Dr. Mario: Miracle Cure Review

Blake Peterson
Dr. Mario: Miracle Cure Info

genre

  • Puzzle

players

  • 1 - 2

Publisher

  • Nintendo

Developer

  • Nintendo

Release Date

  • 06/11/2015
  • Out Now

Platform

  • 3DS

rating

Take a Chill Pill with Dr. Mario. 

Dr. Mario: Miracle Cure is a 3DS expansion of the classic Dr. Mario gameplay with a few twists. Levels are split between classic Dr. Mario gameplay—in which you have to clear viruses by matching the color of the capsules to the viruses and match-4—and Dr. Luigi gameplay—basically the same except two capsules are dropped together in an L-shape.

"Miracle Cure" gameplay involve power-up capsules: Capsule Blasters, which remove excess capsules of a specific color; Virus Blasters, which remove all viruses of that color; Zappers, that remove everything in a row, column, or both; Exploders, bombs that take everything out in a nearby area; and specific competitive multiplayer capsules that affect your opponent's gameplay by reversing motion, locking rotation, and boosting the speed of the drop. Got that all?

For the most part, in the Basic levels of the game, this simply means playing Dr. Mario with the addition of these new power-ups to help clear the screen, and the levels are split between Dr. Mario and Dr. Luigi modes, while powering up a meter to use the next special ability that fills faster the more viruses you clear. There's also some multiplayer-like levels against the CPU where taking out viruses may occasionally drop capsules on your opponent's screen, or change the colors of the capsules in their L-shape in Dr. Luigi mode. 

The title refers to the Advanced levels that are much more like puzzles, where the different blasters, zappers, and exploders are placed amongst the viruses to create a chain-reaction "Miracle Cure" that wipes out all the viruses at once. Most of these are surprisingly fun, creating cute shapes out of viruses when the first chain reaction is set off, but they're not particularly challenging. Sometimes you can fail to set off the chain reaction but still complete the level.

You can also play endlessly in Dr. Luigi or Dr. Mario modes with Miracle Cure capsules on or off. However, the more interesting mode is "Virus Buster" in which you hold the 3DS sideways and use the stylus—I tried using my finger and I kept accidentally rotating pieces when I meant to just move them—to guide the capsules down to the viruses on the touchscreen. You can set the starting difficulty, but every level completed will yield a harder one. If you have a capsule that breaks, leaving behind only a single capsule piece in this mode, the remaining piece will fall slowly and you can move it individually as well. Manipulating these pieces at the same time to create chains of popped viruses can yield a lot of points.

Currently available at $8.99 on the 3DS e-store, Dr. Mario: Miracle Cure felt a little light to me at first, as there aren't nearly as many Miracle Cure advanced puzzle levels as I'd like to flesh it out. However, Virus Buster is the surprising highlight of the game (but doesn't include any of the Miracle Cure capsules) and offers a new gameplay take on the classic puzzler that allows for experimentation and improvisation. It's also certainly worth a buy if you're into Dr. Mario multiplayer, where it can be played locally or online with a ranking system. 
 

Code provided by publisher. 3DS exclusive.

REVOLUTION REPORT CARD

3.5
Rating
Classic Dr. Mario Gameplay.
Miracle Cure levels are fun!
Not much challenge.
Virus Buster mode adds novel gameplay.
But doesn't have Miracle Cure features.