Dr. Mario is one of the best puzzle games to come out on the NES, and is a great compliment to Tetris. It’s a welcome addition to the NES Classic Edition (or the Mini NES as I call it) and is a great game to pick up and play for a few minutes…Ah, who am I kidding, it’s impossible for me to put this game down.

The Team:

Dr. Mario
(Nintendo, 1990)
Designer: Gunpei Yokoi (Metroid, Game Boy)
Producer: Takahiro Harada (Metroid)
Composer: Hirokazu Tanaka

Doctor Mario; because Holistic Health Mario had too many crystals to match up with chakras.

There’s not a whole lot to be said about Dr. Mario. It was designed by a genius and composed by one too. You’ll find some of the catchiest tunes ever to grace an NES cartridge on this game. It has simple to learn, but impossible to master game play. You are tasked with clearing out viruses on the game field, which take place in a jar full of viruses for some reason. Dr. Mario throws medicine into the jar, and it’s up to the player to match four like colors in a row. It sounds easy, but can be incredibly difficult, as you don’t always get what you need. You can set the speed and amount of viruses to act as your difficulty. Beating it on the top setting for both isn’t impossible, but takes a ton of practice.

Dr. Mario

Dr. Mario

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are three different colored viruses and three matching pills to throw. Each pill has two halves. They can be any combination of colors. You can move the pills left, right, or down, but they are always falling. You cannot slow their descent down at all, so you have to think fast. You can see what pill will be dropped next. Pressing a button turns the pill 90 degrees clockwise. It can only be horizontal or vertical. You have to turn the pills to plan out how the colors will line up.

The real challenge in this game isn’t simply clearing out viruses, but being able to see into the future to know how to set up your pills so that excess parts fall right into place to clear out more viruses. There’s also an awesome two player competitive mode. Pulling off a proper combo will result in pieces falling into your opponents jar, possibly messing up a combo they had been trying to set up. Also, the pieces fall slowly, so you have time to work while random colors slowly waft down their jar.

In Summary:

This game is amazing and should be played. If you don’t like puzzle games, it’s not going to be for you. However, if you enjoy a good puzzler, then give this game a shot. I challenge anybody to not get the main theme stuck in their head after playing this game. To me, it sounds like the Beatle’s song “Lady Madonna”.

Dr. Mario

Not sure why, but beating a level treats you to a picture of viruses sitting in a tree at the top of the world…?