Dr. Mario World
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, but ended up being released a day earlier on July 9. 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. 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.
A virus outbreak has occurred in the Mushroom Kingdom, infecting Koopa Troopas, Toads, and Shy Guys, where Dr. Mario hunts down viruses to save the locals. Dr. Toad instructs Dr. Mario on how to eliminate viruses in the first demo level, featuring only red viruses. By the 11th level, Princess Peach notices that the Toads need her help while Bowser wants to take care of the viruses affecting his minions himself, so they join Dr. Mario as playable characters.
As with previous Dr. Mario games, the main and most common objective is to eliminate all of the viruses on the screen by connecting capsules of the same color to each of them, although instead of the capsules descending, the game's gravity is directed upwards with the viruses positioned towards the top of the screen. The player first drags a capsule from the bottom of the screen onto the field to use it, and can drag it again to move it or increase its "falling" speed, or tap it to rotate it horizontally or vertically; if there is an open space for the capsule to fit through, players may drag the capsule towards that open space as well. Viruses are eliminated if three (as opposed to four) or more of the same color are matched. If a player uses a half of a capsule to eliminate viruses, the other half remains, in which players can drag it around as an ordinary capsule if it is free to go up the screen. Players earn a rainbow capsule if they make seven matches that eliminates viruses; these rainbow capsules can be used in tandem with pills of any color to eliminate viruses, though they take up only one tile on the screen. The classic red, blue, and yellow viruses return, while new green, purple, light-blue, and pink viruses make their debut.
Depending on the level, various obstacles may appear on the field, including Empty Blocks and Brick Blocks and viruses can be hidden inside of the Brick Blocks. Different-colored shells and Exploders can also appear among the viruses which, when matched with capsules of the same color, clear out viruses on the same row and eliminate surrounding viruses, respectively. In the same manner of activating the aforementioned items, players can obtain a Skill Charger that fully fills out their doctor's skill meter. Viruses can be trapped in ice, which requires two clearings to destroy them, encased in bubbles, which shield them from capsules once before they disappear, or trapped in cages, being released only after clearing a lock on the field.
Special items can be used prior to entering a stage and while in the middle of a stage which aids players to clear the stage. Dr. Toad gives out free items for a trial use, in which after the single use, players need to purchase the items with diamonds.
Dr. Mario World has two main modes. Stage Mode serves as the game's single player mode while Versus Mode serves as the game's multiplayer mode. Versus Mode is unlocked when players have cleared Stage 20.
Stage Mode is the mode players first start through and requires players to fulfill various objectives in order to clear levels. The most common objective is to eliminate viruses, though other objectives are include obtaining Virus Coins hidden in Brick Blocks. Levels are grouped into worlds, beginning with five – which are in order grass-, desert-, beach-, ghost-, and sky-themed – with more to be added in the future. Each world has two areas, which have 20 stages in each area. Each world has its own set of challenge stages, in which players need to clear the stage before the time limit runs out. Unlike prior Dr. Mario games, players are limited to a certain amount of capsules per level.
In order to play a level, the player needs to have at least one heart. A heart is regained automatically every 30 minutes, although players can purchase hearts with diamonds or clear a level for a free heart. In the first 20 levels, players have an infinite number of hearts; afterwards, players are granted a max number of five hearts. Diamonds can also be used to obtain items, obtain new doctors and assistants, and to continue a level should a player fail an attempt (although only one continue is allowed per attempt). Diamonds can be purchased through the app with real money. When a player clears a stage, they earn coins, a heart, and a number of stars depending on how many capsules are left when they have cleared; they can earn a max number of three stars for the best score. If a player retries a stage too many times, Dr. Toad uses a free hammer on a tile for the player.
Stage Mode features Doctor's Orders, which are a list of extra objectives players can complete for bonus coins. Some objectives can be filled in both Stage and Versus Mode while others are Stage Mode exclusive. Once the Doctor's Orders objectives are completed, it takes 6 hours (20 hours prior to version 1.1.0) to receive new ones, while skipping objectives takes 1 hour (8 hours prior to version 1.1.0).
