In this DS adaptation of the Wii title, Sega and Nintendo's characters appear in the same game for the first time in history. At the same time, this title uses the official Beijing 2008 Olympic Games license and features the official venues and environments of the 2008 Olympic Games.
Mario, Luigi, Peach, and friends go head to head with Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, and their group in a sports competition through various Olympic events. 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.
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.