Title: Dr. Mario
Developer: Nintendo, Nintendo Research & Development 1
Release Date: July 27, 1990
How we got the game: We got it on the NES Classic
Dr. Mario is one of those games that I have missed over the years. We had never owned it and I wasn’t born when it first released, so naturally, I never got a chance to play it.
Dr. Mario is here to cure some viruses by throwing pills at them. Yep, that’s the gist of it. There’s no story explained really, but Dr. Mario is there to cure viruses and he somehow has an infinite supply of pills.
Before the game starts, you’re able to choose which level you want to start at. There are 20 levels and you can take it easy and start at level one, which is pretty easy. Or you can start right at level 20 if you want the challenge right off the bat.
There are different colored viruses for each level – red, blue, and yellow. Mario’s pills come in those colors and they’re capsules which are broken into two parts. Some pills are two colors while others are one. Still, you need to maneuver the pills and match three of the same color together to a virus of that color. So, if you’re up against a red virus, you need at least three blocks of red pills touching it. Four of the same color in a row – touching a virus or not – will make them disappear.
You can turn the pills left and right to make sure you can get the colors to where you want them to go. However, you can choose what speed you want the pills to fall and something – slow or fast – it’s quite easy to trap yourself. Then you have to dig yourself out of a hole. The good news is, the levels aren’t timed.
The graphics aren’t too bad. There’s not a whole lot of visual representation for the game. The majority of it are the three primary colors in pill form or small virus-like creatures. Dr. Mario stands on the sidelines throwing the pills for you to deal with. He seems awfully happy to do it, too.
The music is pretty good. There’s just a small bit of music you can choose from on the main menu before the game starts. Some of it is catchy but I was too busy yelling at Mario and the viruses to really listen to it.
This is a fun game and it reminds me of a mixture of Tetris and Bejeweled. There’s not much to it, but it’s a fun puzzle game and it’s semi-mindless enough to just pick up and play. I can see myself going back to it from time to time.
Dr. Mario gets…
4 out of 5 lives.