The Dr. Mario puzzle series hasn’t had a new entry since 2013, when Luigi acquired his doctorate and opened his own virus-crushing medical practice on the Wii U. Six years later we’ll be introduced to Dr. Peach, Dr. Toad, Dr. Bowser, and more thanks to the mobile game interpretation – Dr. Mario World.
Co-produced with LINE, we knew little about the app until June 17th. A short video guided us through what medical mysteries await and introduced us to our targets – wacky viruses. Since the overview video’s release, Nintendo has been releasing daily videos featuring a trio of Virus enemies (Red, Yellow, and Blue) and their crazy antics. Dubbed Virus Daily, these videos maybe inspired by The Three Stooges and trio-related tropes. In the 15 videos that are currently available, we see Red, Blue, and Yellow engage in a number of physical comedic situations. Scattered throughout these hijinks of capsules causing Red to disappear are some Nintendo-themed skits. Taking advantage of Super Mario Maker 2’s release, Friday’s video can be viewed as celebrating the level-crafting madness that will consume our summer.
— Dr. Mario World (@Drmarioworld_EN) June 28, 2019
The question-coin block isn’t the only Super Mario related item shown in these videos. A cosplaying Red has tried his hand at imitating Mario, Yellow has discovered a warp pipe and is thoroughly amused by its transportation ability, Blue has even transferred Red directly into Dr. Mario World, and lastly we’ve seen Dr. Mario’s silhouette during a gag.
Yes, these videos are marketing Dr. Mario World. What draws my attention to them is Nintendo’s history of making animated shorts. We don’t see these projects too often, and if we do they’re bundled into the extras section within a game. The Pikmin Short Movies and Yarn Yoshi shorts have been fun experiments, but we didn’t see Nintendo make any further leaps with those two properties. Their current animation plans have Universal’s Illumination producing a Super Mario themed movie, and the studio is outside of Japan. Any time I see Nintendo able to animate a small piece, it pulls at my animation nerd heartstrings. Plus these little exercises only help Nintendo in other aspects, like the wonderful character-acting we’ve seen in Luigi’s Mansion 3 cutscenes.
I hope we will see more of these Daily Virus videos beyond Dr. Mario World’s release on July 10th. If not, then I hope NIntendo is able to do something similar for Mario Kart Tour, another mobile gaming app on Nintendo’s roster.