Review: Nintendo Countdown Calendar (DSiWare)

Count it out

Have you ever wished for a calendar that counts down to the day of literally any event that you programme into it all by itself? Well, thanks to Nintendo's latest DSiWare application, the Nintendo Countdown Calendar, your dreams can now become a reality! This new application provides users with a calendar that has a separate list dedicated solely to counting down the days until the next event. Unfortunately, that's about all that this application does, and with the flood of useful tools in Nnooo's myLifeCollected series – particularly myDiary – any competitors have their work cut out for them.

After the initial setup, which is mainly just writing your name and confirming your date of birth, you'll be dropped right into the heart of the programme. The top screen displays your calendar in a monthly view with little icons present on each day that you have an event planned, with the bottom screen featuring the main selling point of the application: the events list. This is where all of your events are displayed in a list format with the amount of days counting down; it's bright and colorful, but everything on screen can look a bit cluttered when you have a lot of events planned in a particular month. This is pretty much the entirety of the programme: unless you really enjoy looking at your events while listening to the jazzy music that Nintendo has provided, it's likely that you'll have your Nintendo Countdown Calendar open for no more than five minutes each day.

Besides your normal events list, you are also provided with a hidden events list. What makes it hidden, however, is that it is not featured on the main screen. To access this list, you simply open the options menu, then click the button that says “Hidden Events List”. Events can be added to this list simply by clicking on them and un-checking the box that asks whether or not you want the event displayed. Once on the list, the only difference is that they no longer display how many days are left until the event occurs, completely defeating the purpose of the application in its entirety. With no password protection and no way to hide the list, this feature seems like it would be most handy if you wanted to forget about an upcoming event.

Though the Nintendo Countdown Calendar seems like it would be a handy tool, it feels very stripped down and is lacking some key features. One major point of contention is the inability to set a time along with the date of an event, meaning the programme is only helpful in letting you know what day an event is on, but not specifically when it will occur. Along those same lines, there is no alarm to alert you that one of your planned events is going to happen, making it the responsibility of the user to specifically check his/her events list every day.

Another major concern with the calendar is that there is an incredibly limited amount of space that you are given to write your event in. While there are many events pre-programmed into the application for you to chose from, if you plan on customising and writing out your own, you're going to have to keep it short. Fortunately, you're allowed to store up to 110 events, so if you have the need or the will to have this many things listed, you're in luck.

Conclusion

If you're looking for an application that will help you actually organise your life and manage your time, you might want to look elsewhere. While Nintendo Countdown Calendar provides the base for something great, it falls remarkably short of actually being useful. Even for the low price of 200 Points, your money could probably be better spent on a more handy programme. Unless you obsess about dates, or really enjoy unenthusiastic countdowns, this is one application that you might want to consider passing on.

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