We advise you to stay far, far away from Fashion Advisor

While it’s easy to complain about the over-abundance of scary or spooky hidden object games that have taken over the genre, in most cases they’re at least playable, if clichéd. With Fashion Advisor on Mac, that simply isn’t the case as you’ll be forced to employ trial and error on almost every hidden object, and will find yourself laughing hysterically at the game’s broken English.

The game places you in the role of an advertising agent named Lilly who is suddenly given jobs relating to fashion shows, rock concerts and more. This alone makes little sense, but it does explain why you’ll spend each chapter shopping in a limited selection of stores in a shopping mall, each of which claiming to have a different theme, but really all sporting the same blurry, ugly sets of shoes, dresses, slacks and much more.

Fashion Advisor

You’ll be shown three items on a list at a time (you can expand the full list at the right side of the screen), with each hidden object coming with one or two adjectives that, in theory, will help you pick one shirt over another (as an example). However, the adjectives tend to contain words like “Seductive,” “Old-Fashioned,” or “Casual,” and there’s no logical explanation for what makes one shirt seductive, while another is old-fashioned. Furthermore, an item named “Yellow Underwear” may actually be orange or brown in the scene itself.

All of the in-game text suffers in the same way, with broken English (both spelling and grammar). Words are often misspelled, rouge commas or apostrophes change the meaning of sentences, and some words look to be made up entirely. I’m not one to blame a foreign developer for trying to appeal to American or otherwise English-speaking audiences, but this was clearly a case where the original language was plugged into a translator with the results being accepted wholesale, as I have a hard time believing a native English speaker would let these mistakes go through. The result, then, is an incredibly hysterical experience – but you’re laughing at the way these sentences now come across rather than because the game contains genuine humor.

Fashion Advisor

When you’ve collected all of the hidden objects in your shopping trip, you’ll then be left to complete the ensemble by visiting a jewelry store, makeup artist, salon and finally, the fitting room where you’ll put your outfits together. The Jewelry Store offers a memory match game where you’ll match pictures of jewelry on cards, while the Makeup store has you completing the same jigsaw puzzle over and over again, with only slight variations in the actual picture you’re creating (the eye shadow, lipstick, etc. on the model). For the Salon, you’ll be able to choose from a variety of stock hairstyles and dyes, and will then have to click on the model’s hair to “cut” and style it. These mini-games work well enough technically, but are rather boring and slow.

Where the game becomes practically unplayable is in crafting your overall outfit from the items you’ve collected. You’ll be assigned a style for each chapter – a Rock Style, or Casual Style, for instance. You’ll then need to pick items across almost a dozen categories that best fit that “Rock” or “Casual” style. However, it’s impossible to know which items the game will consider appropriate, without simply going through trial and error as the game forces you to start over if the outfits aren’t up to par. Ultimately, you’ll end up creating outfits using so many scrambled items that the models look ridiculous, just to end up earning enough points to move on.

Fashion Advisor is, simply put, a broken experience with no redeeming qualities. If the game were free, it might be worth downloading just for the humor of it all, but even for $2.99, that’s three bucks too much for this fashion disaster.