Juliette’s Fashion Empire offers familiar but fun time management gameplay
The world of fashion can be a glamorous dream and a cutthroat business at the same time, and the player can experience this first-hand in Juliette’s Fashion Empire, a new time management game by Alawar. In a gaming experience that can be described as a mixture of the Sally series and Pageant Princess, it’s up to the player to help Juliette succeed with glitz and style.
Juliette’s Fashion Empire features 50 levels and offers an average playing time for the genre. There is only one mode and any sort of achievements or trophies are missing, but this does not take away too much from the game. You will visit five fashion cities altogether: New York, Milan, Tokyo, Paris and London, each of them offering ten levels. It’s your task to beat another long-established fashion designer at each city sales-wise.
In contrast to titles like Fab Fashion, you don’t have to choose between any different clothing lines or anything of that sort. Rather, you have to prepare each model at a variety of stations and in the end send them to the runway. Those stations include fitting rooms, accessory and make-up stations as well as resting chairs.
Most stations in Juliette’s Fashion Empire involve very easy and quite familiar mini-games. At the fitting room you have to pick a model’s favorite dress (indicated by rather weird smiles which are borderline crazy), you need to choose the correct accessories, or apply make-up in a specific order (for example, lip-stick is for lips, not hair). Apart from the mini-games that increase every model’s happiness (and thereby your profit), you have to drag models from station to station, make drinks and sandwiches, and send them to the runway.
Depending on how much money you earn you will receive tokens at the end of each level. Juliette’s Fashion Empire features your standard upgrade systems, which includes speeding up Juliette, hiring assistants (who unfortunately do not move between stations of the same type), various items that will increase all or some model’s patience while activated or quicker machines. The actual money you earn only serves as a comparison between Juliette and her current competitor. In the end it’s her aim in each city to open two additional fashion stores and also earn more money than the other competitor.
The game also features chaining bonuses for working at the same stations in a row, but this mechanic is not as important and complex as it is common in other titles. The major part of money you earn by keeping the models as happy as possible and by sending a lot of them to the runway with full hearts. While Juliette’s Fashion Empire introduces models with different characters, some of them are more patient than others, it does not seriously affect gameplay. It will rarely happen that any model will leave your shop and each personality type pays exactly the same amount of money.
Juliette’s Fasion Empire truly shines in one important aspect – the pace is extremely well-balanced, most of the levels are challenging, yet not frustrating, and the upgrade system is pretty motivating despite its all too familiar ingredients. The graphics are really polished, too, and create a nice atmosphere along with amusing animations and a fitting soundtrack.
But the game definitely misses out on implementing more of the promising storyline into the actual gameplay. Sabotages by competitors, some quests regarding the models and a more realistic approach to the theme of fashion would have improved the game greatly. Moreover it is a pity that the storyline itself with all its potential is way too predictable, each city is actually a carbon copy of the one before.
In the end, Juliette’s Fashion Empire is a blast for fans of good old-fashioned time management games in the vein of Sally’s Spa or Pageant Princess. While Juliette’s Fashion Empire doesn’t push the envelope in terms of new features or challenge, it will definitely satisfy time management game fans who have been waiting for something new to sink their teeth into.