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Dr. Mario World is a puzzle game in the Dr. Mario series for iOS and Android smartphones. The game was originally set to release on July 10, 2019[1], but ended up being released a day earlier on July 9.[2] It is a free to download game with in-app purchases that was co-developed by Nintendo, LINE, and NHN Entertainment, and was available initially in 59 countries/regions including Japan and the United States. The game supports multiple languages including Japanese and English. Dr. Mario World is the second Mario game for mobile devices, following Super Mario Run, though it is the first free-to-play mobile game featuring microtransactions and gacha mechanics in the Mario series. Pre-registration for the game opened on July 1.[3] Like Super Mario Run, the game requires a constant internet connection to play the game.

Dr. Mario World takes advantage of the touchscreen controls of the smartphone, where players can drag capsules with the touchscreen to eliminate viruses, though the core gameplay is slightly tweaked in the single player as opposed to prior Dr. Mario titles in that players solve puzzles with a limited number of capsules rather than infinite capsules against a time limit. New gameplay elements include four introduced colors of viruses: green, light-blue, purple, and pink viruses, which occur mixed in the regular red, blue, and yellow viruses later in the game. Dr. Mario World features the debut of playable Mario characters as doctors than prior Dr. Mario games. These doctors have special abilities which help clear levels more easily. In addition, doctors can be paired with a wide variety of assistants, which constitute primarily of generic Mario enemies. As well as having a single player mode, Dr. Mario World introduces a competitive Versus mode, where players battle against opponents online in a gameplay style similar to the traditional Dr. Mario games.

Gameplay

The gameplay is somewhat similar to the previous Dr. Mario titles, but with some differences. The capsules must be dragged by the player onto the board. Tapping the capsule will make it rotate. Notably, the board in Dr. Mario World gravitates upwards, as opposed to previous Dr. Mario games, which gravitated downward. The three red, yellow, and blue viruses from previous games appear, alongside new green, purple, and light-blue ones.

Dr. Mario World is different from pervious entries in the series in that there is a limited number of capsules. The number of capsules varies depending on the level. There is also a star system, where the player will gain stars depending on how well they did and how many capsules they have left.

Aside from viruses, there are other things that appear on the board. Shells, which clear a whole row when matched up, bombs, which destroy everything in a 3 x 3 radius when cleared, and locks, which unlock cells that contain viruses.

There are five worlds in the game, which are a grassland, a desert, a beach, a haunted house, and a cloud land. New worlds will be added after the game's release.

There are several playable doctors, all characters from the Mario series. When the player starts, they play as Dr. Mario. After clearing enough levels, the player will have the option to choose between him, Dr. Peach, and Dr. Bowser. The two doctors not chosen can be obtained from the staffing menu, along with other doctors. There is also assistants, which are all enemies from the Mario series. Each character and assistant. has a special skill.

Additionally, making enough matches will allow the player to use rainbow capsules, which match with any kind of color.

Levels in Dr. Mario World can only be played if the player has at least one heart. Hearts will replenish over time. Additionally, clearing a level replenishes a heart.

Dr. Mario World has an in-game currency known as Diamonds. Diamonds can be used to purchase more capsules if the player runs out. Diamonds must be purchased with real money at the shop.

Doctors

Name Stage Mode Skill Versus Mode Skill
Dr. Mario Clears rows (1) in the lowest position. Clears rows (1) in the lowest position.
Dr. Bowser Clears rows (2) at random. Clears rows (1) at random.
Dr. Peach Clears columns (1) at random. Clears columns (1) at random.
Dr. Bowser Jr. Pops bubbles (10). Hides viruses (2) in opponents stage in bubbles.
Dr. Daisy Eliminates an object (tap to choose). Eliminates objects in a 1 x 1 area (tap to choose center).
Dr. Ludwig Breaks ice on objects (10) one time. Hides viruses (2) in opponent's stage in ice.
Dr. Luigi Eliminated objects in an L shape Prevents opponent's capsules from rotating (duration in seconds:5)
Dr. Toad Selects locations (10) and eliminates objects at those locations. Selects locations (5) and eliminates objects at those locations.
Dr. Toadette Changes objects (2) into handy boxes at random. Hides viruses (2) in opponent's stage in clouds.
Dr. Waluigi Eliminates dust virus (10). Changes viruses (2) in opponent's stage into dust virus.
Dr. Wario Adds capsules (3) to your total. In timed stages, adds seconds to the clock (6). Prevents opponents's attack meter from filling (duration in seconds: 3).
Dr. Wendy Breaks blocks (10) one time. Changes (2) viruses in opponent's stage into blocks.
Dr. Yoshi Eliminates objects (3) at random. Eliminates objects (3) at random.

