Set in the Beijing 2008 Olympics, Mario, Luigi, Peach, and friends go head to head with Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, and their group in a sports competition through various Olympic events. Among the participants, players can even include their custom Miis from their Wii system. Each character has different sets of attributes; these attributes give certain characters a slight advantage over others in particular events. For instance, Sonic is usually better at running than other characters. Though, it is possible to beat him with anyone.
Gameplay is similar to Wii Sports, as there are several arcade style mini games that players can compete against up to three of their friends. Among the events are: skeet shooting, fencing, 100m and 400m dash, swimming, gymnastics, rowing, archery, table tennis, and many more that are unlocked through play as the video athletes earn medals, badges, and crowns. Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games uses the Wii Remote (and Nunchuk for certain events) that can roughly mimic the various physical motions of the games.
Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games will take players to Vancouver, Canada, host city of the official 2010 Olympic Winter Games. This gaming experience invites players of all ages and skill sets to face-off in some of the most intense winter competitions. Tailored to the specific system controls, Nintendo DS and Wii gamers will enjoy completely unique experiences thanks to each platform having its own specific gameplay features and modes. Players of all skill levels will enjoy the intuitive controls of both the Wii and Nintendo DS systems, in both single and multiplayer gaming modes. The Wii game will offer an even richer multiplayer experience offering co-op and competitive gameplay where the Nintendo DS brings an intense competitive element using the Nintendo DS wireless capabilities. Additionally, one of the new features to be found in Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games is the inclusion of the Wii Balance Board which can be used in some events featured in the Wii version, allowing for a more interactive and realistic gaming experience.