Dressed for success

Whether you enjoyed spending time with paper dolls or rooting through your mother’s hand-me-downs, playing dress up has become a rite of passage for every little girl. The developers at Total Eclipse clued into this, and have tried to recreate the experience on your iPhone using the star of their popular PC time management game Fashion Boutique – and they’ve provided Maya with a wardrobe so big it would make Barbie blush.

Fans of Fashion Boutique will quickly realize that this isn’t the first time players have been able to play dress up with Maya. The original game offered a section called “Maya’s Wardrobe,” however as you’d no doubt expect from a standalone title, Maya’s Dress-Up is a much deeper offering than the wardrobe content of its PC predecessor.

Maya's Dress Up Maya's Dress Up

A fairly straight forward offering, players will be able to dress Maya in a variety of outfits utilizing all sorts of combinations and categories. Variety really is the keyword here. There are 10 different major categories of clothing, and each of those breaks down into subcategories, and each subcategory will usually have six different articles of clothing. For example: if you choose shoes, you’ll have to pick between boots, high heels, sandals, sporty, and flats. With each of those offering six choices, you’re looking at 30 pieces of footwear alone. On top of that, you can even tweak the color of the items you’ve selected.

In addition to hundreds of clothing options, you’ll be able to select different hair styles, backgrounds, and – as of a recent update – different characters to play around with. In addition to Maya, you’ll now be able to select from her pals Cecilia, Hitomi, Jamila, and Yasimin. Each character provides an ethnic alternative to Maya’s Caucasian look, and these tweaks offer more than just a simple surface re-coloring. Facial features and default hairstyles have been changed to give a more authentic appearance to each racial background.

A big part of what makes these changes so convincing is how sharp and detailed the visuals here are. Maya’s Dress Up offers a hand-painted look that makes every piece of clothing and character unique. Not only does everything look great, but little touches really show an amazing attention to detail. If you put a pareo over your swimsuit, for example, you can see through the fabric enough to notice the bikini bottoms haven’t disappeared from your doll. Likewise, putting long hair on a character might cover up parts of a scarf or sunglasses. It’s attention to detail like this that really helps Maya’s Dress Up stand apart from the pack.

Maya's Dress Up Maya's Dress Up

Once you’ve assembled a look you like, you can select from a variety of backgrounds – some seemingly photorealistic, some not – and mark the outfit as a favourite so that you can easily return to it. You can also export the photo to e-mail, Facebook, or your iPhone’s Photo Library if you’re looking to share your pictures.

In addition to what’s included here, Total Eclipse has promised regular ongoing content updates. Considering the first of these was released only weeks after the game hit the App Store, it’s pretty clear that they’re going to make good on their promise. This first update introduced us to Maya’s friends, but it also added some seasonal Christmas clothing, as well as wardrobe attire from Total Eclipse’s popular PC adventure games The Clockwork Man and The Clockwork Man: The Hidden World.

There are a number of dress-up games on the iPhone already – some of them are even free – but few offer the range of clothing options as well as the finely detailed art of Maya’s Dress Up. If you’re looking to experience the paper dolls of your youth all over again, Maya’s Dress Up might just be your best bet on the App Store.