Review: Flashlight (DSiWare)

Lights on, nobody's home

There can be no more baffling title on DSiWare than Flashlight, a collection of three different "utilities" for the DS's dual screens: it makes the reams of clocks and calculators look like gaming gold.

First up is a flashlight function, that lets you light both screens in a range of colours. If you can think of a situation where it might be important to display two lime green rectangles, you're certainly doing a lot better than us. As with both other utilities, you can choose to illuminate both screens or just one, for those times when the combined brightness of two DSi screens might be just too overwhelming.

Next up is warning light, which flashes the screens red and black, presumably to warn people away from buying this application. There's no ability to change colour, flashing speed, add a warning message or customise any aspect of it at all. It just flashes red and black: that's it.

Compared to that, the final SOS feature is astonishingly useful in that it at least flashes a message, albeit in Morse code. Again, there's no customisation, just SOS flashing over and over again.

There's no two ways about it: Flashlight is an almost complete waste of time and money. The flashlight function itself could be ably replicated by sitting the machine on its opening menu screen for a while, although as this offers a choice of colours it has the slight edge over a real flashlight in that regard. As for the other two options, it's extremely unlikely you'll ever find yourself in a situation where your only method of communicating your perilous state is via the DSi, but if you regularly find yourself in dangerous positions with only a portable games console for company it might be a worthy investment.

Conclusion

Do not download Flashlight unless you're anticipating a blackout, a camping trip going horribly wrong or an opportunity to prove to a friend or loved one how foolish you are. Yes, it functions as a flashlight, a warning light and an SOS signal, but unless you need to illuminate something a couple of feet in front of you you'll find it lacks the power to be especially useful. You may feel like downloading this for a joke, but don't: the joke is very much on you.