Dr. Mario World: 5 Ways It's Totally New (& 5 Ways It Nods To The Original)

Dr. Mario was originally released in 1990 by Nintendo, but now it's a mobile game! Here are some ways it's different, and some ways it's not.

Dr. Mario World is now curing the mobile game scene with its fun theme, revamped gameplay, and a whole lot of medical mentions. While the game is in several ways different from the original Dr. Mario, which released to the Nintendo Entertainment System in 1990, it boasts the same charm and similar content.

We're here to take a look at everything new to Dr. Mario World as well as everything borrowed from the classic game. Try not to get sick of our huge obsession: here's all there is to know about Dr. Mario World's relation to its predecessor.

10 New: It’s A Strategic Puzzle Game

The original Dr. Mario was considered an action-puzzle game. This is because Mario threw pills into the play screen automatically, and it was your job to put them in place before they fell to the bottom. The new game, on the other hand, is not so fast-paced.

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It relies more heavily on strategy, as users instead have a limited amount of capsules to throw onto the game board. They're in control of when these pills fall, so they are able to play at their own pace.

9 Nod: Destroy Those Viruses

While the gameplay is different, the premise remains unchanged. It is Mario’s job to destroy viruses by throwing capsules at them. While there are a few new colorful viruses to destroy as you progress further in the game, it starts out with the familiar red, blue, and yellow bugs.

While the graphics are much better this time around, those nasty little guys share the same smirky faces of the viruses before them.

8 New: More Characters Than Ever


Dr. Mario World has more than one medical professional. Dr. Bowser, Dr. Peach, and Dr. Luigi have all joined the clan. You can pick which one you play as, with each offering their own special powers to aid your gameplay.

There are also assistants based on popular Mario bad guys who have their own special skills to offer. Goomba, Cheep Cheep, and Blooper are just a few of your options.

Did we neglect to mention that in addition to the ten doctors currently available, there are even more rumored to be on the way? Being real, we don’t know whose idea it was to add Baby Mario to the potential lineup. How’d he get a medical degree?

7 Nod: That Classic Music

Dr. Mario World with Toad

Remember the "Fever" theme from Dr. Mario? You know, that bouncy electronic bop that played in the background as you cleared all those crazy columns. Well, it's back, and it's better than ever.

The track has been slightly updated to reflect the newer game, but it still has that classic melody and sound that makes every bone in your body want to destroy some viruses.

6 New: Match Three, Not Four

The original game had players matching four viruses and pills of the same color to clear a row. The new game asks for only three.

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This small change, in combination with the strategic gameplay, makes it closer to a mobile puzzle game like Candy Crush Saga rather than the original Dr. Mario. It does, however, help it better fit into the casual matching genre it is a part of.

5 Nod: Fast-Paced Versus Mode

Like in the original Dr. Mario, players will once again be able to compete with each other. Rather than getting into a showdown with someone sitting next to you, though, you’ll be competing against players online.

Of course, you can still add your friends to the match if they download the mobile game. Just be ready for an intense challenge.

Although versus mode carries the same strategic match-three gameplay, it is much more fast-paced than the solo mode. This is because you’ll be racing against someone to see who can clear their board first.

4 New: Inverted Game Board

In Dr. Mario for the NES, the capsules were thrown from the top down. In the new game though, capsules float onto the viruses from the bottom to the top of the screen.

This change is likely due to the touch-screen setup of smartphones. It’s much easier to flick capsules away from you than it is to bring them toward you. It doesn’t change gameplay so much as it does modifies the orientation of the inaugural board.

3 Nod: Increasingly Intense Levels

The first release of Doctor Mario had players choosing what level they wanted to start on, how many viruses they wanted to battle, and what speed they wanted the game to progress at. As gameplay continued though, no matter where you started, the levels got increasingly challenging.

This is also the case with the new game. While you’ll be forced to kick it off on level one, you’ll find that as you go, things do get tougher. You’ll also unlock more ways to play and additional obstacles as you go, which keeps the game interesting.

2 New: Special Objects and Powers

Empty blocks and bricks have been introduced into the gameboard to make it harder, but shells and bombs have also shown up to help you more easily clear rows.

Players can also use gems and coins to purchase items that will help them out during the next level. Some give you a higher capsule count, while others up your skill or score.

Let's also not forget about the in-level powers. One powerup can help you clear your board when it gets crowded by too many capsules. Another helps fill up your skill meter, which allows your doctor to use their special power.

1 Nod: It Still Feels Like The Original

Many critics of the new mobile game have said that it is nothing like the original. Yes, the gameplay has been modified, but it still boasts that traditional Dr. Mario feel. It's simply Dr. Mario tailored to a 2019 audience rather than a '90s one. Had the game first released today, it would probably look something like it is now.

Relaxed gaming may be in but so is the nostalgia. If you've been waiting for an updated medical blast from the past, this is it.

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