The problem with following fashion trends is that eventually everyone ends up looking more or less the same. This could also be said about game trends. Satisfashion is a fashion-themed time management game that’s a lot like Jojo’s Fashion Show, but with fewer clothing choices and a chance to do make-up.
The game follows the budding career of a fashionista named Grace. Even as a little girl, Grace was gifted with a sense of style. First, she started practicing on her dolls, and by high school she was designing clothes for all the popular kids. After graduating from the School of Fashion Design, she worked as a clerk at a popular clothing store, but kept on designing in her spare time. To her surprise, a famous designer heard of her, and came to visit her shop in disguise. Thus began her big break into the fashion world.
There are three difficulty levels — student, intern and designer. To start, you need to apply make-up and wigs to all of your models. This is the original part of the game. It’s timed, so you need to move quickly.
You’re told the theme of the next show, and then shown a few examples. Each show will require a different style and/or season theme. When applying make-up, pick a color on the color pallet, and select the right number of clicks on the model’s face to make it look casual, dressy, or trendy. Different colors correspond to different seasons, which you can see if you hover over them.
You also get to pick a wig that best fits the style. Like make-up, wigs also have season and style properties. The better the match, the more money you earn. If nothing matches well, you can hit the recycle button to get new wigs. You can add extra accessories, like jewellery, for bonus cash. Once you’re done, you send the model off to the dressing room. You’ll need to repeat these steps for all of your models, trying to work as fast as possible before the timer runs out. This game includes some of the worst make-up looks I’ve ever seen, like green blush, red eye liner, and blue lipstick. Then again, the real fashion world also boosts some fairly hideous make-up…
The next part of the game is more familiar. The same procedure you use for make up applies when dressing the models. You’ll be told the style of the show, and shown a bunch of examples. Select a blouse, skirt, and shoes, and send the model off to the runway. As before, you need to dress the models before time runs out. Afterwards, you’re taken to the "sketch meter" which fills up depending on how well you did (more on this later).
You can add accessories, like hats and purses, to gain more money. Sometimes there is a request for specific models to wear certain clothes, which also gives you bonus cash. The faster you finish, and the better you match the show’s theme, the more cash you can earn.
At the end of the show, buyers will evaluate your highest scoring outfits. Three buyers will appear, and you have to select the best match by clicking on their portrait. A trendy buyer is best for a trendy outfit, for example. You earn a different amount of money depending on how well you matched the outfit and buyers, and at the end you’ll be shown your total earnings. The difficulty with the fashion show is that you must know precisely what style and season each piece is, and it’s not always obvious.
Now, about that sketch meter — filling it up allows you to create new outfits for your portfolio. Click a clothing type, and select the pattern you like. There are a bunch to choose from, such as 14 styles of pants. Choose a pattern "texture," a brush for the base color, and a pencil for the detail color. Colors don’t seem to affect anything, but a texture can change the properties of an item. Once you’re done, click sew to see it displayed on the mannequin. If you like it, you can then add it to your portfolio, or change it if you prefer. You can purchase additional "cuts" with the money you earn in the game, and you have more choices as you advance. You can often design multiple pieces at a time, depending on the sketch meter.
The portfolio meter tells you how much of each clothing style and seasonal clothing you own. It’s important to balance your collection so that you have enough clothes of each type to dress your models. It can be a real problem if you’re asked to do a summer show and only have winter clothes.
On the surface, it all sounds simple, but there’s a fair amount of strategy involved. When selecting buyers, for example, you need to assess if the item is better suited to winter or fall, depending on the pieces you included. The real challenge comes in when you have to consider both seasons and styles at the same time, like "casual fall" or "formal spring." Then you need to balance both, often making compromises to work within the limits of what you are offered.
Like JoJo’s Fashion Show, it’s more important to get the style right than it is to have any coordinating outfit. Forget any sense of style you might have. Once you’ve reached the second half of the game, the time limit is very strict, and you are working on multiple models at a time. In order to keep up, you must start slapping outfits together rapidly, which takes some of the fun and strategy out of it. Also, the directions are kind of unclear. I played quite far in the game before I realized you can swap out clothing with the recycle button. It was also tough to figure out how the fashion show worked.
Am I the only one who thinks it would also be neat to see a fashion game where fashion sense actually counted for something? Satisfashion isn’t quite as satisfying as it could be, but it does allow the player to develop a strategy, and it does have some original game play elements. The make-up portion of the game is a nice touch. It would be cool to see a sequel that made clearer distinctions between clothing styles (like JoJo’s Fashion Show), with greater choices, and more obvious differences in seasonal pieces.