The Olympic Summer Games was released on the Genesis/Mega Drive, SNES and Game Boy in 1996 to tie in with the centennial Olympic Games being held in Atlanta, USA. It was the official video game of the '96 Olympics and was the last Olympic Games video game to be released on 16-bit consoles. The game featured twenty-eight of the 197 participating nations, each with their own color set.
The gameplay of Olympic Summer Games is mostly all button mashing in style, with the exception of the Skeet and Archery events. The player has to rapidly press two buttons in order to make the character run faster, usually combined with a timed press of the D-pad to either jump a hurdle, throw the javelin or perform the triple jump.
The game features an Olympic mode, where the player tackles each event one after the other, as well as a practice mode. There are also options to change the difficulty to one of three settings and a list of the then current Olympic and World Record holders for each of the events covered in the game. In the Olympic mode after each event there is a medal ceremony and then a medal table is displayed showing which nations have received Gold, Silver or Bronze so far. This table is updated after each event and is effectively the scoreboard by which to measure progress through the game.
In practice mode the player can choose from the list of 10 events and hone their skills in each before taking on the task of the Olympic mode.
There are 10 events featured in the game, 8 of which focus on the Track and Field portion of the Olympic Games. They are:
- 100m Sprint
- 110m Hurdles
- Pole Vault
- High Jump
- Long Jump
- Triple Jump
- Skeet Shooting