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Game Review: Doctor Mario World (a mobile game)

Okay, let's be honest here, I guess this is more of a "First thoughts" then a "review". As I've only been playing the game for a short while and I'm no where near "beating" this mobile game but every time I play it, I think, "I should do a review on this!" I am!

Now, I downloaded this free app on my phone as a lover of Doctor Mario. I remember playing Doctor Mario on the NES when I was a kid and have enjoyed many hours of the same game on my Switch, so I guess I had some expectations for this game when I downloaded it onto my phone...and I'm not sure it's held up!

This game is very different then the game I grew up on! First of all, this version has a story line, in which everyone, including Bowser, Princess Peach and Mario are all "doctors" working together to eliminate the viruses taking over the kingdom. Since they are all working together, you get to choose who you want to play as (which is kind of cool). In order to track your success, you make your way through a map of levels, each a little harder then the one before. In each level you are tasks with eliminating viruses or collecting all of the pink coins within the allotted pill supply. If you fail, you lose a life and have to try again. If you succeed, you're awarded 1-3 stars based on your performance and are allowed to, then, either try for a better score on the same level or advance. Of course, there are power ups to unlock along the way, too.

So far so good, right? Yea, that's what I thought, too. And then I got to know the controls, which are loose and like to stick. I mean, I could live with the fact that the stages feel upside down, as the viruses are towards the top of the screen and your goal isn't to stack too high, but too low, though that was hard to adjust to. But what really annoys me is when my pills don't quite make it to where I'm telling them to go, especially if I'm jumping blocks or pills (which you can do here but kind of feels like cheating to me) and trying to place a pill on the other side...and the pill lands on the wrong side of the hurdle was trying to avoid. Or when I'm trying to slip a sideways pill between two viruses and it doesn't go in all of the way, leaving the wrong color stacked between the two viruses I was trying to kill. That drives me crazy! I've also had issues when trying to play in an area that isn't still, ie. the car or bed with a little one crawling around on it, too because these factors just make it harder to be super precise while moving the pills, which tends to help the placement at least some.

However, one idea that I do love is the ability to play versus other players. This is especially awesome when you run out of lives and, then, are unable to play any more levels since playing versus doesn't require lives! In versus, you get to play against another player to see who can survive without crossing the bottom line longer. Winning gets you small rewards and the more you win, the faster you advance into higher tiers. Your chances are helped as the faster kill viruses, you dump more trash onto your opponent's stage. However, the controls aren't much better while playing versus, which can really mess with your game! this is even compounded when trying to place a pill as trash is being dropped as the stage is moving, too and seems to really confuse my phone, leaving pills nowhere near where I tried to leave them at times. In addition to this annoyance, the "trash" reminds me of the lines added to your stage in Tetris 99 which, for some reason, really annoys me.