In Versus Mode, players pit against other human opponents online or against their friends, and it plays similarly to the multiplayer modes of previous Dr. Mario titles. The goal for players is to clear viruses in their grid to send viruses to their opponents side; players lose if they obtain enough viruses that cross the bottom line of the stage. When players clear viruses, their attack meter fills; when the attack meter is full, players can send a row of viruses to their opponent. The number of viruses is dependent on the doctor's attack power; the higher their attack is, the more viruses they can send, but their attack meter fills more slowly than weaker doctors. Players can view their opponent's grid, as well as a dotted line indicator showing how far viruses are down on their opponent's stage. Additionally, players have a chance to prevent opponents from sending viruses to them; the higher their doctor's defense stat is, the likelier the attack will be defended against.
Players are sorted into tiers, which serves as the game's matchmaking feature. Players earn battle points if they win matches and lose battle points if they do not. When enough battle points are earned, players ascend tiers and the higher their tier is, the better rewards they earn for winning. Players earn keys for a battle box if they win battles, and if they have enough keys, they can open battle boxes to obtain random loot in them such as coins, hearts, tickets for assistance, etc., including two special assistants exclusive to higher tier battle boxes. Battle boxes can be open once every 10 hours after they have been opened.
So far, Dr. Mario World features 26 playable characters. Each playable character offers a unique special skill that can be activated during gameplay. Players start with Dr. Mario when they first play the game and unlock Dr. Bowser and Dr. Peach when they reach Stage 11; if players pick one of the three characters, the other two characters become unavailable. Players can purchase new doctors with coins and diamonds in the Staffing menu of the game, although the doctors are obtained randomly and duplicates can occur. If players receive duplicate characters, it goes towards that doctor's skill level and players stop earning duplicates if a particular character has a maxed out skill level. Reaching new skill levels will also make the skill meter fill faster for that doctor in Stage Mode.
More doctors are planned to be added via software updates.
So far, Dr. Mario World features 51 assistants. Assistants, like the doctors, have unique skills that aid the player. Up to two assistants can be selected at once. Like doctors, these characters' skills level up with play or by obtaining duplicates from the Staffing menu. Goomba is earned as the first assistant when players reach Stage 20.
More assistants are planned to be added via software updates.
While the red, blue, and yellow viruses return from previous Dr. Mario titles, Dr. Mario World introduces four more colors of viruses: green, light-blue, purple, and pink.
There are five worlds total in the base game for Dr. Mario World. Each world is sorted into two areas, with each area containing 20 stages. Each world additionally contains three challenge levels which reward players with coins upon completion. New worlds are planned to be added in an update. When the player clears the first area of a world, they earn a coin or assistant reward. When a player clears the second area of a world, represented by a Goal Pole, they earn a staff ticket for use in the Staffing menu that can unlock new doctors or assistants, as well as a silver medal. If they earn all stars in a world, they earn a gold medal for that world; and clearing a special stage in a world rewards a platinum medal, 1000 coins and a doctor.
More worlds are planned to be added in future updates.
Items and objects
To promote Dr. Mario World, Nintendo released a series of short videos on social media featuring the viruses performing various activities, beginning on June 18, 2019 and ending on July 10, 2019, on a daily basis.
Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp
Tier Rank up Promo
The following is a list of updates the game has received since launch. The updates also has specific changes, via the in-game notifications.
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 sixteen reviews and a score of 55.94% on GameRankings based on eight reviews.
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." 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. 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.
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.
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.
Dr. Mario World has received 2 million downloads in the first 72 hours of its launch. 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 World's 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 Saga's $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 World's genre; Toon Blast from Peak Games, for example, grossed approximately $325 million in 2018, yet saw just $90,000 in its first week. Dr. Mario World charted as the #1 free iPhone app in Japan and #6 in the US.
App Store description
References to other games
Pre-release and unused content
Unused assets have been extracted from the game; this includes unused graphics for a Dino Piranha, Cooligan, Ice Bro, Freezie, Bone Goomba, Lava Bubble, and Whomp assistants and unused text strings for Magikoopa and King Kaliente assistants..
There are also medals featuring Boo and Piranha Plant indicating future Clinic Events, a golden ticket to unlock costumes for characters, medals themed to Super Mario Galaxy, and a black, spiky Fuzzy-looking creature wearing a surgical mask..
Names in other languages