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Dr. Mario (NES)

84
MobyRank
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
4.0
MobyScore
5 point score based on user ratings.
Written by  :  Multimedia Mike (17464)
Written on  :  Sep 10, 2005
Platform  :  NES
Rating  :  3.5 Stars3.5 Stars3.5 Stars3.5 Stars3.5 Stars
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Summary

Best mindless entertainment game since Tetris.

The Good

Was Nintendo looking to cash in on the mindless, repetitive entertainment market opened up by the international smash hit Tetris? Only the top executives at Nintendo know for sure. But in any case, this game rocks.

Based on a similar premise as Tetris, this game has the player manipulating the orientation of objects falling at an ever-quickening velocity. Dr. Mario just happens to make those objects colored pills rather than ambiguous quad-part blocks. Match up colors with the malignant viruses in a bottle in order to wipe them out. Build up skill and go for the double, triple, quadruple kill/cures... and beyond!

The game features a handicapping player versus player mode. Two players can get their own bottles of viruses to wipe out and they can select different difficulty levels to play at. Best 2 out of 3 rounds wins the match. Especially fiendish is when one player scores a double kill/cure or better-- the game sends down some random pills into the other player's jar that may or may not mess them up.

Is it arrogant to state that I especially enjoy this game simply because I am so good at it? I challenged many friends (well, they used to be friends; perhaps I should not have gloated so hard) at this game, at all handicapping levels, and no one ever managed to beat me without a handicap.

I summed up Dr. Mario in this review as "mindless entertainment". Curiously, the longer you play, the more lethal you potentially become. As you build up skill it just becomes natural to construct precariously balanced towers of pills that will kill off 5, 6, 7 viruses as soon as you trigger a chain reaction with a certain pill. Do not attempt to try this before you are adequately skilled or else you will just cause a mess in your own jar, as anyone who has ever played against me has learned the hard way.

The Bad

Do not attempt to play the game on a black and white television set. That's something that stuck in my mind from the time I rented this game. Seems obvious. But in the early 1990's, who was still stuck using a black and white television? Apparently, someone who rented this game from this store before me.

As is common with these puzzle games, not a whole lot of effort was invested into the background music. The result is mind-numbing music which may cause you to question your sanity after several straight hours of gameplay.

The Bottom Line

Fear the Dr. Mario game master (that's me).