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In this Tetris-style game, you play as Dr. Mario, who must drop differently coloured pills onto viruses to remove them from the bottle. Each pill is split into two, with each side being of one of three different colours, red, blue or yellow. Align three pills of the same colour to a virus of the corresponding colour (or any combination of pills and viruses totaling four or more) and it will be removed from the bottle, along with the aligned pills. The level is cleared when there are no viruses left, and the game is over when the pills reach the top and Dr. Mario can't drop any more pills.

Included in the game is the normal mode, a time trial, and a two player battle mode to see who can remove the most viruses.


Dr. Mario NES After beating certain levels the player is treated to a cutscene like this
Dr. Mario NES Title screen
Dr. Mario NES A tougher level
Dr. Mario NES Starting a one player game

Promo Images

Dr. Mario Screenshot
Dr. Mario Screenshot
Dr. Mario Screenshot
Dr. Mario Magazine Advertisement


Alternate Titles

  • "Virus" -- Working title
  • "ドクターマリオ" -- Japanese spelling
  • "닥터 마리오" -- Korean spelling (Hangul)

Part of the Following Groups

User Reviews

Tetris leveled up! Asinine (1006) 3.75 Stars3.75 Stars3.75 Stars3.75 Stars3.75 Stars
Best mindless entertainment game since Tetris. Multimedia Mike (20630) 3.5 Stars3.5 Stars3.5 Stars3.5 Stars3.5 Stars
A classic puzzle game which still remains enjoyable today Jon Collins (28) 4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars

Critic Reviews

Ação Games May, 1991 4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars 100
NES Archives Mar 22, 2008 A- 91
NES Times Feb 15, 2008 9 out of 10 90
1UP! Dec 06, 2001 90 out of 100 90
Mean Machines Feb, 1991 88 out of 100 88
The Game Hoard Sep 19, 2018 6 out of 7 86
Video Games Sep, 1991 83 out of 100 83
VideoGame May, 1991 4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars 80
Game Freaks 365 2005 7.6 out of 10 76
The Video Game Critic Aug 21, 2010 B- 67


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1001 Video Games

Dr. Mario appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.


  • Game Informer
    • August 2001 (Issue #100) - #76 in the "Top 100 Games of All Time" poll

Related Web Sites

Kartanym (12728) added Dr. Mario (NES) on Oct 14, 2002
Other platforms contributed by Michael Cassidy (21142), Kam1Kaz3NL77 (353698), Kartanym (12728) and gamewarrior (5048)