Top Critic Average
It's a real pity. Wii U's eShop has been starved of decent fare of late, and Nintendo should be leading the way. Yet it's easy to see Dr Luigi as a symptom of the current malaise affecting its home console business. It features a strange gimmick no one's really that interested in, it highlights an increasing reliance on past glories, and most will find it somewhat overpriced. The outgoing Fiscal Year of Luigi draws to a close with a whimper, then - here's hoping the coming months see Nintendo offer a more convincing tablet-based cure for what ails it.
The Year of Luigi ends with Dr. Luigi, a fun twist of the 23-year-old classic Dr. Mario.
A competent and unexciting update to a competent and unexciting puzzler, which is not nearly praise enough to forgive the optimistically high price.
Virus placement and random pill drops can create extremely difficult starting scenarios, but head-to-head play with friends is great fun.
Dr. Luigi is content with safety over invention
Dr. Luigi repackages the Dr. Mario formula with some new ideas, but limited options and slow pacing leave it feeling anemic.
It's still a far cry from the top-tier classic puzzlers, but Dr. Luigi manages to be fun enough... even if there is that nebulous whiff of tragedy about the whole affair. On the other hand, it doesn't leave the nasty taste in your mouth that you get from exploitatively designed free-to-play puzzlers like Candy Crush Saga, so that's something.
Outside of Virus Buster, Dr. Luigi is very much a no-frills game mostly for fans of the Dr. series. If you don't find yourself getting excited at the prospect of L-shaped blocks or GamePad play though, you might as well just stick with Dr. Mario Online Rx. Either way, the Wii U's newest entry in the Dr. series is a nice cap on a great first Year of Luigi.
While I greatly enjoyed Dr. Luigi, most of my joy can be attributed to my profound love for Dr. Mario. Those who have such a nostalgic tie to the game will love Dr. Luigi in the same way the new iterations of Tetris keep fans from the '80s and '90s coming back.
Other than the new Operation L and Virus Buster modes, there is little in the way of new content that makes this a better deal than the previous (and cheaper) versions. For up to £5, Dr. Luigi would have been an OK puzzler, but at almost half the cost of a retail Wii U game, the person who decided the price for this retread probably needs some medical observation themselves.