It’s no secret I’m largely a fitness gamer – my most-played games for 2021 were Just Dance 2021, Fitness Boxing 2, and RingFit Adventure. Recently I realized that I’ve been neglecting a very fun and relatively active game that also acts as a somewhat ironic time capsule: Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. The actual games were postponed to 2021, though still held in Tokyo, but luckily Mario, Sonic, and friends had no such restrictions.
Reminding me most of the Wii Sports suite that was popular when I was younger, Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games features a variety of Olympic events, including sprints, long jump, discus throwing, archery, canoeing, swimming, boxing, and many more. Using physical activity to simulate the actual athletics is one way to play (and the way I chose) but there’s flexibility built in so that controller buttons can also be used.
I loved that this game was active but not as strenuous as others, and it has a lot of flexibility. It would make a great party game or group activity since it takes pretty much an equal mix of skill and luck to do well. Longtime gamers might enjoy the 1964 Olympics mode or the story mode that makes it a more cohesive experience. But I advise anyone who’s looking for a lively gaming experience with old friends Mario and Sonic to give this game a try – especially if the cold of winter makes you long for summer sports!