Photo Clock (DSiWare)

Game Review

Photo Clock Review

USA USA Version

Posted by Corbie Dillard

Is Nintendo's second clock application an improvement over their first release?

Photo Clock is actually the second time keeping application to see a release on Nintendo's DSiWare service and isn't really all that different from the first one when you get right down to it. This time around, instead of an Animal Crossing theme, you get to decide what the theme of the clock will be via your various photos on your DSi system. However, much like the Animal Crossing Clock, Photo Clock is basically just as useless an application since the DSi system already has a built-in clock function on its main menu.

The clock function itself in Photo Clock is fairly standard in design. You can select to have the time displayed on the top screen of your DSi system in either analog or digital style. You'll even get the current date and day of the week displayed along with it. The digital display is probably the more practical of the two, but the analog clock has a bit more visual flare to it, especially when it's used in conjunction with your photos.

At the top of each hour you'll be treated to a very faint tone but unlike the Animal Crossing Clock, you can't change this tone in any way. You can set up to three alarms that each feature your choice of three different alarm sounds. One sound is more like a traditional beeping alarm clock, one is a softer melody, and one is a cute musical piece that's quite a bit longer in length than either the beeping tone or short melody. If you're feeling adventurous, you can even use one of your own sound recordings as the alarm. The alarm will sound for five minutes or until you touch the touchscreen or any of the DSi buttons. You can even choose to set a snooze that will cause the alarm to sound for one minute, go silent for four minutes, and then repeat the process for up to one hour. It's also worth noting that the alarm will sound at whatever volume you have it set at on the clock application, regardless of what you have your DSi system's volume setting at.

The main draw of Photo Clock is the ability to place your photos behind the clock function. You can do this in a variety of ways. You can choose to have the program cycle through your various photos at intervals ranging from once every 5 seconds to once an hour. You can also choose which photos you want the program to make use of. You can choose to have photos from any three of the icon stickers you attach to your photos including: the star, club, or heart, and you can also allow the program to cycle through all of your photos that are saved on your DSi system. You can even choose whether you want the program to cycle through your photos in exact or random order. The choice is up to you.

There's certainly plenty of clock and photo 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.


In the end, Photo Clock doesn't prove to be any more useful than the Animal Crossing Clock application, even with its ability to use your own photos as clock themes. Sure, it can be fun to have your very own photos displayed behind the clock face, but it's still not enough to make this title worth the price tag. It's also not worth having to launch the program each time you want to make use of a simple clock function that the DSi system already displays automatically every time you turn on your system. This might have been more attractive a package as a freebie, but even at a mere 200 Nintendo Points, it still feels like a waste of money and time.

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User Comments (36)



Corbs said:

As much as I love Starfy, I'm not sure I could take another DSiWare clock release. Please Nintendo...no more!



Kirigirisu said:

I'm not sure I understand Nintendo's strategy here...who wants to pay for a simple clock?



Corbs said:

If they would make these clock apps work on the DSi menu screen, they'd be much better values and much more useful. But having to launch a clock program as a separate application when you've got a clock right there on startup just seems silly.



Golgo said:

The thoroughness of NintendoLife is commendable, and so too is Corbie's tenacity of purpose, but do we really need clock reviews?



Machu said:


I blame Apple. Please Nintendo please don't go down that road.



Starwolf_UK said:

As much as I love Starfy, I'm not sure I could take another DSiWare clock release. Please Nintendo...no more!
I take it someone isn't looking forward to the Mario Clock...hopfully that'll be the last one.



PhillaLoup said:

I'm not sure I understand Nintendo's strategy here...who wants to pay for a simple clock?

people will buy this, that's the strategy: making gold out of poo.



Kawaiipikachu said:

I like the second example a nice cute cat.
Is it just some random cat photo or do you know this cat in particular.



Knux said:

These clocks are just horrible shovelware! Give us some REAL games on DSiWare,not this!!



Hardy83 said:

And yet, there's a Mario Clock that still hasn't been released. lol but at least you can play a collect coins game.

I could see this being useful if you could convert images to the DS's image format making is a bit of a mini LCD photo frame, but since you can't convert images and only use the DSi camera, it's kind of stupid and pointless.



Adam said:

I feel sorry for the reviewers who have to pay for stuff like this. Sure it's just a couple bucks, but that'll add up eventually.



WarioFan63 said:

I don't really have a problem with the Clock (or Calc) apps. Maybe if they were anything above 200 but I'm totally cool with them.



slambert215 said:

DSiWare is not looking good so far. Its 1/2 mini ports from other DS games, 1/4 decent games, and 1/4 clocks and stuff.



motang said:

I was waiting for this one (don't ask). I got it as I had 300 points left over from the initial 1000 points Nintendo gave us. It's not bad, but it most isn't very useful. I am still waiting for the moving notepad.



Kid_A said:

What a stupid waste of money. Like Corbie said, if this was an update of the system menu clock this would be pretty cool, but it's not. And quite frankly I just don't see the practicality.



The_Fox said:

You know, had these (this and the AC one) been spread out further it wouldnt have been as pathetic



Terra said:

LOL. Liking the mock-up box art. What a waste of points. Animal Crossing was bad enough but now this. Give us something decent Nintendo

@Kim Jong-Il
I'd like a word with you on your recent "Activities", if you don't mind.



y2josh said:

well its good that you dont have to pay extra for the day/month/year in another "app"



Junior117 said:

if it were only like a theme... like the ones that the other portible console have! then it would be well worth the money!




Ooof, ninty have to stop these paid for apps that should be free as well as stop the magic made fun stuff.



StrikerJ said:

I prefer the multitasking approach to clocks... I wear a watch while using my DS. Yeah, I know that's a crazy concept, but it's just how I roll.



TheEmulationZones said:

Omg! I Love Clocks ! Specialy An Photo Clock ! Why Doesent Europe Got Any Clocks ? The Calculator Doesent Care... Althought It Might Be Handy For The Exames Soon ;P



Feld0 said:

Reminds me of the "Alarm Clock Pro" app on the iPhone, except that that one's WAAAAYYY up on the "Top Paid Apps" list, and this one's WAAAAAY down on its equivalent list.

Now, if Nintendo were to release a mobile office suite supporting MS Word, I'd buy it on Day One!



ramstrong said:

I actually find this Photo Clock a very useful application. I use it a lot. The alarm sound is really loud, and I can actually hear it. The fact that you can use your own sound is great, because you can set soothing music when you go to sleep, and loud alarm when you wake up.

The fact that you can set relative time with ease, means that it is also useful as a timer. And I love showcasing my Art Academy paintings on it, although if you have your own pictures, snapping them with the built-in camera isn't a big deal.

The review has a mistake there. The top screen WILL turn off. You don't have to plug it in. There are times, even, when I had the unit closed, and the program still runs. I can hear the alarm when it went off in my pocket. The battery last a really long time. It will run for days! It really is a great alarm/photo display program.

And if you like Animal Crossing, just take pictures of them and display them screen saver like. The custom music on Animal Crossing is pretty useless.



xxx_Kirby_xxx said:

There's going to be a Starfy Clock? ......I will find it hard to not cave in and buy it. I love Starfy. <3



Mr-X9000 said:

my friend got a dsi xl in blue and had this, and brain age express math and arts and letters preloaded on it, he later bought foto face mario vs dk
and d-tank

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