It'll Cost You To Play Dr. Mario World Without Metered Level Progression

It'll Cost You To Play Dr. Mario World Without Metered Level Progression

It's monetized like, y'know, a mobile game.

A new mobile Nintendo game launched today for iPhone and Android, but its gated progression is already causing issues for players. Dr. Mario World meters out play time using recharging currency that you can either wait out or spend to skip.

Accessing a level requires hearts, which you have a finite amount of after the initial tutorial. These recuperate over time, or you can spend cash to buy more. In fact, there's an option for an uninterrupted amount of play time: 60 minutes for 30 gems.

Gems, another currency in Dr. Mario World, are bought through real-world spending. While there isn't an option to buy exactly 30 gems, the closest approximation would be buying two 20-gem packs at $1.99 apiece, or just over $4. So if you want to skip the wait, it'll cost about that much for every hour of unimpeded Dr. Mario World you want to play.

This seems mostly by design, as Dr. Mario World's levels are small puzzles that seem tailor-made for a waiting room or lobby. But considering this is Nintendo, and the first Dr. Mario game since 2015's Dr. Mario: Miracle Cure, it's a little understandable why folks might want to spend more than a few passing moments on this.

Reactions seem generally mixed, though. One user on Reddit writes, "Just wait for the energy to replenish, these games are designed to be played in short burst over the day not in longer sittings." And that's a fair point: this is designed for a mobile experience, where time between short bursts of play session can add up to counteract your dwindling heart count. This is, after all, a mobile game. It makes sense that it would be monetized like one, regardless of whether some Nintendo fans would rather binge to their heart's content.

Nintendo's experimented with several kinds of mobile monetization before, from a one-time fee for Super Mario Run to a gacha system with Fire Emblem Heroes. Dr. Mario World ventures into yet another monetization scheme, and while it may not be everyone's cup of tea, it does at least fit the form factor.

Sometimes we include links to online retail stores. If you click on one and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. See our terms & conditions.

Eric Van Allen

News Editor

Eric is a writer and Texan. He's a former contributor to sites including Compete, Polygon, Waypoint, and the Washington Post. He loves competitive games, live music, and travel.

Read this next

Dr. Mario World is Breaking My Brain, But in a Good Way

Dr. Mario and the whole Mushroom Kingdom reunite to cure more diseases. Maybe they can destroy cancer this time.

Dr. Mario Brings Viral Contagions and Timers to Mobile in July

Who gave Dr. Yoshi a practitioner's license?

Dr. Mario World Release Date, Platforms, Price - Everything We Know

Here's our guide to Dr. Mario World, including a release date for all mobile platforms, and more.

Nintendo Doesn't Want to Look Greedy Over Mobile Game Microtransactions

Nintendo is doing its best to prevent its mobile partners from taking more of your money.

Nintendo Announces Dr. Mario World Smartphone Puzzle Game

A new Nintendo puzzle game for smartphones.

Once the King of PC Gaming, MechWarrior is Now the Big Stompy Ghost of a Bygone Era

A legacy series returns, and there’s little else like it in gaming today.

More News

If You're Bad at Tetris 99, You Can Now Squad Up For Help

The puzzle-battle royale hybrid just got friendlier.

Resident Evil's Newest Survivor is a Living Homage to "Jill Sandwich"

Martin should probably stay away from small rooms with descending ceilings.

The CEO of Japanese Indie Publisher Dangen Entertainment Resigns As Allegations of Harassment Mount

Ben Judd is stepping back from the publisher he helped found, as well as his "other industry endeavors."

More on Android

Minecraft on PS4 Is Finally Getting Cross-Play With Switch, Xbox One and More

Tomorrow, Minecraft completes its console cross-play journey.

The Elder Scrolls: Legends is "On Hold" at Bethesda

Bethesda's collectible card game is getting put in storage for the foreseeable future.

Nintendo Needs to Actually Support Its Games For Longer Than a Year

Smash benefits from healthy ongoing support, but where is the love for the rest of Nintendo's games?

USgamer Holiday Gift Guide 2019: For the Traveling Gamer

If your special someone is always on the go, here's some ideas to make those delayed departures sting a little less.

Fortnite Black Friday Deals - Games, Toys, Accessories, and More

Start dancing and bring in the llamas, because we have some awesome Fortnite deals for you.

Amazon Will Reportedly Announce a Cloud Gaming Service Next Year

Google, Sony, Microsoft, and soon, Amazon.

How to Complete the Fortnite Pipeman, Hayman, Timber Tent Locations Challenge

Here's how you can complete the Fortnite challenge to dance in front of the pipeman, hayman, and timber tent locations.

More Free-to-Play Games

A Time Traveling Titan is the Star of Destiny 2's Season of Dawn

Moon's haunted, Mercury's unstuck in time…

USgamer Holiday Gift Guide 2019: For the Traveling Gamer

If your special someone is always on the go, here's some ideas to make those delayed departures sting a little less.

Amazon Will Reportedly Announce a Cloud Gaming Service Next Year

Google, Sony, Microsoft, and soon, Amazon.

Several Big Google Stadia Features Won't Go Live Until 2020

Family sharing, Android compatibility, and more are missing the launch window.