Up to four players can compete in ten differnet athletic events: 100-meter dash, long jump, shot put, high jump, 400-meter race, 100-meter hurdles, discus throw, pole vault, javelin throw, and the 1500-meter race. Distances and/or elapsed time are automatically translated into points by the computer, and the top score of the participants is posted at the conclusion of each event. Players make the video athletes run by quickly jogging the joystick from side-to-side; the faster you push it, the faster your guy will run.
My biggest complaint with Decathlon is that you're going to wear out your joysticks very quickly. The best way to preserve your sticks is to try and pick up some 2600 Track and Field controllers (it's just a panel with a few buttons, just like in the arcade game.) In addition, after playing this game, you're really going to FEEL like you've had a grueling workout... especially in your forearms and biceps. While I personally wouldn't have minded if Activision left out the repetitious and tiresome distance races, I guess they couldn't really have kept them out of the game or else it wouldn't be Decathlon. Either way, for quick adrenaline rush or for multiplayer fun, Decathlon fits the bill nicely.