Mario & Sonic at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games

Game review by
Marc Saltzman, Common Sense Media
Mario & Sonic at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games Game Poster Image
Fun but repetitive collection of summer sports games.

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Kids say

age 7+
Based on 1 review

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

All about competing in summer Olympics sports, reinforces healthy competition, athleticism, national pride. Also counts your steps, rewards you for hitting distance milestones (in a mode called Pocket Marathon), which is great for kids.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Not much known about cartoon characters you can play as -- so no sense of their personality, motivations -- but you can challenge others in games, such as golf, soccer, boxing, beach volleyball. Gamers can also play as their Mii characters.

Ease of Play

Simple controls; easy to learn.

Violence & Scariness

One event is boxing, has mild cartoon violence.


Works with optional amiibo action figures, cards, purchased separately.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Mario & Sonic at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games for Nintendo 3DS is a portable collection of sports games tied to the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. Players can partake in games such as soccer, golf, volleyball, and boxing, against the game's artificial intelligence (AI) or with a nearby friend on another Nintendo 3DS. There's no objectionable content, and only one event, boxing, has mild cartoon violence. While optional, the game works with amiibo or figures or cards, which are purchased separately. The game also promotes healthy competition and athleticism and rewards hitting distance milestones as players walk around with their 3DS, which encourages physical activity.

User Reviews

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What's it about?

Whether you're an on-the-go sports fan or you've caught the Olympics spirit, Sega and Nintendo have partnered on a new Nintendo 3DS game tied to the 2016 summer games in Rio de Janeiro. Similar to previous games in the series, MARIO & SONIC AT THE RIO 2016 OLYMPIC GAMES lets you play as your favorite mascot character in a number of arcade-based sports games. This time around, you can play events, such as soccer, boxing, table tennis, beach volleyball, and (returning to the real summer Olympic Games after more than a century): golf. This portable game lets you play against computer-controlled characters or against a friend on a nearby Nintendo 3DS, plus it supports optional Mii characters you create or amiibo characters or cards you can activate by tapping on your new 3DS's bottom screen in-game bonus characters, events, and other goodies.

Is it any good?

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.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about consumerism. Do you feel the need to purchase the optional amiibo characters and cards? Do they add more to the game, or is this simply a way to push merchandise?

  • Discuss the ongoing union of the Mario and Sonic franchises in Olympics-themed games. Do you think these two series, once deeply competitive, are a good fit? Are you a greater fan of one than the other? Do their heroes and villains mesh well in teams?

Game details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love sports

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