is Nintendo's flagship character, and as such he's
equated with gaming innovation. However, not all of
Mario forays are necessarily original. Nintendo sends
him on genre-raiding excursions to see how much of
the gaming world he can conquer. In Dr. Mario, its
all too obvious that Mario is practicing in Tetris
territory without a license.
Mario is a decent little puzzle game along the lines
of Tetris. It's easy to learn and increases in difficulty
exponentially, (I just love using that word). It's
15 years old and originally was introduced on the
NES. However you can unlock a version of this game
in Wario Wares, as well as download it off the net.
premise of the game is to eradicate the viruses that
inhabit the screen by grouping various pills of similar
color. These pills are not drugs, per se, they are
actually vitamins. The are in the shape of capsules,
each half of which is a different color. They slowly
descend down the play area where you can rotate them
by using the controller so that they will match up
with similarly-colored germs. Matching four of the
same color results in getting rid of the germ and
the pill. Failure to match colors results in a piling
up of pills and germs which will make it more and
more difficult to clear when more and more pills are
is some strategy involved, especially when you know
you have nothing that can be matched and you have
to decide on the best way to stack your pill so that
it will be in a better position for the next few pills.
the gameplay is fun and even addicting but it's the
kind of game that you can definitely build up a tolerance
to. There are no other variations of the gameplay
at all. This game should have included Dr. Mario 64,
since there are at least a few different modes.
the game's defense, this is the only game so far,
in the Classic NES series that features Link play.
You can go head-to-head against another player with
the Link cable. Each of you will get a play area,
and you will race to see who clears the most levels
and accumulates the most points. The downside is that
the play area is reduced by half, making it a little
difficult to see, not to mention that the same gameplay
Mario attempts to fill a niche in the puzzle market
by making a simplified version of Tetris that younger
gamers could master. Whereas Tetris used shaped which
invariably lead to countless combinations, Dr. Mario
uses the same shape and only three colors.
has been giving Dr. Mario away for free in the past
so I really have to question forking over $20 for
the game. If you haven't played Wario Wares already
and you're somewhat interested in Dr. Mario, get Wario
Wares. It's the best of all worlds. You can thank
me later. In the meantime, search the net where you
might find a free, playable version of Dr. Mario online.