Mario & Sonic at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics is a sports compilation exclusive to the Wii U that sees Mario and Sonic the Hedgehog (and a selection of their respective friends and enemies) go head to head in a variety of events from the Winter Olympic Games. Mainly using the motion controls offered by the Wii Remote Plus and GamePad (with the occasional bit of button bashing) your child will be able to compete in events like snowboarding, figure skating, curling and bobsleigh alongside favourite characters from the Mario and Sonic series.
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With a number of sports themed mini-games on offer, the controls are mostly simple - either waving the Wii Remote Plus (or a standard Remote with Wii Motion Plus attached), or tilting the GamePad with a few button taps thrown in here and there for good measure (usually to build up speed at the beginning of a race). If you have any of the older games, you'll be in familiar territory here, as many of the games return, albeit with spruced up graphics.
The simplified controls mean that the game is a pretty good fit for younger players, as even if they're can't quite win the races, or set the high score tables ablaze when competing against the computer players, they'll love being able to join in and play along with parents and/or older siblings. In fact, it's when played in multiplayer that the game really comes into its own, as the single player mode mostly consists of trying to top the leaderboards, or seek out unlockable music and costumes.
As a sports title featuring the family-friendly Mario and Sonic the Hedgehog characters, and stamped with an official Olympic Committee license, there's nothing of concern for parents here. The emphasis, in keeping with the Olympic theme, is very much on 'healthy competition' which we feel is something parents will want to encourage.
Format Reviewed: Nintendo Wii U