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Nintendo accidentally reveals Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope

mario + rabbids sparks of hope
(Image credit: Nintendo)

Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope is likely the first big reveal from E3 2021’s Ubisoft Forward — even though the conference hasn’t taken place yet. This morning (June 12), eagle-eyed Nintendo fans saw the game briefly surface on, then disappear from, the Nintendo Switch eShop. Before Nintendo took the listing down, however, they were able to save screenshots and a basic description from the game.

Information comes from a variety of users on social media, but the Tom’s Guide staff first saw it listed through podcaster Laura Kate Dale. For fans who played Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle, there’s nothing terribly surprising here. Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope will also be a turn-based strategy game where you gather a team of Mario characters and their Rabbid counterparts, explore a big, colorful world and improve your skills and weapons over time. According to the eShop listing:

“Team up with Mario, Luigi, Princess Peach, Rabbid Peach, Rabbid Luigi and their friends on a galactic journey to defeat a malevolent entity and save your Spark companions. Explore planets throughout the galaxy as you uncover mysterious secrets and compelling quests!”

In other words, if Kingdom Battle was based on a more traditional Mario game, Sparks of Hope sounds like it takes inspiration from Super Mario Galaxy. To reinforce the Super Mario Galaxy connection, one of the screenshots also showed off a Rabbid version of Rosalina, an important character from those two games.

Otherwise, the screenshots showed off Mario and two party members exploring a seaside outpost and the crumbling interior of a scary castle. We haven’t seen any of the game’s combat yet, but a promotional image shows off Mario dual-wielding pistols, and Luigi with a bow that fires energy arrows. (Princess Peach appears to have a cannon that fires from a Rabbid hat. We’re curious how that will work in-game.)

For the moment, expect to hear more details during the Ubisoft Forward presentation at 3 PM ET today, and possibly even more than that at the Nintendo Direct on Tuesday, June 15 at 12 PM ET. Either way, though, you’ll have to settle in for a long wait. Given the 2022 release date in the eShop, Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope is probably a long way off.

In the meantime, Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle is frequently on sale, and it’s one of the most inventive and surprising Switch games out there. Give it a try, if you haven’t already.

Marshall Honorof

Marshall Honorof is an editor for Tom's Guide, covering gaming hardware, security and streaming video. After hours, you can find him practicing taekwondo or doing deep dives on classic sci-fi.