Where did Dr. Mario have time to get his Ph.D in between his first three adventures? The guy’s a dynamo!
Dr. Mario isn’t so much about diagnosing problems, as it is about throwing pain pills at viruses. The good doctor tosses red, blue, and yellow pills (or combinations thereof) at virus creatures that share the same colors. These pills eradicate the viruses, but the trick is to use them properly.
For example, if you have a blue/yellow hybrid pill and you’re looking to take out a blue virus, land the blue portion atop the virus and let the yellow portion dangle off either the left or the right side of the virus. But if there’s a red virus below the yellow portion, after you kill the blue virus, the yellow piece of the pill will fall onto the red virus and you’ll need two additional yellow pieces to even reach the red. These “oh crap” scenarios happen more often than you think, and it makes for a much less satisfying experience than that other falling-block game.
Within a few levels time, the screen in Dr. Mario gets cluttered with viruses. And since the pills are so large, maneuvering them around clumps of viruses is impossible; by contrast, the shapes in Tetris are far more malleable. When will doctors learn that pills aren’t always the answer.
PUBLISHER/DEVELOPER: Nintendo GENRE: Puzzle
RELEASE DATE: 07/27/90 – (JP), 10/1990 – (US), 06/27/91 – (EU)
ALSO AVAILABLE ON: GB, GBA, SNES, Wii U VC, NS Online