Let’s Get Some Style
Fashion is a fickle thing. Anyone who watches shows like Design Star or Project Runway knows that one person’s boho chic is someone else’s boring crap. When it comes to the world of design, there are plenty of different styles out there, and whether you like modern, retro, classic, or contemporary, there are plenty of fasionistas waiting to impress you.
It is upon this crowded premise that Style Savvy is founded. The game takes the form of a store management sim, but there’s actually a lot more to it than that. You play as a self-named and styled sales associate who has a knack for fashion. Thanks to a very nice store manager, you’ll learn the basics of fashion while working at a high-end boutique. Things like matching, layering, and accessorizing are nicely tutorialized, and the game even walks you through some of the different types of styles. From trendy to glamorous, Style Savvy covers all the major bases in terms of fashion, and even if you aren’t an expert going into the game, you soon will be.
Once you’ve learned the basics, then you’ll be able to launch headlong into your career. You can open your own boutique and style it the way that you want by shopping at fashion wholesale markets for stock that fits both your style and that of your customers. Of course, you’ll have to stay in-budget and buy plenty of clothes that will make your store profitable as well as popular.
However, for your store to become popular, you’ll not only have to stock clothes, but you’ll have to sell them to customers as well. The customer interaction in Style Savvy is the basis of most of the gameplay and is the most interesting part of the game; it’s definitely where the game really becomes challenging.
The key to successful customer interactions involves paying attention to both visual cues (like what they are currently wearing) and verbal cues (what they are saying). When a customer enters your store, you can approach them by tapping on them with the stylus. You’ll instantly see their buying history (if they’ve been to the store before) and you’ll see what their budget is. They will then proceed to tell you what kind of “look” they are going for. Listen carefully! Customers will use fashion buzzwords like “chic” “comfortable” or “trendy” to describe the style they want, and it will be up to you to find something in your stock that matches their needs and budgets.
Although most of the customers in the game will be very easy to deal with, the game’s real value comes from the few that aren’t. Occasionally, you’ll have someone with a very low budget come in and ask for a full ensemble that conforms to a “glamourous” look. These customers will test your wits as both a fashionista and as a budget-minded entrepreneur.
As far as different types of clothes are concerned, Style Savvy really has everything. From undershirts to cardigans, miniskirts to bellbottoms, if it is (or ever was) a fashion trend, Style Savvy has it in one form or another. At first, going shopping for stock clothes can be a little overwhelming, as there is quite a bit to choose from (even before you unlock all 10,000 outfits). However, the more you get into Style Savvy, the more you’ll be interested in a certain brand or piece. This can evolve into a more focused shop, which will bring in customers who enjoy your particular taste in style. Style Savvy definitely allows you to inject a lot of your personality into the gameplay, and I was able to really express my love of cardigans and all manner of jeans through the game.
Aside from stocking your store and helping customers, there really isn’t much more to Style Savvy. However, I’m not too sure that there really needs to be. The premise of the game is simple enough that little kids will be able to get into it, but the fashion aspects of it have enough depth to them that older “tweens” and teens will probably love the game, too.
The game features over 10,000 garments to purchase, and there is plenty of replay value for those who want to collect all of the game’s different outfits. In addition to being able to unlock all these clothing items, your character is also able to visit hair and makeup salons to improve their own personal style. While this doesn’t impact the gameplay too much, it still is a nice touch and is a great way to keep you immersed in the game.
As far as the visuals are concerned, Style Savvy looks great. As a game that is focused on fashion and design, Style Savvy certainly needs to look good, and it definitely succeeds here. Each customer has a very detailed character model, complete with various body types, different facial features, and a rainbow of skin tones.
However, though the different characters all look great, what really shines here are the clothes. Style Savvy features 10,000 different pieces of clothing, and each is amazingly detailed and moves on the different models as you would expect them to. While pants are rigid and cling or hang based on the fit, dresses are more fluid and mold to the character’s shape. The different clothes also sport some pretty neat designs, and I found myself working very hard to earn shopping days so I could unlock more of the game’s many clothing items.
However, while the game looks good, I wish I could say the same of the sound. I really don’t think much effort went into the sound production on Style Savvy and, unfortunately, it shows. The background music is essentially an endless loop of the same song, and there are no voiceovers. Sure, there’s a sound effect here and there, but it really isn’t anything to turn the sound up for. You are better off listening to some pop tunes to get some inspiration for your fashion boutique than listening to the dull soundtrack offered here.
Style Savvy is an excellent game for its niche audience. While there have been other fashion-based games for the Nintendo DS, Style Savvy hits all the right notes. With plenty of clothes, easily attainable story goals for youngsters (and plenty of advanced goals for older gamers), Style Savvy offers the total package for anyone with an interest in fashion. Just make sure that you coordinate your shoes and belt with your DS while playing!
RATING OUT OF 5 RATING DESCRIPTION 3.9 Graphics
Character models look great, and there are plenty of colorful clothing designs to play around with. 3.0 Control
The point and click controls certainly don’t offer much depth, but they are easy to use, especially for younger fashionistas. 2.0 Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
Theme music is very generic and can become grating after several hours of play. 3.8
The gameplay isn’t all that challenging or thought-provoking, but those with an eye for fashion will love buying and selling the game’s 10,000 garments.
3.6 Overall Rating – Good
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.