Assistants

Name Stage Mode Skill Versus Mode Skill
Amp Grants 20% chance an exploder will appear on stage start. Grants 20% chance an exploder will appear on stage start.
Blooper Grants 10% chance initial capsules (2) will be matching-color. Grants 20% chance initial capsules (4) will be matching-color.
Bob-omb Increases score by 400 points. If opponent uses a skill, grants 4% chance attack meter fills instantly.
Boom Boom Grants 20% chance an exploder will appear on stage start. If an object has reached the 2nd row from the bottom line, grants 20% chance that all capsules will be eliminated. (Once only.)
Bullet Bill Grants 4% chance of full skill meter on stage start. Grants 20% chance of full skill meter on stage start.
Buzzy Beetle Grants 20% chance a shell will appear on stage start. Grants 20% chance a shell will appear on stage start.
Cheep Cheep Grants 5% chance viruses (2) will be eliminated on stage start. Grants 10% chance your attacks will be 10% faster.
Clampy Grants 10% chance rainbow meter sections (3) will be filled on stage start. Increases chance to defend by 2%.
Crowber Grants 10% chance of extra capsules (1) on stage start. Increases number of cleared pieces to fill both your and your opponent's attack meters by 10%.
Goomba Increases score by 1%. If opponent attacks, grants 4% chance attack meter fills instantly.
Hammer Bro. Increases capsule float time by 1.2x. If opponent uses skill, grant 4% chance to clear a column in your stage.
Huckit Crab Increases base score by 50 points for every yellow virus eliminated. Grants 20% chance a rainbow capsule will appear within 20 seconds of match start.
Koopa Paratroopa Increases base score by 50 points for every red virus eliminated. If an object has reached the 2nd row from the bottom line, grants 20% chance that all capsules will be eliminated. (Once only.)
Koopa Troopa Grants 50 bonus points for capsules remaining on stage clear. If opponent attacks, grants 4% chance attack meter fills instantly.
Lakitu Grants bonus points (50) for every capsule remaining on stage clear. Grants 10% chance initial capsules (6) will be matching-color.
Piranha Plant Grants 5% chance viruses (2) will be eliminated on stage start. If an object has reached the 3rd row from the bottom line, grants 20% chance that all capsules will be eliminated. (Once only.)
Para-Beetle Grants 20% chance a shell will appear on stage start. If all viruses in your stage are eliminated, grants 20% chance a shell will appear.
Paragoomba Increases base score by 50 points for every blue virus eliminated. If all viruses in your stage are eliminated, grants 20% chance a shell will appear.
Peepa Increases base score by 50 points for every green virus eliminated. If all viruses in your stage are eliminated, grants 20% chance an exploder will appear.
Pokey Grants 10% chance of extra seconds (3) in timed stages. Grants 4% chance your attacks will be 20% faster.
Pom Pom Grants 10% chance viruses (1) will be eliminated on stage start. If you are about to lose, grants 20% chance that viruses (1) will be eliminated. (Once only.)
Porcupuffer Grants 10% chance of extra seconds (3) in timed stages. If opponent attacks, grants 6% chance received viruses will be matching-color.
Scaredy Rat Increases base score by 50 points for every light-blue virus eliminated. If opponent attacks, grants 6% chance received viruses will be matching-color.
Shy Guy Grants 10% chance of easier skill meter increase. Increases chance to defend by 2%.
Sledge Bro. Grants 4% chance of full skill meter on stage start. If you eliminate a virus, grants 20% chance your attack meter will fill extra.
Spike Grants base score by 50 points for every green virus eliminated. Grants 4% chance your attacks will be 20% faster.
Spiny Grants 10% chance of rapid skill meter increase. If opponent uses a skill, grants 4% chance attack meter fills instantly.
Spiny Cheep Cheep Fills skill meter 10% faster. If you are about to lose, grants 20% chance that viruses (1) will be eliminated. (Once only.)
Sumo Bro. Grants 10% chance to earn extra coins (5) on stage clear. Grants 20% chance a rainbow capsule will appear within 20 seconds of match start.
Swoop Increases score by 1%. If an object has reached the 3rd row from the bottom line, grants 20% chance that all capsules will be eliminated. (Once only.)

