We couldn't help noticing a huge wave of nostaligia rising after Dr. Mario wasannounced to be making its way to WiiWare. Or to rephrase that rather more accurately, wewere boggled by the fact thatso many people still cared. After all, it might have had more re-releases than The Joker, but it's never beenamongst thethe top tier of our most loved puzzle games. Dr. Mario isn't an awful game of course, but it's certainly not something we've ever found ourselves playing rabidly into the night, held tightly withinthe mercilessgrasp of the Just-One-More-Go Demon.
Still, ever ready to be converted, we downloaded the new version and gave it a go. And lo, we did find the Wii version of Dr. Mario to be... well, the Wii version of Dr. Mario, basically.
All elements are present and correct. Mario - or your Mii if you like - standsin the top right corner of the screen in his now well-known medical garb (Warning: If your physician is a plumber who has decided to adapt his skills to the human anatomy, keep your clothes on) and tosses coloured pills into a jar containinga bunch oflittle virus gremlins. You manoeuver the pills as they fall so that they land near viruses of the same colour, and once you've got a row of four or more 'block's of the same tone, pills and viruses alike will disappear. Get rid of all of the googly-eyed little death-bringers and you complete the level.
If a pill has two colours, as most of them do, the half left behind after a colour match willfall if there isn'tanything below it. This can lead to additional colour matches, which in turn can lead to satisfying chain reaction combos and a bigger score.
Dr. Mario plays as well on the Wii as it ever has, but that's exactly its problem. We're talking about a NES puzzle game here. Of course, the history of the puzzle genre is littered with examples of simple, ageless design that have remained as addictive throughout the years asthey were at theirconception, but Dr. Mario was never part of that group.