Honestly, it’s hard for us to think of Dr. Mario World as an offering from Nintendo. For one thing, the game is infested with predatory IAPs, which feels incredibly jarring, especially coming from a company known for making family-friendly titles. And for another, the entire experience just feels… uninspired.

Now don’t get us wrong: this is precisely the kind of cliché match-three gameplay that we expect from a mobile title. If it had come from King, we wouldn’t have had any trouble with it whatsoever. The gameplay is solid, the graphics are beautiful, and new contents come often enough to keep you slightly interested.

Dr. Mario World Gameplay

But this is a product from Nintendo, not King. Yes, the big N’s mobile releases have paled in comparison to what it offered on consoles, but games like Fire Emblem Heroes, Super Mario Run, and even Animal Crossing Pocket Camp to an extent have all had at least some creativity, which is not something we see very often in the world of mobile gaming.                                .

But Dr. Mario World has none of that. It is, at its core, just another typical puzzler on mobile with an artificial level of difficulty that is intentionally put there to entice you to wipe out your wallet.

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Just another uninspired puzzler

The gameplay

You choose from Dr. Mario, Dr. Peach, or Dr. Bowser to play as, then go through a series of levels in which you must destroy all viruses present in order to progress. To do so, you’ll throw in multicolored pills and match them with a virus of the same color. Naturally, the early stages start out quite simple, but the difficulty quickly ramps up over time with numerous challenges to contend with.

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Get rid of viruses using multicolored pills

There’s also a PvP mode that puts you against another player. You’ll still be clearing the viruses as normal, but every time you do, you’ll gradually fill up your attack gauge. Once it’s full, you’ll launch an attack that sends several lines of viruses to your opponent’s board, forcing them to react quickly lest their board overflows and lose them the game. We’ve already covered this in a previous article, so if you miss it, do go back and check it out for more details.

IAPs running rampant

Then you have the usual boosters. Some of them are nice, but others feel like they are just there to encourage you to spend cash.

There are a total of 7 available boosters, four of which you pick before entering a level, while the other three can be used within. Out of these 7, only 2 can be purchased with the in-game coins that you earn by playing – and they are unreasonably expensive. The other 5 cost diamonds, which can only be obtained by spending real money.

Dr Mario World Iap
A predatory experience full of in-app purchases

The issue doesn’t stop there either: If you want to unlock new assistant characters – which grant you several stat bonuses – you’ll also have to buy a loot box, which, again, costs an absurd amount of in-game currency or 40 diamonds. At the moment, 40 diamonds have a price of roughly $5 (Rs 345), which is absolutely unacceptable for just one loot box. Honestly, you can get a fully premium mobile game for that much money – and a quality one at that.

Yes, you can argue that as long as the player is good, they won’t need any of these to complete the game. But remember, Nintendo games are primarily aimed at children. And when a booster – yes, ONE SINGLE BOOSTER, which doesn’t even guarantee that you will be able to finish the level – has a price of a dollar, that’s nothing but predatory to us.

Nintendo could do a lot better

We wouldn’t have judged Dr. Mario World as severely (and to make it clear, we still would, just not as severely) if it had been a product of any other mobile developer than Nintendo. Coming from such a high-profile studio, such immoral conduct is unforgivable.

The gameplay itself is also a disappointment. It’s just so cliché and boring that we feel like we’ve seen it all after the first hour or so. All in all, this is a game that we cannot recommend.