I’ve never worked in a retail clothing store myself, but after getting a sneak peek at the upcoming time management game Fashion Fits, I certainly have a better understanding of how much leg work it actually takes.
Francie is her store’s star employee – in fact she’s so reliable that her boss often leaves her on her own to manage things while he gives himself yet another “well-deserved” vacation. With your help, she’ll have to do her best to keep customers happy so that they walk out with new garments under their arms instead of thunderclouds over their heads.
Like any retail environment, customers are happy if their needs are met as quickly as possible, but will get angry if they’re kept waiting. New customers who arrive at the store will select a garment from one of the racks and go to an empty fitting room to try it on. Sometimes they’ll like the first thing they try on, and all Francine needs to do is process their payment at the cash register and restock the rack with a new item of the same type.
Most customers, however, are fussier than that. If they decide they don’t want the garment after all, they’ll leave it in the change room for Francie to clean up – she can either put the item back on the rack, or place it on the discard shelf. Customers won’t use a change room if it has someone else’s unwanted clothes in it, so Francie has to clear them quickly so people won’t start getting impatient.
Other types of customer will call out to Francie from the change room asking her to bring them different garments to try on. Still others will line up at the customer service desk to request garments that are missing from the racks.
Francie can chain commands together but doesn’t earn any points for doing so – the object is to get as much cash as possible by making sure customers stay happy. The heart above each customer’s head will start to deplete if they’re kept waiting for more than a few seconds. The happier customers are, the more inclined they’ll be to impulse-buy snacks at the cash register, which earns you a small cash bonus in addition to the cost of the clothes. Francie passes the level if she manages to earn the minimum goal amount.
In between levels, Francie can use the cash she’s earned to purchase upgrades for the shop. She’ll start out with basic pants and shirts for men and women, but can upgrade to fancier duds like dress shirts, blouses, elegant dresses, skirts, hip “torn” jeans, and punky shirts with logos on the front. She can also increase the number of change rooms, expand the capacity of the clothing racks, bestow a speed boost on herself, or buy refreshments to placate testy customers.
Francie will need all the upgrades she can get if she’s to survive the holiday rushes, back to school sales, proms and other events that bring everyone from demanding Soccer Moms to flighty school girls swarming into the shop.
The good news is that hard work does eventually pay off in Fashion Fits. After a year of toiling away for someone else, Francie will open up stores of her own. There are 60 levels spread across five stores in total, each with different themes, new clothing styles, and 13 unique customers to encounter.
Fashion Fits was designed by the same person who designed Cake Mania, so fledgling studio Fugazo obviously knows a thing or two about the time management genre. Fans will be able to see first-hand how that knowledge and experience was put to use in mid-November when the game is scheduled to launch.