The Nintendo Download: Applied Animal CrossingS

It's a double dose of big-headed, gibberish-talking animals this week in the Nintendo Download, as two Animal Crossing applications add functionality to the DSi.

The Animal Crossing Calculator and Animal Crossing Clock (200 DSi points each) are more than simply themed utilities for your brand new Nintendo DSi. Sure, the calculator functions as a normal calculator would, with memory and unit conversion features, but you can also listen to Animalese number pronunciations, and when certain sums trigger appearances by famous Animal Crossing characters. I probably would have focused harder on math in school had my calculator included sum-based Easter eggs.

The same goes for the Animal Crossing Clock. It gives you the option of setting up three separate alarms, with the option of creating your own Animal Crossing town tune alarm or importing music created using the DSi's built-in functionality. Rather than just closing your DSi and going to sleep, you can leave it open, watching the sky change color as different AC characters appear on the screen.

Oh yes, and there are also downloads for WiiWare and the Virtual Console as well this week! WiiWare gets Gammick Entertainment's Penguins & Friends - Hey! That's My Fish! (800 Wii points), which as you can imagine involves penguins and fish. The Virtual Console library increases by one Commodore 64 title this week with Tower Toppler (500 points), the original tower offense title. Check out the full listings below for more information on these two.

This officially marks the first Nintendo Download week in which I purchase more than one title, though I wouldn't take that as a measurement of quality. I'm so much of an Animal Crossing fan that I'd buy Animal Crossing Cat Just Sort Of Sits There for 200 points and never complain once.

Nintendo DSiWare

Animal Crossing Calculator (Nintendo, 1 player, 200 Nintendo DSi Points™): Need to figure out what you owe Tom Nook or the amount in your savings account? Animal Crossing Calculator features the full functionality of a traditional calculator, including a Memory key and the ability to display up to 13 digits, adding a layer of atmosphere unique to Animal Crossing. Use the Unit Converter to turn one unit of measure into another (such as length, weight, volume and age), or track the history of calculations you've performed. Listen to the Animalese pronunciation of numbers when you press them, and watch for a favorite Animal Crossing character to appear when your result meets certain criteria. Get ready for an inventive and practical way to experience the charm of Animal Crossing.

Animal Crossing Clock (Nintendo, 1 player, 200 Nintendo DSi Points): Enjoy the atmosphere of Animal Crossing in a whole new way with Animal Crossing Clock. Select from either an analog or digital clock and set up to three alarms (with snooze functionality for those who need it). Make your own Town Tune or use sounds created in Nintendo DSi™ Sound, then assign them to the alarms you've set. Use the system's internal clock or offset the time however you like. Then sit back and watch as different characters from Animal Crossing appear and the color of the sky changes as time passes. You'll never miss an important appointment with one of your Animal Crossing friends again.

WiiWare

Penguins & Friends - Hey! That's My Fish! (Gammick Entertainment, 1-4 players, Rated E for Everyone, 800 Wii Points™): The penguins are hungry and need your help. Catch all the fish you can before someone steals them from you. Strategy is fundamental in this exciting game. Keep moving ahead of the other penguins so you don't get trapped, and try to get to the ice floes that hold more fish. One to four players can play Penguins & Friends at the same time, provided they can handle the polar cold. The board is made up of ice blocks with a set number of fish under them. The ice blocks are hexagonal and form a structure like a beehive. The starting position of the ice blocks can change, creating different game boards.

Virtual Console

Tower Toppler™ (Commodore 64, 1 player, Rated E for Everyone, 500 Wii Points): Weird things are happening on Planet Nebulus. Someone or something has begun building huge towers on the sea floor without a construction license. Your mission is to ascend each of the eight cylindrical towers, passing various obstacles along the way, and to trigger the tower's destruction mechanism to demolish the evil threat. Praised upon its original 1987 release for its graphical innovation, this is considered to be the most outstanding game from Hewson. Don't miss out on this classic favorite.