Mario Clock (DSiWare)

Game Review

Mario Clock Review

USA USA Version

Posted by Corbie Dillard

A waste of time

We've already seen Animal Crossing Clock released on the DSiWare service, so a Mario Clock was a foregone conclusion. Not much has changed really; Nintendo has basically taken the very same clock functions available in the Animal Crossing Clock application and tossed in a Super Mario Bros. theme over the whole thing. While the entire package still feels a bit useless, the developers have at least included a little user-interaction this time to give the application a little more of a fun factor. But is it enough to make it worth your 200 Nintendo Points?

Much like Animal Crossing Clock, you have to launch the Mario Clock application in order to make use of it. This isn't a theme that you can apply over your DSi menu, but instead acts as a fully-functioning program just like anything else you download on the DSi Shop. This is really the application's biggest downfall, as it's tough to sell a clock application when there's already a clock built into the DSi menu when you first boot up your DSi system.

The clock itself is fairly basic. You can view the clock on the top screen of your DSi system in either an analog or digital presentation. The analog clock has a bit more personality to it, but both are equally functional in their own unique way, and you'll even get the date and day of the week displayed as well. In the background you'll see various levels of Super Mario Bros. being played out. When the clock is active, Mario will constantly walk to the right, just as he would in the real game if you were controlling him: it's here that your interaction comes into play.

While you can't stop Mario or Luigi, you can make them run using the "B" button and jump with the "A" button. Your main goal in this little mini-game of sorts is to collect coins, and occasionally you'll come across power-ups that can add to the fun a bit: the good old Mushroom is still in force and will cause Mario to grow in size. Consequently, picking up another mushroom will cause the character to return to normal size, and there's even a POW block from the original Mario Bros. arcade game that will knock all of the numbers off the clock face for a brief period of time.

Ultimately, it's all about grabbing coins and each time you grab 100 coins, a Mario or Luigi icon will appear on one of the numbers on the clock. If you can manage to rack up 1200 coins, 100 for each hour on the clock, you'll be presented with a nice little intermission in which Mario will reach the princess in Bowser's castle complete with the same authentic tune from the original Super Mario Bros. game. Of course then you'll get to start the process all over again with a quick press of the "B" button.

To mix things up, every 15 minutes the level will change to give you something new to look at for a while, and at the top of each hour Mario will reach the little flagpole spot at the end of the level, and you'll get the catchy end of level tune played along with a display of the traditional Super Mario Bros. fireworks. The number of fireworks that explode correspond to the current time, so if it's 7 o'clock, you'll get 7 firework explosions and so on.

There's also an alarm function that can be set. You can set up to three alarms, and you'll even have a few options and settings that can be applied to each of these alarms as well. You can choose from three different tunes that include the standard Super Mario Bros. music, the star power-up tune, and even the underwater musical piece from the original game. These alarms will even sound with the lid of your DSi system closed and the game in sleep mode, so keep that in mind when setting your alarms.

You can even mix and match them between the various alarms you set, and thankfully each alarm also comes with a Snooze setting that can be applied. While the regular alarm will sound for five minutes, a snooze setting will cause the alarm to sound for only one minute and then snooze for the remaining four minutes before sounding off again. During the sounding of the alarm, you'll even get a nice little Super Mario Bros. pixel art show on the top screen for your viewing pleasure. You can stop the alarm at any time by simply pressing any button or tapping the DSi touchscreen.


It's tough to criticize anything that features our beloved Mario, but as with the previous clock applications for the DSi you have to wonder what the point is in releasing a separate clock program, especially one that has to be launched in order to be used when there's a perfectly suitable clock on the DSi main menu that pops up as soon as you start up your DSi system. Sure, the Mario theme is cool and the ability to actually have some interaction with the experience makes it a bit more practical than the Animal Crossing Clock, but ultimately it's still not enough. Maybe at some point Nintendo will wise up and allow DSi owners to put these themed clocks on their DSi main menu screen, but until then, you'd be better off using the 200 Nintendo Points for something a bit more useful and fun.

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User Comments (40)



WolfRamHeart said:

I wonder how many more of these clock and calculator apps Nintendo has up their sleeve? For Corbie's sake, I hope this is the last one!



Turbo_Genesis_64 said:

This is still one the best "4's" out there! The price is right. It's almost worth it just to see a POW block in the classic game.



Corbs said:

I hated to give this a 4, I really did. But these clocks just aren't very functional given that they have to be launched as an individual program. Nintendo has the right idea, but they need to figure out a way to make these themes on the main menu. This just made me want to go play Super Mario Bros. (Which I did, BTW. That's why you won't be getting the Calculator review until tomorrow)



Terra said:

Good review Corbie.

A 4. Wouldn't expect much more from a clock to be honest. Seems fair



Turbo_Genesis_64 said:

This game makes wish they would make a DSi download game with alternate levels to the orginal SMB with the same classic look and moves.



