Review by Ryan Harrison

Reviewed: 07/16/15

Well, it does its job, I suppose.

Mario Calculator is a piece of DSiWare available to download onto a later DS handheld model, or the Nintendo 3DS via the eShop. The DS and 3DS systems, despite being first and foremost video gaming systems, also allow for applications serving other purposes to be downloaded onto them. You can find all sorts, ranging from personal planners to address books, diaries to music generators, flashlights, and even such things as themed calendars, alarm clocks and calculators. If you don’t mind shelling out the two dollars or pounds it asks for, then what you get right here is a calculator with the classic Super Mario Bros. theme to it.

When you boot the application up, on the top screen you’ll see a basic NES-style Super Mario Bros. underground stage. Mario stands underneath the main calculation box, which itself is located beneath a history box (calculations you have made up to the current point), and the memory counter is located at the top. On the touch screen are your standard calculator buttons: your standard 0 – 9 digits, addition/subtraction/multiplication/division symbols, memory buttons, clear buttons and the ‘equals’ symbol, which when pressed, makes Mario jump to hit the calculation box and make the answer display inside it.

It also features a Unit Converter mode, which when accessed, displays a new screen with Luigi. Here, you can compare different unit measurements for Length, Weight, Volume, Time, Area, Speed, Temperature and Age, with a number of sub-selections for each unit. So, say you want to know how long a mile is in yards, in the ‘Length’ menu, you’d enter ‘1’, ‘mi’, ‘yd’, and Luigi will jump to bump the box and show you the answer! (In case you’re wondering, the answer is 1760.)

There are also a few other nice little touches; if your calculation reaches a certain figure, you may see Toad or the Princess appear, coins will pop out of the numbers, or fireworks will go off in the background. Control-wise, you won’t have any problems as it’s practically all done with the use of the touch screen. You can also make Mario/Luigi walk along and jump by pressing the D-Pad and A button respectively, though this serves no real meaningful purpose.

Graphically, there’s a decent bit of colouring and the letters and numbers that appear in the top screen come in the classic Nintendo 8-bit style letterhead. You’ll only see the one background and handful of Mario characters in their SMB1 character model forms. The sound effects are also taken from the original SMB game: when you punch in a button on the touch screen, the same sound effect of a fireball being thrown is heard. When you make a calculation, the sounds of Mario jumping and the classic coin-collecting effects can be heard. Other sound effects include fireworks and the classic ‘level cleared’ fanfare, and that’s about it.

This isn’t really a ‘game’, so to speak (it is only really listed as one on account of that it is available on a gaming system), so there’s no real gameplay or replay value qualities to speak of. It’s a calculator that can fit a total of thirteen digits into the calculation box and can convert a bunch of different units of measurement, that just so happens to have an extra bit of graphical flair with the classic Super Mario Bros. theme. Apart from the hidden easter eggs, there aren’t really any other side features or attractions to look for. It’s a calculator, it does what is asked of it, and doesn’t do anything wrong, hence the score of five with which I settled on giving it. However, if you’re happy enough to stick with just using any old calculator, you needn’t bother with shelling the cash out for this, as in all honesty, I don’t really see the need for it. But if you’ve got the funds to spare, want to see your sums done with some classic Mario flair, and REALLY have nothing a little more fulfilling to spend your time on, then there you go!

Rating:   2.5 - Playable

Product Release: Mario Calculator (EU, 07/03/09)

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