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Dr. Mario World Has A Few Fun Points — Video Game Review

Dr. Mario world like all Mario games are made to be simple and fun, this no exception. Though it’s more restrictive than we are used to with everything being locked until you complete level 20; the alternate characters, in-games shop, versus mode and even the friends last! It’s ridiculous and shouldn’t be locked. Visuals are below average and stuttering is noticeable, but nothing too bad. Personally this feels like an overhyped game and isn’t anything more than your generic match-3 game. Unimpressed overall.

Dr. Mario World was really overhyped and I was one of the people really looking forward to its release.

Like all Nintendo releases than include Mario and the Mushroom Kingdom it’s really simple and easy to get into. From the start you’re greeted with the standard formulaic intro where the Mushroom Kingdom is being invaded, this time from little viruses who overwhelm everything including the Koopa kingdom. Mario, Peach and Bowser all don their doctor outfits and prepare to save the day. Like I said standard stuff. The game because of its simple nature has areas that can be critiqued more than others: visuals, gameplay, audio and multiplayer. It’s your standard review categories because as a match-3 game there isn’t exactly much more to notice besides that.

The visuals are in a word, okay. Now I’m not going to say that the visuals should be outstanding, but when it comes to games involving Mario the character models should look like their respective characters. The character modelling looks like it was done by a third party given low-res models and upscaled from there. I mean, it sounds like I harping about nothing but contrast those models with the rest of the game. The intro, loading screens, board, items, all of it looks great, so what happened? Then if we compare it with the previous Mario release for mobile Super Mario Run, we see that all the character models look like the actual characters. To me that’s just sloppy and because it’s Nintendo and not a first time developer I can’t ignore it.

Gameplay is solid but at times you can see some stuttering which because your not streaming it shouldn’t exactly be present. Ignoring that the controls are smooth enough though because of all the assets that need to load it loads a little bit slow into menus and levels for a casual game. Controlling the capsules are fun though because if you match colors and consequently eliminate the tail end if another color continues to rise up as a bubble allowing you to reposition it in a new spot above allowing you to have another chance at destroying a virus. To make it clearer, if you have 1 blue/red capsule already on the board, you send out a blue/blue capsule and match them together, the blue/blue/blue disappear freeing the red allowing you reposition it, say, to connect with a red virus/red. It’s a nice touch that shouldn’t be some over.

Audio is pretty generic if you ask me. I’ve played my fair share of match-3s from bejewelled to candy crush and in my ears, I notice nothing that makes it stand out. It doesn’t make me happy, joyful, excited or even annoyed. It’s a weird thing to say since Mario games tend to have been emphasizing music more so recently. Again I point to Super Mario Run where the music matches the game genre, your excited and raring to go when the run starts and happy and calm while in your kingdom. The audio in Dr. Mario World isn’t like that, it’s generic and boring.

Like all mobile games at this point every single game no matter the genre needs some multiplayer feature and this is no exception. The game allows you to versus other Doctors by having you again destroy viruses, but there’s also the added stress of making sure you clear your board first off viruses because whoever clears the fastest forces the other player to have solid tiles added to the top of their board while also pushing all capsules and viruses closer to the bottom decreasing their available space for moves. This is fun after you get used to it and by used to it, I mean getting clobbered the first few matches. Another note is that because it’s matchmaking there’s the problem of long queue time which thankfully isn’t a problem. It might be because it’s still a new release but I haven’t waited for longer than 15 seconds for a challenger.

Overall the game isn’t much to be hyped about. The graphics excluding the character models are good, the gameplay functions as it should, audio is as generic as they come and multiplayer is actually the best part of the game, it’s too bad your locked out of it until you clear level 20 though. I mean, it’s a match-3 game, did Nintendo actually need to lock us out to learn that 3 colours are what we need to match? It’s a gripe, I know, but it’s annoying and I didn’t appreciate it.

Graphics: 80

‘If the character models were consistent with the rest this would’ve been hovering around 90'.

Gameplay: 90

‘Everything that’s done to play the game works as expected with no gripes’.

Audio: 45

‘Generic audio doesn’t always mean it shouldn’t be used, rather it should at the very least be refined to emphasize the gameplay’.

Fun: 75

‘Match-3 games tend to be fun and this isn’t an exception, I would prefer that the levels had a bit more to them because after a while everything starts to look the same’.

Story: 85

‘Following the standard Mario saves the day formula this is about as Mario as it comes with Peach and Bowser also playing the hero is nice to see’.

Multiplayer: 95

‘Versus is the best feature further enhanced by the short queue times. Though I would prefer that the friends list and versus wasn’t locked until level 20 at which point you can send an invite, it’s ridiculous’.

Rating: 78.3/100 ‘Good, but still has issues’

‘It’s good, but focus your time on getting characters and versus mode, everything else is disappointing’

Here are some other reviews about Dr. Mario World

‘Dr. Mario World feels more like Candy Crush than the classic NES game’. Gartenberg, Chaim, 8 July 2019. The Verge.

‘Dr. Mario World is Fun, But Flawed’. Bertoli, Ben. 10 July 2019. IGN.

‘Dr. Mario World: release date, trailer and first impressions’. Swider, Matt. 9 July 2019. TechRadar.

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