It Girl is what happens when you take an RPG and give it an extremely upscale Fashion Week makeover.
It Girl may be the single greatest RPG on Facebook right now, combining complexity and accessibility with a masterful touch. The fashion theme and all-female avatars may be off-putting to male players more used to gender neutral games, but... well, sucks to be you in this case, male players. It Girl may be about amassing designer jewelry and dresses instead of swords and armor, and finding just the right handbag instead of mystic gems to socket into your equipment, but it still offers all the satisfaction of a traditional RPG.
It Girl is a game about dressing up in the best possible outfit you own and going to a party. Of course, your goal at the party is not merely to, say, have fun. Your job is to look so fabulous, have so many friends, and such a deep closet that other women present want to kill themselves with envy. You can pit your fabulousness against other party-goers in style battles the game calls Showdowns, which work just like the hitting-each-other battles in a traditional text RPG. As the parties you attend become more difficult, you need bigger stats to win.
Inviting friends to improve your posse size is traditional to social RPGs, but improving your outfit quality (“Hotness”) and the size of your closet involve things that are a bit more interesting than usual. As you gain experience, you level up and unlock access to more stores. Stores have racks, and treasure-hunting game style, you have to search the racks to see what you have a chance to buy. Different clothes have different Hotness ratings and are suitable to different types of parties-- after all, you wouldn't wear clothes for a beach party to a black tie events.
Of course, buying clothes requires money, and you're so busy partying that you can't spend time working. Money just kind of arrives in your account at a fixed hourly rate and you can earn a little more by finishing quests and winning Showdowns. So you need to obtain as many clothes as possible, but you need to make sure you're buying the types of clothes you need at the moment. You've also got a limit on how much energy you can spend sorting through racks, so you need to pick which stores you invest it in carefully.
If you play It Girl, you'll find there are even deeper layers to the gameplay than what is outlined here. There's mastery levels, collectibles, and the devious challenge of buying complete collections from the various featured stores. This is a game that can consume hours of play time per day, but is also totally enjoyable if you just check in once or twice to look around for more clothes. CrowdStar has really pushed social games forward another step with It Girl, proving that you can have layered gameplay without making a game daunting to pick up and play.
- Gameplay features tremendous depth by Facebook standards. Visuals are sophisticated, offering amazing customization possibilities. Fashion theme is extremely well-realized. Showdown mechanic is compelling.
- Servers are still somewhat unstable.