When Nintendo announced their “mobile initiative”, a lot of Nintendo fans (including us here at the Nintendo Entertainment Podcast) had ideas on which games should get the nod. But one that oddly seems perfectly fit for the mobile platform is Dr. Mario. And almost out of nowhere, Nintendo announced Dr. Mario World, and with it officially ends the “drought” from the initiative. But does it play more like Fire Emblem Heroes in terms of quality? Or does it suffer from Super Mario Run fever? The answer is the former. While not perfect, Dr. Mario World is a quality mobile game that Nintendo fans can enjoy for a long time.
Game Name: Dr. Mario World
Platform(s): Android (reviewed), iOS
Release Date: July 13, 2019
Like most good mobile games, the concept of Dr. Mario World isn’t hard to understand. It’s your basic 3-piece puzzle breaker game. In this case, you have to line up viruses or other items with pills until you get 3 or more of the same color. While it’s very easy to understand, it can get very complicated after a while.
And this is where Dr. Mario World gets off to a great start. Because its first several levels are built to guide you through and not rob you of the “hearts” it costs to play the game levels (1 per level attempt). You’ll do this about halfway through the first world before the hearts stop getting taken. By that point, you’ll under the game, its controls and more. It’s a great tutorial.
But what I truly love about this game is that it doesn’t stay complacent with its concept. It blends in not only new and fresh ideas but brings it in style via Mario charm. For example, the worlds you play are basically Super Mario kinds of worlds. Each of which includes 40 levels, some extra levels for tossed in for an added challenge. This ensures that the game is going to be played for a while because there’s a lot to do.
Back to the levels themselves, after a while, the game evolves into much more than matchplay. You’ll need to free viruses from bubbles, unlock entire areas to even get the chance to stack them, and sometimes, clearing the level of viruses isn’t the main goal! There are coin collection levels as well. This kind of variety makes the game exciting because you don’t know what the next level will be, or what the next world will bring.
And make no mistake, even in the first world, there are some difficult levels. You’ll need to think outside the box and get clever with your stacking methods to win. Especially since there is a “capsule limit” to how much you have per level. But, there also isn’t a time limit on most levels, so you’ll have time to think and plan out your strategy.
Dr. Mario World also has a fun and simple versus mode. You can battle friends or random people online and see who is the boss. This mode has slightly altered rules, but it works for the most part. Just be careful, sometimes these games can end fast!
Another plus of the game is the customization element with your characters. You can choose from one of many different doctors (Mario, Peach, Luigi, Bowser, and more to come), each with their own powers that can come in handy. PLUS, you can add on Super Mario creatures to give you an extra boost in battles. Making your perfect team to fit your style is a must.
But, that’s also where one of the games biggest downfalls is, the microtransactions.
Now, personally, I don’t think it’s as bad as everyone thinks as you’ll see soon. That being said, many aids that you can get in the game to help you clear levels are basically tied to microtransactions. TO BE CLEAR, you CAN win this game without doing a single microtransaction. But the items and extra characters you can buy via them definitely is helpful Which is why many people are mad. Not to mention, the non-microtransaction way of getting characters can be really grinding due to the coin cost.
My personal biggest problem though was that at times, the touch controls aren’t fully precise. They can work fine one minute, and then when I’m having to go to a certain spot, it’ll register it wrong and completely screw up my strategy. Which in some levels is a death sentence.
Finally, sometimes the game wouldn’t register my internet connection, forcing me to restart. It doesn’t happen as much now, but it does still happen occasionally.
Overall, Dr. Mario World is a really fun game, and it has some really clever ways for you to get hearts to keep playing without needing to buy them, including giving hearts to people on your friends’ list! And with the promise of more worlds coming to the game, it looks like people will be enjoying this title for some time.
Dr. Mario World Review
While not perfect, Dr. Mario World proves that even a simple idea for a mobile Nintendo title can have a lot of legs when you put your mind to it!
- Dr. Mario World is a fun game that you'll enjoy playing whereever you are!