Dr. Mario World’s first ten levels serve as a tutorial. They’re a breeze to get through, and players will fly through them quickly. In these early stages, to familiarize players with the game and learn the mechanics, the game automatically starts players with Dr. Mario.
After clearing the tutorial, or rather, stage ten, players choose between Peach, Bowser, or to continue playing as Mario. Because it’s early in the game, this is a daunting decision. The disclaimer at the bottom at least indicates that players will earn other characters as they progress, but until then, who do you pick?
Each doctor’s skill is different and benefits the player in different ways. I focused on solo play as the skills differ in vs. mode. It’s worth noting that skills eliminate both viruses and blocks in columns or rows if it hits them.
I admit while playing the tutorial stages, and I didn’t use Mario’s skill too often. The stages were simple by design, and I bypassed them without any problems. Dr. Mario’s ability eliminates the bottom row. While that doesn’t seem like much, it’s worth noting that Dr. Mario’s strength lies in its reliability. It’s always the bottom row, and you can predict this and save it for when you need it if you need it. Players that like predictability should pick Dr. Mario.
Dr. Peach gives us our first random element. Her skill eliminates a column at random. While I haven’t used her ability, I appreciate the scenarios where it could prove useful for clearing paths or removing viruses that have built up. The issue with her skill is the randomness to it. Without a way to predict it, players might find her clearing a section they don’t need to clear.
Finally, we have Dr. Bowser. His skill is an odd combination of Peach’s and Mario’s, with a random element thrown in when clearing rows. Dr. Bowser’s skill, when activated, clears two rows at random. Ultimately, this could be the strongest of the starting three doctors. While random, players eliminate two rows, giving them a prime opportunity to open up the stage.
So who do you pick?
I’d suggest Dr. Bowser for raw strength or Dr. Mario for the predictability. Dr. Peach, as charming as she is, falls flat in comparison.