Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games

If you commute in London every day, you're probably feeling ambivalent about this coming summer.

Sure, hosting the Olympic Games is thrilling, but the novelty is likely to diminish every time you find yourself stuck in a traffic jam or fighting for air in a tube station.

The only thing that could make it bearable would be a selection of video game characters bounding around and making fools of themselves, and you can see what that might look like in Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games.


Bowser and Eggman have united to ruin the Olympic Games with a huge cloud of evil gas, because they weren't invited to take part.

Playing as the various heroes from the Sonic and Mario franchises, you're asked to compete in 50+ Olympic events, beat the baddies, and restore London to its former glory.

It's an entertaining and imaginative way of tying together the available Olympic mini-games, as long as you don't take it too seriously. "You'll never stop us!" shouts Bowser, "unless you can beat us... at Badminton!!" It's impossible not to laugh at the premise.

The majority of the mini-games are really well thought-out and many of the control methods are downright ingenius, utilising buttons, touchscreen input, and tilt controls.

Even when two Olympic events are quite similar, the control schemes are usually different enough to give each game its own special edge. It's not the cookie cutter cash-in you might be expecting.

Go for gold

The main story isn't the only way to play - there are plenty of other ways to attack the game's content.

You can, of course, play single events if you like, or you can play one of the many medleys, which group together certain events and give you scores to aim for.

There's even a special Decathlon event, which plays a little bit like the WarioWare series, with events thrown at you in quick succession at a pace that gradually becomes more and more nippy.

All the while a record log keeps track of how you're doing, all the times and medals you've collected, and your online rankings. Every event has its own online ranking scoreboard, so you could essentially play for dozens of hours if you wanted to beat the rest of the world.

Finally, you've got multiplayer options, so that you can battle against friends locally in any events or medleys you choose. You only need one copy of the game to play, as everyone else can download it via Download Play.


Not every mini-game is a winner, as you'd expect.

Some of the games are downright dull, no matter whether the controls are clever or not. You also get the occasional game that has rather confusing controls.

And the supply of new events dries up fairly quickly, as you'd expect. Once you've played each of the events a few times, you'll most likely not be very eager to play them again.

However, before that happens Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games is plenty of fun, and for kids as well as grown-ups.

Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games

A lovingly crafted selection of mini-games that will definitely put you in the mood for the real Olympics
Mike Rose
Mike Rose
An expert in the indie games scene, Mike comes to Pocket Gamer as our handheld gaming correspondent. He is the author of 250 Indie Games You Must Play.