A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this game is almost identical to its 20-year-old predecessor. Content is safe for all ages, gameplay is exceptionally simple and intuitive, and a wide range of difficulty settings lets players of all skill levels have fun.
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What's it about?
From graphics to music, DR. MARIO EXPRESS, a new DSi Ware game available through Nintendo's DSi Shop, is nearly identical to the original Dr. Mario for the Nintendo Entertainment system. Players manipulate pills as they descend in a rectangular box in an effort to make their colorful ends match with scattered viruses. Create a line of four same-colored pill pieces or viruses and they will all disappear. Players need to destroy all viruses to clear a level and move on to the next, which will feature a greater number of viruses and pills that fall more rapidly. For a little added challenge you can play against the computer in games in which random pill pieces fall into your puzzle each time the A.I. clears multiple lines.
Is it any good?
Dr. Mario is a classic puzzler that easily stands the test of time; we found it to be just as compelling and habit-forming on the DSi as it has been in any of its other iterations. It's a marvelously intuitive game with simple objectives and even simpler controls. Even rookies ought to be able to pick up the game in just a few minutes. And with multiple levels of difficulty, even younger gamers can try their hand as Nintendo's mustachioed physician. The only letdown is a lack of support for multiplayer. Past Dr. Mario games have offered a great social gaming experience as players work quickly to stymie one another. It's a shame the Express edition doesn't facilitate this kind of play.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the strange endurance of classic puzzle games in an industry that typically thrives on innovation and cutting-edge technology. What is it about this 20-year-old game that makes it just as compelling today as it was when it first launched? Do you think Nintendo was wise for not altering its formula?
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.