Strap on your stethoscopes and that weird CD-Rom looking mirror doctors wear on their heads, because it is time to cure some viruses. In a press release coming out of Kyoto this morning, Nintendo announced that it would be teaming with the Tokyo based corporation LINE as well as NHN Entertainment to bring Dr. Mario World to smart devices.
For those of you that weren’t nerds in 1990 (and somehow missed every port, remake, and sequel that ever came out) Dr. Mario is a falling block puzzle game where the main objective is to destroy viruses by tossing two-colored capsules into the playing field. Matching four colors in a row removes those colors from the playing field, including viruses which is how levels are completed.
Think Tetris meets Operation. The game has a very whimsical nature to it, and was great for turning on and playing when you didn’t have much time. Nintendo has stated that this is going to be an action puzzle game, so we can expect that they will add some kind of twist or new feature to give the game longevity.
LINE is a Tokyo-based company famous for its free mobile communications app Line, and a list of add-on apps under the same name. I myself use the application to chat with my friends who live in countries different than my own on the go. It is a subsidiary of the South Korean search engine Naver Corporation, which may explain the inclusion of NHN Entertainment. NHN Entertainment (originally known as Hangame) and Naver Corporation used to be one and the same under the NHN name until the companies split in 2013 for strategic purposes.
Nintendo stated in its release that, “ “LINE”, under its corporate mission “Closing the Distance,” LINE is dedicated to creating a world that seamlessly connects people, information, content, and services anywhere, anytime, and at the most comfortable distance.” One can only assume a company so focused on interconnection will be adding some sort of online multiplayer features to the game. Nintendo itself jumped on to the mobile game scene in 2016 and has been doing well publishing games such as Fire Emblem Heroes, and Dragalia Lost. With both companies having successful mobile applications Nintendo stated, “Utilizing both companies’ strengths, Nintendo and LINE will co-develop and jointly operate a new action puzzle game featuring Dr. Mario titled Dr. Mario World to be released by Nintendo.”
The game will be free to download with optional in-app purchases, which isn’t surprising as that is the standard for mobile games these days. As it stands right now Nintendo and LINE are planning on an early summer 2019 release in approximately sixty countries including Japan and the United States.
Dr. Mario World will be available on the iOS App Store, and on Google Play.