Dr. Mario (series)
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The Dr. Mario series is a puzzle-themed sub-series of the Mario franchise. The series stars Mario's medical alter ego, Dr. Mario; on occasion, Nurse Toadstool also appears in the series. The series has elements similar to that of Tetris; the main concept of the game being that the player must stack Megavitamins, (rather than blocks), in a colored order so that they can eradicate the viruses that stand in the way to victory.
Dr. Mario was 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 Megavitamins 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 Megavitamins in. Dr. Mario was ported and remade many times after its original release.
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 64 is the third installment in the Dr. Mario series; as its title suggests, it was 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 Megavitamins 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 (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 Megavitamins 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 (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 Mario DSiWare game.
Dr. Luigi is 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-shaped pairs of megavitamins.
Dr. Mario: Miracle Cure is the latest game in the series, released in 2015. It features a new item called "Miracle Cure" that has a random helpful effect on the playing field.