by Hokum on Monday, January 21, 2002
Near the end of the NES' run, Nintendo seemed to run out of ideas for 8-bit games that would hold the public's attention. So it began to use it's Mario characters in simple Tetris-like puzzle games like Dr. Mario. This first edition worked very well, as simple and unoriginal as it was, and was very popular. 2-player mode is quite fun but personally, it's my least-favorite Tetris clone.
3 games followed - 'Yoshi', which simply sucked and Nintendo knew it, which is why they quickly wheeled out the sequel (read: replacement) 'Yoshi's Cookies'. This was an improvement and midly amusing, but still not very unique and didn't fair nearly as well as Dr. Mario. Finally, the public was pretty much Mario-puzzled out & enjoying the new 16-bit platform games by the time Wario's Woods was released. The least-well-known and last in the series, it also happened to be the best (subjective opinion I know). It allowed you to control Toad, who manually stacked the falling monsters and bombs, and strived to line up same colored monsters and bombs to clear the given stage. Excellent two-player fun, but few people even knew about it.
Dr. Mario, though, is the one that gets the red-carpet treatment on every console - SNES, Gameboy, N64. It's good, but I heartily recommend Wario's Woods or even Tengen Tetris as superior puzzle games for the NES (for future consoles, all are put to shame by Puzzle Bobble/Bust-a-Move!)
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