After an experiment goes wrong, a virus is unleashed onto the Mushroom Kingdom. It's up to Dr. Mario to kill these nasty bugs with a multi-colored vitamin solution. -summary
It should have been no surprise after the monster success of the Russian made puzzle game Tetris, that there would be many clones to follow with intentions to capitalize on that same success. There would be plenty of titles to either copy, add to, or perform a combination of both to craft the next monster puzzle game. Dr. Mario which originally made its debut on the Nintendo Entertainment System was among the first. However, instead of coming off as just another copy and paste, the game developed its own style that I feel borrowed a little from Columns, which came out about a year earlier and made its way to the Sega Genesis. In any case, the game has gone on to be recognized as a Nintendo classic and is also loved by many gamers. The game was re-released as part of the NES Classic series for the Gameboy Advance, and even after all of these years this is still a game that I come back to for a change of scenery.
The player must use multi-colored vitamins to kill the viruses, which are thrown onto the screen into a see through bottle. There are three types of color specific viruses; blue, yellow, and red. Each of the capsules thrown onto the screen are a combination of those colors, or they're made up as a whole color. There's a total of six combinations. The objective is to rotate and align the colors with the corresponding color in rows of four. Once this is done, the capsules along with the virus, or viruses of the same color will disappear. On the bottom right of the screen, there's a number indicating the amount of viruses for that level, and once they have all been killed, the level will be cleared, and the next will contain more viruses in many different patterns.
Coming into this game thinking Tetris is not recommended at all. The styles are completely different and it may take a little bit of time to adjust to this game. But once the player becomes familiar with this set up, then they'll more than likely be tackling the later stages with a bit more ease. However, the stages can be very difficult at times, and they can take quite a bit of time to clear. Many times I thought all hope was lost and was prepared to quit. Then suddenly, I would find a way and be able to clear the stage. The game can be very frustrating some times but one thing is for sure, it can be very hard to put down. There are plenty of times I said, "let me play this about 15 minutes before I go to bed", and the next thing I know several hours have passed by.
When matching up the colors, there's only two ways to align them, either vertical or horizontal. The second half of the capsule will fall if there are no other viruses or capsules underneath. However, the viruses will continue to sit in the same area, and it's up to the player to put those thinking juices to work. If there are other capsules and viruses, then this can be worked into a strategy to cause multiple breaks and setup new breaks.
In the beginning, the player has the option of adjusting the speed and difficulty. I always start on the easy levels first so that I can get myself into the mindset of the game, and as the levels increase, so does the difficulty and speed. There's also a scoreboard present for those who prefer having them, myself, I choose to ignore it and just play until I get my fill. The game is two players on the Gameboy Advance via the GBA LInk, but I haven't played against a second player on the DS-Lite though. So I don't exactly know how that handles.
Outside of the actual game play, there's no real learning curve. Anyone can pick this up and play, and the player only really needs one button and the directional pad. Sometimes it may seem like the game is cheating on the higher levels, and the controls aren't responsive enough. But that's not exactly true, the capsules are just sticking incredibly fast, and the player has to try and be faster.
There's nothing really special in these categories at all. The graphics are pretty simple, with the viruses given different character designs, and they dance on the bottom left of the screen, re-using the same animation. The capsules just look like regular pills and the backgrounds are completely black inside of a blue, bottle-shaped outline. There really isn't much to look at here. I really don't care for the music at all, honestly, I think it's a BGM that only children will enjoy, but at least you have the option of switching it. Sound effects are hardly worth mentioning since nothing stands out at all.
This is a game that I have owned for years, and although I prefer the darker games. I come back to this one quite often. I'm not over exaggerating when I mention how addictive this game can be. Even a casual gamer will find it very hard to put down. This is one of those rare occasions where the game play is so strong and the controls so simple, they both completely overshadow the visuals and audio. If possible, try to ignore how the game looks and sounds and have yourself a real good time. Highly recommended.
Pros: -Can be challenging and highly addictive
Cons: -Nothing stands out visually or in audio
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May 22, 2011
Oct 21, 2013 04:54 PM UTC
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Dr. Mario (ドクターマリオ, Dokutā Mario?) is an action puzzle game designed by Gunpei Yokoi and produced by Takahiro Harada. It was developed and published by Nintendo for the Nintendo Entertainment System and Game Boyconsoles and released in 1990 and 1991. The game focuses on the player characterMario, who assumes the role of a doctor and is tasked with eradicating deadly viruses. As a falling block game, the player is tasked with destroying the viruses populating the on-screen playing field with the use of colored capsules that are dropped into the field. The player manipulates the capsules as they fall so that they are aligned with viruses of matching colors, which removes them from play. The player progresses through the game by eliminating all the viruses on the screen in each level. Dr. Mario received positive reception, appearing on several "Best Nintendo Games of All Time" lists. The game was both ported and remade for many Nintendo consoles, including a re-release in 2004 on the Game Boy Advance as part of the Classic NES Series.[