Fashion Assistant is a hidden object game that has you playing as a personal assistant to an irritable fashion magazine editor. If you’ve ever had a cruel employer or ruthless fellow employees, you’ll relate to the premise.
Unfortunately, the story is slow to develop, and can sometimes be confusing. When the master book for an upcoming fashion collection disappears, Julia must uncover the thief and recover the book before her boss discovers it’s missing. Meanwhile, she needs to keep up appearances at work by catering to her employer’s every whim, finding hidden objects in a variety of cluttered scenes.
Like most hidden object games, you are given a list of items to find in each location. The list of objects is markedly long, so expect to play each round longer than usual. The game is untimed, and you get unlimited recharging hints. In addition, you can click on any object to see its silhouette without penalty. Too many incorrect clicks, and you’ll lose control of your mouse for several seconds. Everything is fairly standard, without much flair.
Each hidden object scene includes one obligatory inventory puzzle. These are simple, and always involve combining the inventory item with a highlighted item on the screen.
In a somewhat new twist, you can spot a lost design in each location. This triggers a mini-game which can be skipped if you have enough tokens. Extra tokens are earned by other mini-games, and by simply playing through the hidden object scenes.
The mini-games themselves are different and can be broken down into three types. Some have you arranging objects in a limited space so that nothing touches. Others have you arranging appointments in a date book according to specific criteria, like which event must occur before or after other events, or which must occur at a specific time of day. There are a few simple matching games, too.
Once you’ve beaten a round, you can replay it from the main menu in the fashion book. You can also complete easy jigsaws for each level, but this is optional.
Grammar gurus might find too many typos and grammatical errors for their liking. As for the production values, the artwork is colorful and nicely done, with many unique hand-drawn objects and environments. Everything is done in stylized 2D. However, the music is monotonous, and it repeats endlessly throughout the entire game. Some variety would have been appreciated.
There is the occasional ambiguity to overcome. For example, when asked to find a mirror in the very first scene, a wall mirror isn’t accepted, since a hand mirror is the correct item you need to find. Using the silhouette hints help to clear up some of those types of ambiguities, but not all of them, like when you’re asked to find a red card in the shopping mall and the red card on the table doesn’t count. This happens a fair amount throughout the game.
Be aware that some objects are small and very difficult to spot, although for the most part items are very clearly drawn and look like they should. Objects are frequently color blended, so when you’re asked to find an item like an airplane, be aware that it might be a paper airplane that is color blended to match the chair upholstery. The color blending can be significant, making some hidden objects look like shadows against the surface of a room item.
Despite these challenges, it is fairly easy to advance through the game. Overall, Fashion Assistant could best be called a typical hidden object fashion game. Like the title itself, the game blends into the crowd, being neither particularly exciting nor particularly memorable. It’s pleasant enough to play if you want a basic hidden object game with a theme that’s not too dark or spooky, but it lacks the personality of many other games in the genre.