Each pill is split into two, with each side being of one of three different colours, red, blue or yellow. Align three pills of the same colour to a virus of the corresponding colour (or any combination of pills and viruses totaling four or more) and it will be removed from the bottle, along with the aligned pills.
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The level is cleared when there are no viruses left, and the game is over when the pills reach the top and Dr. Mario can’t drop any more pills.Included in the game is the normal mode, a time trial, and a two player battle mode to see who can remove the most viruses.
Dr. Mario is a puzzle game that uses much the same falling block mechanic made ubiquitous by Tetris.
Vitamin capsules are dropped into the play field and must be rotated to remove viruses hovering at fixed spots (each half the size of a vitamin.) The vitamins are colored one of three colors on each side (red, yellow, or blue,) and the colors of the vitamin must be matched with the corresponding viruses of the same colors.
After stacking up four of the same color, the virus is eliminated. After destroying all viruses on the playing field, the player progresses to the next level.
The player can select 21 different levels (0 to 20), and players who can clear level 20 can make it all the way to level 24 (clearing 24 just repeats this level continuously). Each level has a different amount of viruses, and in level 20 there are 84. No more than 84 can fit, making each level after 20 have 84 viruses as well.
The player can also select the background music, either Fever or Chill. The game speed can also be set to low, medium, or high. The more time spent clearing a particular level, the faster the game speed will gradually become.