternate dimension, where they meet up with Donkey Kong and the grumpy old Rabbid Cranky. The group must band together to fight Mega Rabbid Kong and his minions in order to recover pieces of the Time Washing Machine and escape back to their homes. Some of these enemies have new powers not seen in the original game, like the ability to spawn new enemies. Fortunately, Donkey Kong and Rabbid Cranky have new skills as well, including Donkey Kong's ability to grab and throw anything, and Cranky's talent for putting foes to sleep. There are also new primary and secondary weapons. Plus, players who opt for the season pass, which costs five dollars more, have access to more than a dozen new weapons for their existing roster of characters, plus new single-player challenges and new maps for co-op play.

Is it any good?

If you enjoy strategy, you'll have fun with this lengthy expansion, which provides more of everything that made the original game so much fun. Donkey Kong Adventure delivers a brand new solo campaign that's nearly ten hours long, complete with a new world and around two dozen new combat levels. This gives players plenty of time to learn and master new skills, like using Donkey Kong's bongos to lure enemies toward him, then pounding the ground to deal massive damage to all of them. With new weapons to earn and abilities to master, there are goals and a sense of growth to keep a player's interest. Admittedly, the block-pushing puzzles between combat levels can get repetitive, and usually provide artwork and song rewards rather than weapons or skill tokens to improve your character, but most of them can be safely skipped if you lose interest.

It's worth noting, too, that spending a few dollars more to get the season pass (which includes the Donkey Kong Adventure DLC plus plenty of other goodies for the original game, like new weapons) is worthwhile. Fans of co-op play will really appreciate the addition of five challenging new multiplayer maps, each with multiple difficulty levels, that give many reasons to call up a friend and spend an afternoon or two plotting together. Perhaps most importantly, all of the available downloadable content in Donkey Kong Adventure and the season pass are proof that this innovative, unexpected marriage of Mario, the Rabbids, and turn-based tactical play can be more than just a one-off success. It's fun to return to again and again. Hopefully we'll see another Mario + Rabbids game before too long.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about marketing to kids. Mario + Rabbids: Kindom Battle – Donkey Kong Adventure is an example of cross-promotion because it includes characters from other games, but have you ever become interested in a new series because you saw its characters appear in another book, TV show, movie, or game you liked?

  • How much did you rely on teamwork and cooperation with your friends while playing the team-based maps? Did you find it harder to win when you worked separately without communicating?

Game details

  • Platforms: Nintendo Switch
  • Price: $14.99
  • Pricing structure: Paid (Donkey Kong Adventure DLC is $14.99. A season pass, which includes the Donkey Kong Adventure DLC plus additional content (including new co-op maps) costs $19.99.)
  • Available online? Available online
  • Developer: UbiSoft
  • Release date: June 26, 2018
  • Genre: Strategy
  • Topics: Adventures
  • ESRB rating: E10+ for Cartoon Violence, Comic Mischief, Mild Language

Themes & Topics

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For kids who love strategy

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