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Graphics: 7
Sound: 9
Gameplay: 8.5
Replay: 9.5
Overall: 8.7

Dr. Mario
Released: 19901099
Publisher: Nintendo of America
Developer: Nintendo Co. Ltd
Genre: Puzzle

Review by: Viper

Tetris and puzzle games in general are very predominant on the Game Boy, in my opinion, the GameBoy is an excellent platform for these types of games, as opposed to some of the other crap that is released. Everyone knows the basic style of Tetris, manipulating falling pieces to form lines of pieces to clear out the board while attempting to achieve a high score. Dr. Mario follows along those lines, but adds a unique flavor to the exhausted style of play.

Sure, it is the same old story of dropping pieces, but this time you have little obstacles, called viruses, that are scattered all over your bottle (basically the board). Your objective as Dr. Mario is to remove these viruses, by placing the correct medication in the proper amount next to the virus. If this makes absolutely no sense, here is the basic objective, simplified: The pills that fall are "color" coordinated (lack of color on the GameBoy results in different shaded pieces), and each virus has a similar color. In order to clear a virus out of a bottle you must place at least 3 pill segments of the same color next to the virus, in turn killing the virus. Of course, sometimes your pills don't match the viruses that remain, so you must place them elsewhere in the bottle, the only way to remove unwanted pills from the bottle is by matching their colors as well. You can see how this game can become very addictive in the long run, as most good puzzlers do.

There are several options to make playing the game more easy or more difficult depending upon how you like it. You can increase the initial difficulty level of the game (faster pills and more plentiful viruses on the higher levels). Plus you can even adjust the overall speed of the pills in addition to the starting level, resulting in some chaotic use of drugs. Hey, there is even a choice of two music tracks to listen to while you play, and believe me, these tunes are groovin'. Crank up that little speaker on the side of your gameboy, and it makes you just want to stand up and boogey down while you play, those composers at Nintendo are great. Ok, the music may not be that great, but it is very well done for an early generation GameBoy game. Sound effects are on par, letting you know when you clear out a virus or row of pills, get a nice combination going by clearing out more than one series of viruses and/or pills and you get a special little sound effect, rewarding your victorious feat.

Oh, but that is not all. This Dr. Mario is multiplayer! Have a friend with the same game, and one of those handy link cables, and you are set to experience the best use of drugs and viruses in your lifetime. Remember those little sound effects I mentioned before? Especially that one that is emitted after you do a combo kill? Well tune your ears to that sound when playing a friend, because when you hear it, expect to see some unwanted pill segments falling into your bottle, and maybe a large grin on your opponents face as he gloats in his glory. Fix your concentration on those little wriggling bugs in your jar and plan a counter attack upon your friend, and then you may be able to laugh as he gets slammed with extra pieces.

For all I know, which isn't much, Dr. Mario basically expanded upon the whole multiplayer approach to puzzle games by rewarding those who do well, and punishing those who don't. Many Tetris style games have started to use this approach... Tetris Attack, Bust A Move, Puzzle Fighter, etc... So do yourself a favor and try this one out, I recommend any GameBoy player to run to the nearest store and shell out a whole $10 for this baby, it is a classic and deserves to be played ALL THE TIME! Unfortunately, when this game was released the GameBoy Color was just a twinkle in Nintendo's eye, therefore there is no ultra cool color support which would make this game a whole lot easier to play.

- We have 1 review for Dr. Mario (1 Staff, 0 Member)

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