Review: Animal Crossing Clock (DSiWare)

Is Animal Crossing Clock a useful DSiWare application, or just an ironic waste of time?

Animal Crossing Clock is the second Animal Crossing-themed application so far for Nintendo's DSi system. Nintendo has carefully put together a clock application and tossed in a bunch of Animal Crossing audio/visual influences to create yet another semi-useless DSi application program. Since the DSi system already has a built-in clock function on its main menu, it would seem that having to launch an entirely new application just to get that same basic functionality would prove to be a bit redundant. Welcome to Animal Crossing Clock, people.

The clock function itself is fairly standard. You can choose to have the clock displayed as either an analog clock or a digital clock displayed on the top screen of your DSi system. Both display the time in hours, minutes, and seconds, and also feature the date and day of the week. While the digital variant is nice enough, it doesn't quite have that 'Animal Crossing' flair the analog clock features.

The clock features a Town Tune that will play at the top of each hour. At this time balloons will also come flying up the top screen of your DSi system. You can choose to use the included tune, or you can even create your own Town Tune that will be played each hour. To do this, you simply click on the Town Tune button on the touchscreen and you will then see a bunch of tiny animal faces displayed on two musical staffs. You merely click on the animal face you wish to change and drag it up and down the musical staff to change the note. Once you're done, you simply click the "Apply" button and it will automatically save your customized tune into memory.

The clock also features an alarm function that allows you set up to three different alarms times. You can even choose from three different alarm sounds, or if you're feeling adventurous, you can import sounds you've created using the DSi Sound function. Each alarm also features a snooze function that can be turned on or off. This allows you to hit the snooze button when the alarm goes off, which will give you an extra five minutes of sleep before the alarm begins sounding again. It's also worth noting that the alarm sounds at whatever volume you set it at no matter what the volume setting on your DSi system currently is set at, so be aware of this when you're in a place where you don't want the alarm suddenly blaring off.

There's certainly plenty of clock and date functions to toy around with, but having to boot up the program each time you want to make use of them seems a bit silly at times. Of course you'll also want to keep your DSi plugged in while leaving the clock program running for long periods of time as it does continue to run the battery down much the same way a game would if you left it going. Granted, the bottom screen will go to sleep after a brief period of inactivity, but the top screen where the clock resides doesn't turn off unless you exit the program or turn off your DSi system. It's not going to do you much good if you use this program as an alarm clock and then your DSi battery runs down before morning arrives.

Conclusion

In the end Animal Crossing Clock proves to be mainly just another chance to cash in on the popularity of the Animal Crossing series and doesn't even manage to provide a very useful tool to go along with it. Sure there are some cute features built into the program that can't be done using the DSi system's built-in clock, but it's still not enough to warrant the price tag, not to mention running your DSi battery down while having your DSi system display a clock function that could be done with absolutely any other clock you have on hand. This application would have been a nice little bonus to the Animal Crossing Calculator, but as a stand-alone package, it's basically a waste of 200 Nintendo Points. Much like Animal Crossing Calculator, this would have been much better as a freebie.