Dr. Mario (series)

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It has been requested that this article be rewritten and expanded to include more information. Reason: Include proper gameplay section and evolution from game to game, etc

Dr. Mario
Dr. Mario Logo
Japanese logo,
PAL logo since Dr. Mario & Germ Buster,
North American logo since Dr. Luigi
Old international logo
First installment Dr. Mario (1990)
Latest installment Dr. Mario World (2019)
Number of installments 9
Franchise Super Mario
“Medical alert: Microscopic monsters have come out in force to take over the lab of the famous plumber turned practitioner, Dr. Mario, and you've got to set things straight. Manipulating the doctor's special vitamin capsules and making matches to obliterate the menace is Tetris-style strategic fun for one or two players!”
Nintendo Power Issue #18, November/December 1990

The Dr. Mario series is a series of puzzle games in the Super Mario franchise. The series stars Mario's medical alter ego, Dr. Mario. It has elements similar to that of Tetris, the main concept of the game being that the player must stack multi-colored capsules (rather than blocks) in rows of a single color so that they can eradicate correspondingly colored viruses and achieve victory.


Image, original release, and system Synopsis
Dr. Mario
The NES front cover version of the game Dr. Mario
Japan July 27, 1990
NES, Game Boy
The first game in the Dr. Mario series; it was released for the NES and for the Game Boy in 1990. The game brought the basic concept of the series to the players' attention immediately, as they would start the game off having to reorganize falling vitamin capsules in order to eradicate viruses from the screen. Once all viruses has been eliminated, the player would move on to the next level. As the game progressed, each level rose in difficulty, providing more viruses for the player to eliminate and less space to maneuver the vitamin capsules in. Dr. Mario was ported and remade many times after its original release.
VS. Dr. Mario
The title screen for Vs. Dr. Mario.
USA 1990
VS. System
Dr. Mario was later released on the VS. System under the title VS. Dr. Mario. This edition of the game eliminated the Slow Mode of the game; it also made racking up points more difficult. In the original Dr. Mario, the points received for eliminating a virus would double with each one that disappeared; in this version of the game, only an additional 200 points would be rewarded for each virus that was eliminated.
Dr. Mario
Dr. Mario in its original blister pack (front view)
Gamewatch Boy
A version of the original game of the same name adapted to the Gamewatch Boy. It was manufactured by Mani and licensed by Nintendo in 1993.
Dr. Mario 64
Box art for Dr. Mario 64
USA April 9, 2001
Nintendo 64
The third installment in the Dr. Mario series, released on the Nintendo 64 in 2001. The concept from the original Dr. Mario had continued in this installment, with the only major change being a graphics update. The player still had to reorganize vitamin capsules in their respective color pattern in order to eliminate viruses. This game also featured a Story Mode. In this mode, Wario is introduced to the series. Dr. Mario and Wario must retrieve the Megavitamins that had been stolen. However, all the battles were against the computer.
Dr. Mario Online Rx
Dr. mario online rx.jpg
Japan March 25, 2008
Wii (WiiWare)
Dr. Mario Online Rx (known in Europe and Australia as Dr. Mario & Germ Buster) is a game specially made for WiiWare, released in 2008. It had no story mode, unlike Dr. Mario 64, but the player can play with others online via Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection. It's also possible for the player to play as their own Mii. It actually contains two games: the original Dr. Mario, and Germ Buster (known in NTSC regions as Virus Buster), a game originally from Brain Age 2 (known in Europe as More Brain Training of Dr. Kawashima). Germ Buster is a special game that uses the motion control of the Wii Remote, to move the capsules to the Viruses. Germ Buster includes a Co-op mode in the main game self, so, if there is any other Wii Remote on, the player of that Wii Remote can play too, to help the first one. In Germ Buster the player can press on Miis too (while playing) to let then say something in a text bubble. Pressing on Viruses outside the bottle (again while playing), they'll laugh happily to the player. Players can also send demo versions of Dr. Mario Online Rx to friends, but WiiConnect24 is needed. Also, in the Demo version, the player can only play online with another friend.
Dr. Mario Express
Japan December 24, 2008
Nintendo DSi (DSiWare)
Dr. Mario Express (known in Europe and Australia as A Little Bit of... Dr. Mario) released on DSiWare in 2009, features gameplay that is very similar to Dr. Mario Online Rx, but the Virus Blaster minigame is not included and there is also no multiplayer feature. This was the first Super Mario DSiWare game.
Dr. Luigi
English logo for Dr. Luigi.
USA December 31, 2013
Wii U (Nintendo eShop-exclusive)
The sixth game in the series released on Nintendo eShop on Wii U, in celebration of the Year of Luigi. As the title suggests, the game features Luigi instead of Mario. Additionally, the game introduces a new mode, called Operation L, in which the player must eliminate viruses using L-capsules.
Dr. Mario: Miracle Cure
Dr. Mario: Miracle Cure Logo
Japan May 31, 2015
Nintendo 3DS (Nintendo eShop-exclusive)
A game in the series for Nintendo 3DS, released exclusively on Nintendo eShop in 2015. It features a new item called "Miracle Cure" that has a random helpful effect on the playing field.
Dr. Mario World
Dr. Mario World English logo
July 9, 2019
iOS, Android
A game in the series for mobile devices. It was initially released on July 9, 2019, and features several doctors with different abilities. It was shut down in November 2021.

Names in other languages[edit]

Language Name Meaning
Chinese (Simplified) 马力欧医生
Mǎlì'ōu Yīshēng
Dr. Mario


  • The old international logo for the series, used from Dr. Mario to Dr. Mario Express in North America, stylized the "R" in "Dr." as "℞". This is in reference to a common abbreviation for a medical prescription (given that Mario is a doctor in this series), with the R crossed out being an abbreviation for Recipere (Latin for "Take thou"). Similarly, Dr. Mario Online Rx has the "Rx" stylized as "℞", but not the "R" in "Dr."