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Dr. Mario (NES) artwork

Dr. Mario (NES) review

"Someone that feisty Italian plumber has made it through medical school and become a doctor. He now doles out pills, helping to quell the viruses in his labratory."

Dr. Mario is a puzzle game made by Nintendo featuring, of course, Mario. Someone that feisty Italian plumber has made it through medical school and become a doctor. He now doles out pills, helping to quell the viruses in his labratory.

However, Dr. Mario will always live in the shadow of another game released around the same time period - Tetris. Dr. Mario simply can't stack up to the addictiveness of Tetris; it is a great puzzle game by itself though.

In Dr. Mario, you play the role of Mario, somewhat. What you really do is guide around the vitamins that Mario throws into the capsule. You move them around, trying to color coordinate them with the viruses of the same color - red, blue, and yellow. Dr. Mario is one of the few games where poppin' pills can really help you out. *rimshot*

For each virus you clear, you receive points. For clearing multiple viruses at one time, you receive double, triple, even quadruple points. After cleaning out a level, you move on to the next one. As the levels get higher, the difficulty gets progressively higher. The game ends when you can't keep up with the speed, and you're overrun either by pills or viruses.

Pills are only two connected colors, and can be flipped, a la Tetris. While Dr. Mario is fun, it doesn't have nearly as much depth as Tetris does. Due to the nature of the stages, it's not as free form and flowing as Tetris is. It's still a blast to play, but not quite as much as Tetris.

Dr. Mario is also a fairly easy puzzle game. The last normal stage that can be selected from the start, level thirty, should be easy to beat once you get the hang of the gameplay. Sure, once you beat it, you just go to level thirty-one, but since the last stage is beaten easily, you might as well just skip straight to thirty and dodge the twenty-nine previous stages.

Graphically, Dr. Mario is above normal puzzler game graphics. That's not saying much, but the colors featured are vibrant and well-done. Nothing blurs, and it's easy to tell the difference between a virus and a pill despite their smallness on the screen and similar colors.

Dr. Mario's music is top-notch. There's three different themes, and of course the mandatory ''panic'' music when the viruses and pills start to pile up. Even if you don't like it, there's an in-game option to turn it or the sound effects off, always a welcome addition to any game.

Dr. Mario may not be the best puzzle game out there. *cough*Tetris*cough* However, it is among the top three, and offers a viable alternative to those not enthralled by Tetris. It's worth at least a casual play through.

sgreenwell's avatar
Community review by sgreenwell (Date unavailable)

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