Promotion

A Twitter account was created to promote Dr. Mario World. The account is "run" by the three main viruses, red, blue, and yellow, and it posts videos of the three viruses getting into various situations, often ending up with one of them touching a capsule and disappearing.

Reception

Critical reception

At launch, Dr. Mario World received generally mixed to somewhat negative reviews. Critics were somewhat divided but leaned positively on its puzzle aspect and its multiplayer mode, but near unanimously criticized its overabundance of microtransactions and its online requirement. It currently holds a score of 58 on Metacritic based on fifteen reviews[4] and a score of 55.94% on GameRankings based on eight reviews.[5]

Chris Carter of Destructoid gave the game a 6/10, praising the accessibility and puzzles the game has to offer, but criticized the microtransactions, claiming "I've been playing mobile games consistently since Flight Control in 2009; so you could say I've had many encounters with energy systems and the like. The situation is definitely case-by-case, nuanced, and depending on the game the juice can absolutely be worth the squeeze. But seeing cute Mario characters reduced to this, with all of the psychological tricks in the book thrown in, is depressing. Just energy, just "you can finish this hard level if you pay," or just gacha would have been a lot as it is."[6] In a review without a score, Ben Bertoli of IGN expressed skepticism over the change in gameplay compared to previous entries in the series, and was slightly more critical of the microtransactions, stating "While it doesn't make it unplayable, to be sure, it makes it very clear from the get-go where this Dr. Mario's priorities lie." He concluded that it was still a fairly decent game to play for those who enjoy puzzle games.[7] In an even more negative review, Glen Fox of Gamezebo gave the game a 2/5, criticizing practically everything about the game; he called the puzzles "artificial difficulty" and "uninspired," and raised a larger furor over the microtransactions, stating that he never expected Nintendo to engage in such predatory practices.[8]

In stark contrast to other critics, Chris Scullion of Nintendo Life gave the game an 8/10, and praised mainly the multiplayer mode. While he agreed with other critics that the single-player mode was muddled with excessive microtransactions, he believed that the gameplay was fitting for a mobile device, and believed the multiplayer mode would be the game's highlight.[9]

On the Google Play storefront, Dr. Mario World currently has an average user score of 3.9 out of 5, while on Apple's App Store, it has an average user score of a 4.5 out of 5.

Sales

Dr. Mario World has received 2 million downloads in the first 72 hours of its launch.[10] It additionally received $100,000 from its in-app purchases. While it had only half of the downloads Super Mario Run had in the same time window, which was exclusive only to iOS at launch, and it is the lowest grossing Nintendo mobile game at this launch window, Dr. Mario Worlds revenue is comparable to other games in its genre such as Candy Crush Friends Saga; Dr. Mario World generated 75% of the revenue compared to Candy Crush Friends Sagas $137,000 in the same markets.

Dr. Mario World has reached 5 million downloads globally and players have spent $500,000 on in-app purchases in its first week, which is comparable to the top 25 puzzle games in Dr. Mario Worlds genre; Toon Blast from Peak Games, for example, grossed approximately $325 million in 2018, yet saw just $90,000 in its first week.[11] Dr. Mario World charted as the #1 free iPhone app in Japan and #6 in the US.

App Store description

■ Use your puzzle skills to eliminate pesky viruses!

  • Match capsules with viruses and watch them disappear! Simply match three objects of the same color vertically or horizontally to clear them.
  • Luckily, Dr. Mario and friends have virus-busting skills, and you can use leftover half-capsules to strategically zero in on especially meddlesome viruses.
  • Take your time, because each puzzling configuration of viruses must be cleared using a limited number of capsules. Keep calm to plan your approach, and you'll rid Dr. Mario's world of viruses in no time!

■ Paging Dr. Mario!

