"There's always calculated risk involved when you buy budget software, especially when the software is a calculator."
Although I wasn't utterly delighted with Mario Calculator, a piece of DSi software that allows gamers to turn their devices into calculators or use them to perform simple but useful conversions, I felt it wasn't completely pointless even now that people have smartphones on their person most of the time. Animal Crossing Calculator, the other entry in Nintendo's series of calculators for that hardware, is similar but not quite as good.
Released in 2009, Animal Crossing Calculator provides players with an extremely basic calculator capable of performing not quite as admirably as the cheapest calculator you're likely to find at your local department store. It can add, subtract, multiply and divide, essentially. As long as you don't try to get it to work with too many zeroes, it'll get the job done.
A secondary but more interesting function is unit conversion. You can take a common number, such as a temperature or the age of an animal, and convert it to a different number that might be relevant to your interests at the time.
Let's say you're in the cereal aisle at the store, and you want to determine the advisability of buying a large box of cereal priced at $5.20, versus a smaller one of the same type of cereal that costs $3.92. Sure, you could just look to the lower left side of the price sticker, which probably converts the price to cost per ounce or similar. But you are feeling independent.
Now, the bigger box probably says something like "1 LB 2 OZ" and the smaller one says "14 OZ," but you can't remember for the life of you how many ounces are in a pound.
No worries! Nintendo has your back!
A few quick taps will tell you that 1 pound is equal to 16 ounces. So the cost per ounce in the larger box of cereal is roughly $0.29. The cost per ounce in the smaller box is roughly $0.28. Buying the larger one doesn't offer actual savings even though it seems like it ought to. You actually spend more by going that route, thanks to differing sale prices.
Difficult though it may be to believe, this sort of tragedy plays out all the time. Mostly, people buying groceries aren't actually paying attention to the price tags as closely as they pretend they are. So it's important to read price stickers closely or, failing that, to pull out a Nintendo DSi with Animal Crossing Calculator installed and do the math yourself.
Staff review by Jason Venter (July 18, 2021)
Jason Venter has been playing games for 30 years, since discovering the Apple IIe version of Mario Bros. in his elementary school days. Now he writes about them, here at HonestGamers and also at other sites that agree to pay him for his words.
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