Lookin’ Back #25 – Dr Mario

Mario turns his hand to the medical profession.  Viruses beware.

This wouldn’t be the first time in Lookin’ Back that I’ve mentioned the myriad of different genres of game that Mario has been in, but one of the first appearances by Mario in another genre was the puzzle game Dr Mario.

Dr Mario was the first puzzle game to feature Mario, and in my opinion it was, and still is, the best one.  You are presented with a bottle filled with viruses of varying colours, and Dr Mario throws his megavitamin pills into the bottle.  Your job is to eliminate the viruses by using the pills to match 3 coloured pieces with the virus, either horizontally or vertically.

Dr Mario was quite an original puzzler back in the day, and had a fantastic soundtrack and a great sense of humour.  Seeing the large viruses that represent each colour falling over when you eliminate one of their colour from the bottle is comical.  It was also addictive and fun.

drmario

The game originally appeared on the original Game Boy, but has had a few ports, including an N64 version, a Gameboy Advance version and a WiiWare version.  These later versions introduced extra features, such as a story mode with battles against other characters, which you see in many puzzle games these days, and online multiplayer, which is a nice addition and keeps things interesting.

Dr Mario might not be one of the best known or loved puzzlers on the system, and it isn’t remembered as a genre classic, but it does have a good following, and sold a couple of million copies.  If you ever get the opportunity to play the original Game Boy version, I suggest you do.  You might get hooked.

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Mike is Brutal Gamer's Indie Editor. He has been playing video games since the early 90s and is fond of racing games, puzzlers and MMOs. Typing /played while in WoW makes him cry, but not enough to stop him playing some more.
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