  • A colorful cast of viruses has Dr. Mario's world in a panic! Dr. Mario and friends have put on lab coats and grabbed capsules! Now they're ready to eliminate those unruly viruses.
  • Dr. Mario isn't the only one on call—Dr. Peach, Dr. Bowser, and others are on duty. Staff up with assistants like Goomba, Koopa Troopa, and Buzzy Beetle to help your doctors out with additional skills.
  • Doctors and assistants have various virus-busting skills, so experiment to find a combination that suits your style and pace.
  • Hundreds of stages over many different worlds are ready for you to save! New worlds, new doctors, and more will be delivered on a regular basis.

■ Play together with friends and family around the world!

  • You're not in this alone—send and receive stamina-giving hearts to use in stage mode! Then, show off your puzzle-solving progress.
  • In versus mode, you can turn up the intensity on your virus-busting by challenging others to a one-on-one showdown—without using hearts!
  • Find the right combo of doctor and assistants and aim for victory online to earn battle points and increase your tier!

Notes:

  • This game is free to start, with optional in-game purchases.
  • Persistent Internet and compatible smart device required. Data charges may apply.
  • May contain advertising.
  • For information about our ads, please see the “How we use your information” section of the Nintendo Privacy Policy.

Pre-release and unused content

Unused graphics for doctors have been extracted from the game; this includes Donkey Kong, Diddy Kong, Rosalina, and Luma.[12][13] Unused graphics for assistants have also been extracted as well, including Boo and King Boo.[14], and unused text strings for Star Bunny, Honey Queen, Octoomba, Bomb Boo, Dino Piranha, King Kaliente, Scuttlebug, Goombrat, and Wiggler.[15]

There are unused assets for upcoming worlds, with Super Mario Galaxy-themed world, and a jungle-themed world.[16]

References to other games

  • Super Mario series - This game's five worlds are commonly featured across the Super Mario platformers.
  • Super Mario Bros. - The coin sound effect is directly taken from this game's NES version.
  • Tetris & Dr. Mario - The music heard during Dr. Toad's first gameplay tutorial is an arrangement of Music 1 from the Mixed Match mode from this game.
  • Mario Party 10 - Most of the characters' victory, losing, and idle animations are taken from this game.
  • Super Mario Odyssey - Dr. Bowser's attire is similar to his normal self's wedding attire in this game.

References

  1. Nintendo of America's Twitter, announcing the release date
  2. Dr. Mario World Launches A Day Earlier Than Expected, Out Now On iOS And Android - Nintendo Life
  3. Official Dr. Mario World Twitter (July 1, 2019)
  4. Metacritic score for Dr. Mario World. Metacritic. Retrieved July 13, 2019.
  5. GameRankings score for Dr. Mario World. GameRankings. Retrieved July 13, 2019.
  6. Carter, Chris (July 10, 2019). "Review: Dr. Mario World". Destructoid. Retrieved July 13, 2019.
  7. Bertoli, Ben (Last updated July 10, 2019). "Dr. Mario World is Fun, But Flawed". IGN. Retrieved July 13, 2019.
  8. Fox, Glen (July 11, 2019). "Dr. Mario World Review: An Uninspiring Puzzler From Nintendo That's Infested With Predatory IAPs". Gamezebo. Retrieved July 13, 2019.
  9. Scullion, Chris (July 11, 2019). "Dr. Mario World Review (Mobile)". Nintendo Life. Retrieved July 13, 2019.
  10. (Jul 18, 2019) Nintendo's Dr. Mario World Starts Strong for Its Genre with 2 Million Installs and $100,000 Spent in 72 Hours. Sensor Tower. Retrieved July 19, 2019.
  11. (Jul 19, 2019) Dr. Mario World's First Week Downloads Reach a Healthy Five Million Globally. Sensor Tower. Retrieved July 20, 2019.
  12. Fruzzetti, Ben (July 9th, 2019) Datamine for Dr. Mario World leaks which Mario characters will shortly be receiving MDs. Nintendo Wire. Retrieved July 9, 2019.
  13. Tweet from CometMedal Twitter. Retrieved July 9, 2019.
  14. Sprite sheet for assistants, from The Spriters Resource
  15. Tweet from MarioJoe11
  16. Tweet from Dr. Mario World NA (unofficial account)

External links

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