In case you missed it, Nintendo dropped one last bit of gaming joy on the Nintendo Wii U right before New Year's – Dr. Luigi. This modified version of the NES classic, Dr. Mario, features the same pill-dropping gameplay as before, but with an interesting twist – the introduction of new L-shaped pieces in a special mode. Oh, and don’t forget about the online play, as you give your opponent a headache with a screen full of pills.

Here are some tips to help get you started in this enjoyable digital romp.

How do I master pill placement in Dr. Luigi?

Plan your moves accordingly. If you've got a double-colored pill (both yellows) coming your way, go ahead and line it up vertically so they stack on top of a virus of the same color. That may be a risk if you lay a piece on top the wrong way, but if you set up the pill the right way, you can easily lay one more similarly colored pill on top and eliminate the virus.

In addition, remember that pills can break apart if you line up four in a row. Let's say for instance you have a blue and yellow piece, and you use the yellow part to take out a yellow virus. The blue piece will drop down to the next lowest point after it's gone. 

If you can, line up these pills strategically. Set up the yellow parts to eliminate the virus above, while lining up the blue part of the piece on a waiting blue virus or an empty gap below. Remember, the last thing you want to do is set yourself up for a serious clean-up afterwards, with various pieces surrounding a virus that's hard to reach.

How do I see what pill is coming next in Dr. Luigi?

You'll notice a small section of the screen that shows what pills you have coming up next. This will help you plan a strategy, as you can lay out your current pills and prepare. NOTE: this may change if you're in the middle of a multiplayer match and an opponent successfully eliminates certain viruses on his or her side of the board. We'll cover that later this week with our advanced tips.

If you want to go ahead and get a jump on the next pill in line, set up your current piece and tap Up on the directional pad to go ahead and drop it. Luigi will then fling out the next piece and you can get to work.

Don't stack your pills too quickly, though. You may feel like you've got the ideal move laid out, but it's easy to make a mistake and cause an erroneous pile-up, which in turn may cost you the round. Take your time, set up your drops and take care of the viruses. This isn't a horse race – unless multiplayer is concerned.

How do "L" pieces work in Dr. Luigi?

"L" pieces are modified two-in-one pill combos that, as you might guess, are shaped like an "L". This is either a curse or a benefit, depending how you play.

For instance, some "L" pieces come with three colors in a row on the long side, such as yellow, red or blue. If you set these down the right way, you can take out one of the viruses in one shot. If you don't, however, they can stack up quickly and occupy precious space on the board.

When using these, look at the layout of the colors. If you've got three in a row, set up the pieces to take out a virus, but don't forget to watch where the drop-off piece is going to go. If you have various colors, set up the piece the best way so they'll line up with whatever viruses you're trying to remove. It may take a bit of practice, but you'll get the hang of this.

What general tips do you have for Retro Remedy mode in Dr. Luigi?

There are three general modes available in Retro Remedy. Classic plays like the old-school version of Dr. Mario; Vs. CPU lets you compete offline with an AI opponent, whose difficulty you can adjust; and Flash tasks you with removing certain viruses on a board.

With Classic, you can play at your own pace. If you're new to the game, adjust the speed to a lower level and work your way up. If you're more experienced, you can adjust to a medium to higher speed setting if you want to get some practice in.

With Vs. CPU, it's best to start on a lower difficulty and see how the mechanics of versus multiplayer work. Once you've gotten the hang of it, you can move up and begin to master changing puzzle pieces and eliminating multiple viruses at once. Take your time with it. 

As for Flash mode, try to take out the necessary viruses first. You may have to remove a few that stand in your way, but otherwise, stay concentrated on the goal – even if you feel tempted to remove the others.

We'll cover more advanced tips for Dr. Luigi, including multiplayer tactics, later this week.

Dr. Luigi is available for download on the Wii U.