Dr. Mario on the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) – Great Video Games
A Great Puzzle Game
Boy did I love Dr. Mario. Did you ever notice that he’s cross-eyed on the game art? This seems to be a common theme with Dr. Mario - always looking derpy. Was Nintendo making some sort of statement about doctors in general? Anyway, this game came at the height of the puzzle craze spawned by Tetris. It was an interesting and addictive new concept in puzzle gaming. Simple enough that kids could learn it in a few minutes, yet challenging enough to provide hours of enjoyment.
I begged my parents to get me this game right after it came out in 1990. I liked it a whole bunch. All you had to do in the game was stack colored blocks on top of viruses in a vial. This is similar to how real doctors work. Doctor Mario would continue throwing pills at the virus problem until it was solved. Each block had two colors, and it took a stack of 3 colors near a virus (could be any direction or combination of directions) to kill it. It took 4 colors stacked just to get rid of the color stack if you screwed up, and whenever the pills disappeared the additional colors would fall to the bottom of the screen and land on things.
The falling bits of pills made the game even more interesting, since you often ended up with the wrong colors stacked on top of viruses. Thus, failure was imminent.
The end of the game could get just ridiculously hard. Imagine doing the puzzle at the right while the pills get thrown at light speed. It's insane, I tell you. Insane!
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Step Right Up and Waste Your Quarters!
By the way, did you know they had an arcade machine for this game? Who was nerdy enough to play this game in the arcade? Hah. We're all playing Street Fighter 2 and Mortal Kombat and crap... and you're rocking the Dr. Mario machine. Nice. Just buy the game and play it at home where nobody can see you, seriously. My grandmother plays this game.
Ho hum. I would've played this in the arcade. No wonder I couldn't get a date. I almost got a date once, but it turned out to just be a case of cramps from my recent bout of diarrhea (caused by Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde for the NES).
Simple and Addictive. Stop Dealing Those Drugs, Doc!
Anyway - like I said – it was a simple game, but pretty addictive. It would get faster and faster just like Tetris did. Yeah, Dr. Mario was pretty cool like that. Hey the music is actually really great, too. It’s way better than the Tetris music. Who wants to listen to “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairies” for like an hour straight? Nintendo picked up on the music issue from Tetris and had a very long and drawn out theme song written for Dr. Mario. The result was addictive, explosive gameplay that kids ate up.
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The best thing about Dr. Mario is that it has a two player mode. Nintendo’s NES Tetris release did not have a two player mode, which they quickly realized was a huge mistake. The other company that had made an NES Tetris game, Tengen, had created a 2 player Tetris mode where players face off. People loved it. Nintendo was smart to then include a 2 player mode in Dr. Mario, which allowed you to be more social with your puzzle game experience.
After all, isn’t it kinda weird to be sitting around playing puzzle games by yourself? What happens when your friends come over? Sorry… you can’t play Tetris with me. One player only. Nice job, Nintendo!
Well, I guess Dr. Mario is such an awesome game that it's still around. The original game surely is awesome, and it's almost 25 years old now! That's so crazy. It seems like yesterday when it was brand new. I'm old. That sucks. I hear the new version of the game, which you can purchase in the link at the top of the article, lets you play multiplayer with people over the internet 24/7. Man, I wish we had had that kind of thing when I was a kid.
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- Tetris on the Nintendo Entertainment System – Best NES Games
Tetris on the NES came in two different versions, one made by Tengen, and another made by Nintendo. Tons of people were playing it in the late 80s, as the puzzle genre began to take shape.
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