In honor of the Olympics, let's just say this competitive sports game didn't snag the gold. It's more of a bronze experience, overall, for its repetition, lack of online multiplayer, and steep price tag for what you get. First, choosing your country and then selecting and unlocking your favorite mascots or Mii can be fun, and all the big ones are in the palm of your hand, such as Mario, Sonic, Donkey Kong, and many more. But not all are available for each kind of event you're partaking in. Diddy Kong, for example, is exclusive to Hurdles, while Roy is only playable in Volleyball. There are four main modes: Quick Play, Road to Rio (story mode), Versus Mode, and Pocket Marathon. As you might expect, the first three have you compete in various games or tournaments, while Pocket Marathon challenges you to walk 26 miles (a "marathon") by walking with your 3DS on and in your pocket. This is great to encourage kids to exercise. After reaching various milestones you'll unlock items to use in the game.
While it's all very cartoony and lacking real physics, there's a fun "Plus" element to many of the matches that adds even more over-the-top features, such as a golf course laden with ramps, traps, and other obstacles. With the Versus mode (multiplayer), be aware you can play head-to-head or two-on-two on the same system. But this game doesn't support online multiplayer, which is disappointing. What if you don't have a friend nearby? Or they don't have a 3DS? Especially given the game's $40 price tag -- which seems ridiculous in today's world of freemium mobile games -- the lack of online multiplayer hurts its appeal and replayability. But the idea of the Pocket Marathon is great to help encourage kids to exercise. Overall, the game isn't bad; the dozen or so events get a little dry after a while (especially ones with little depth like Hurdles), but it's still a decent and family-friendly game for 3DS owners.