The Mario & Sonic Olympic crossover games have been a staple of Nintendo consoles ever since the series made its debut on Wii and DS back in 2007, so it came as no surprise to see a new installment announced for Switch during Nintendo’s E3 2019 presentation. This year’s entry, Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, introduces a handful of new features such as a story mode and 2D events, but by and large, the game offers the usual brand of simple-to-play sports mini-games.
Like previous installments, Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 features nearly two dozen Olympic events to compete it. Horse racing, soccer, the 100m dash, volleyball, and other classic events make their return in this year’s entry, and this time they’re joined by a handful of new competitions such as skateboarding, karate, surfing, and rock climbing.
Like the returning events, these new mini-games are all designed around easy-to-grasp controls, offering a simplified take on their respective sports, but they’re more than mere button-mashers. Rock climbing in particular is quite tricky because you need to time your button presses correctly to scale the wall, but this trickiness made it one of the most intense competitive games we sampled.
In addition to the standard sports, the Mario & Sonic games feature a handful of “Dream Events.” These are more exaggerated takes on Olympic competitions, and Sega has introduced a handful of new ones in this year’s installment. One of the highlights is hoverboarding, which has players racing around neon-colored tracks much like the Sonic Riders games. There’s also Dream Karate; unlike the standard sport, this version has you launching your opponents around the ring to light up colored titles, and the player with the most tiles lit up by the end of the round wins.
That’s just scratching the surface of the mini-games included in Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. You can take a look at some of the aforementioned 3D events, as well as other like rugby, badminton, and more in the video above.
Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 arrives on Nintendo Switch in the US on November 5 and in Europe on November 8. As previously mentioned, this entry features a brand-new story mode, which takes Mario, Sonic, and friends back in time to the 1964 Olympics for some retro-style 2D events–and they’re the clear highlight of the package. You can check out some gameplay of Mario & Sonic’s 2D events here.