Corbs said:

On these apps, it's probably better if you focus more on the review itself, because that should tell you whether or not this is something you might want to invest in. It's difficult to score these with a number.



Chunky_Droid said:

And you've done as best as anyone could with this type of app Corb. AND you wrote the review from scratch, no copy/paste job



Jeroen1 said:

One question Corbie: does it enter sleep mode when you close the DS lid? That saves a lot of energy whenever you want to set an alarm. If I recall correctly; this wasn't the case with the AC clock, rendering it even more useless.



Corbs said:

Actually yes, the alarm will still sound off even if the lid is closed and the game is in sleep mode.



Darknyht said:

Corbie, you either have the worst luck getting to review all these clocks and calculators or at the bottom of the pecking order. Hope you draw a decent game to review in payment for having to do this review.



Corbs said:

I like reviewing these apps. It's easy. And in truth, I get to review a lot of great games. We have to spread the wealth around a bit, you know.



Philip_J_Reed said:

@Corbie #12:
Honestly, that might convince me to buy this clock. That's a really helpful feature when traveling. (Setting the clock on my cell is an unnecessary nightmare.)



Corbs said:

I think that is a great feature too, but because it's closed, it really muffles the alarm sound. That's my only beef with it. I'm not sure if it would wake me up.



blackknight77 said:

What annoys me is when you launch this game you have another ESRB warning which is stupid to check the time. The Animal Crossing clock does not even have that.



Cheezy said:

That makes me deppresion It is the best clock on the service though, and I actually like collecting coins, lol.



warioswoods said:

@Chicken Brutus

I just downloaded it for essentially the same reason, for the ability to have an easily-set alarm (toggling through menus on a cell phone is such a pain) where I can shut the lid and still have it go off. I tested it earlier and the sound is still plenty loud enough with the lid closed, if you ask me.

It's also great that you don't have to remember to adjust your system volume, as the alarm volume is completely independent, which it notes on the help screens. Even if your system volume is turned all the way down when you open the app and close the lid, the alarm volume, which you can change in the app's settings, is what it will use when the alarm goes off, so you can keep that setting at max and never have to worry about where you left the system volume.



Olimar_91 said:

I can understand Nintendo releasing these as downloadable items, but I can't understand why they're charging for them. They really aught to be in the free section, it's getting pretty lonely in there.



Odnetnin said:

I have 400 points left in the good ole' shop and a Nintendo Point Card I might redeem for the DSi. Is either the Mario Clock or Mario Calculator worth it if the only other 200-pointer I'm thinking about is Bird & Beans? I think alarm feature sounds kinda useful for me. Help.



Kidpit said:

Man, you should check out the IGN review, the hate and rage literally explodes from the page.



motang said:

I got the calculator instead, it pretty cool. I like the way you can convert units, and stuff (eve age).



King_Elemento said:

At a price point of 200 points, I'd say having a couple of playable SMB levels isn't unreasonable. New or not, I doubt anyone would mind, but 200 points for a clock that is very similar to something available for free with the system isn't really worth it.



theblackdragon said:

@Jeroen: even the built-in clock alarm in the DSi will sound if it's closed; the only problem is that with it closed, the sound is kinda muffled.



TheEmulationZones said:

Lol, Like Im Gonna Sit On My Butt The Whole Day Collection 1200 Coins To Save The Princess! Princess, For Lof Of God, Get Some Bodyguards Would You Please?



halljames said:

How useful would it actualy be. Whats the time pet? wait a moment, I shall fire up my DS, launch my application and tell you.


Remember to set the alarm? no problem. next morning, slept in, damn my DS had ran out of power during the middle of the night.




Jolted85 said:

I have yet to download the clock applications, and if I were to get one it would be the Mario versions, but still I agree with the review it does seem like a quick cash in for nintendo and a waste



JayArr said:

I've used the alarm function every morning for a week.

I've never had a problem with muffled sound.

Hearing the Mario theme instantly puts a smile on face. Which is a hard thing to in the morning at least. Beats the hell out of the repetative buzzing sound I used to use.

Other than that great function, I never touch it.



lockd said:

i have 200 points left and i already have the good 200 games so should i get this, the calculator or wait for flipper or myNotebook....



triforceofcourage said:

better than calculator! i have actually played on this clock for hours! ancient no enemy coin collecting mario can be suprisingly entertaining when you have nothing to do. there are deffenitly better 200 point games but this is better than 4 stars for the price. id say 4 1/2 stars lol
no like 6 stars



ExploderReviews said:

The clock part of this, I agree, could have been a lot better. however i think the main thing here is the mario part, and if you think about it, who would ever buy an program that was just a clock when you already have one? So the mario part makes it worth while. Its like playing an endless mode on an old nes game but also being able to um... tell time. Its a lot funner than it sound, i still use it.



Simon_Deku said:

My sister just bought this game. I told her how it was a bad choice but she did it. And I had to pay for it; she stole my credit card.

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