Duke Special

Thursday, 10 April 2008

My list of top casual dress-up doll games for PC

Here they are in descending order:

  1. Fashion Cents Deluxe from My Games Company
  2. Fashion Fable from Creatrix Games
  3. Fashion Solitaire from Large Animal Games
  4. Jojo's Fashion Show from the ever reliable Gamelab
  5. Fashion Story from Gambana
  6. Dress Shop Hop from Pronto Games
  7. Fashion Fits from Fugazo, Inc
  8. Fashion Craze from Five B-N
  9. Fashion Rush from Ovogame
Other related games of merit that shouldn't be missed are:

1. Fashion Cents

I have been playing this game for years and still totally love it. It is completely addictive and simple enough that my 6 year old daughter also enjoys it. Fashion Cents is basically solitaire but with paper dolls. Random garments appear which have to be placed on the ten models available on the screen.

Each models will only where garments of matching colours, so you have to juggle carefully to complete the "suits" (pun intended) to get onto the next level.

Recently My Game Company have released a pack making it possible to submit your own designs, which is available from their forums.

Not only, in my opinion, is this the game with the greatest longevity value, but it was also the first trailblazing dress-up game I came across and deserves much kudos for that reason alone.

To download the game click on the Fashion Cents picture above.

2. Fashion Fable

Again, a fairly early exponent of the genre, this game is interesting in that it has a compelling (and fairly surreal) linear fantasy story.

To progress through the game you must complete various levels of a good old match-3-colours puzzler. The puzzle element, though nothing staggeringly original in itself, is well implemented and fun.

On the left of the puzzle screen is a paper doll model, the heroine of the story, and as you progress through the puzzles you are able to unlock various clothes, accessories and hairstyles enabling you to dress her as you wish.

The artwork is original, imaginative and striking, and all from a small indie company.

Quality, love and imagination have gone into this game and it shows!

You can download the game by clicking on the picture above :)

3. Fashion Solitaire

At first glance I thought that Large Animal Games were trying to out-fashioncents Fashion Cents. But as I progressed through it had many differences as well as similarities.

Here the garments are represented as collector cards, stacked, solitaire style.

The dolls to dress are modelled in 3D and rather than requiring all garments to be of matching colours, they simply have general demands such as one item of a particular colour, print or type. Once that request is fulfilled the rest of the outfit is entirely up to you, giving you more creative freedom when it comes to the ensembles you put together.

The actual range of garment prints, styles and colours at your disposal is, franky, enormous. You do have to wrk for them however and they must be unlocked gradually as the game progresses.

The game even features a design workshop where you can create your very own designs by mixing and matching styles, print and colours in endless variation. This interface is extremely easy to use and allows the player to completely customize their own deck for all 8 stages of the game which is quite astonishing!

If you panic at the mere thought of anything artistic however, don't panic! there are plenty of extra stock items which can be bought in the "shop" section of the game using points earned through the game.

If all of this wasn't enough, each of the 8 stages or "collections", each representing a different style, consists of six solitaire levels. At the end of each of these levels you are asked to select your favourite creation. Once the stage is completed all your favourite choices are paraded on the catwalk by the posing 3D models whilst you snap away with a virtual camera to document your own genius! You can even show off to your friends by emailing the pictures to them from within the game!

Super slick, and choc full of content and detail, this game is wonderful value for money and sooo polished. The only minor complaint I have is that the actual puzzle aspect of the game was not challenging enough for my tastes (although I have just completed the almost impossibly hard fairway solitaire which might be shading my judgement!) but there are so many other features to enjoy in this title I can easily overlook that :)

Click on the picture above to download the game :)

4. JoJos Fashion Show

A very fun game, I also appreciated the fact the main character was an older lady.

Not a huge amount of actual gameplay is involved but this game was still very enjoyable for the story, the playing pretty, and enjoyment of all the bright colours, whistles and bells though :)

Definitely worth playing through the demo :) (By clicking on the picture above)...

5. Fashion Story

Fashion Story is basically fairly similar to Fashion Fable but with a more mundane story and less imaginative concepts and artwork.

It is still quite fun if you are a fan of fashion and match-3-puzzles, an added bonus is that you can try it free online in a browser window here:

Or alternatively you can download it here:

6. Dress Shop Hop

Dress Shop Hop is probably the best of 4 fairly ordinary time management based fashion games that see you supplying customers with bespoke outfits.

This is the cutest and best in my opinion of the ones to follow but not very inspiring either as a fashion game or a time management title as it's just too slow...

Don't let me put you off though, if you'd like to try it you can get it by clicking on the appropriate pic.

7. Fashion Fits

I prefer this one as far as the time management element goes, but still nothing to write home about. You can always try it for yourself though in the usual way.

8. Fashion Craze

Another uninspiring game in my opinion, but not actually awful, lol!
A couple of annoyances include the poor artwork which includes all the girls wearing clashing make-up, and more annoyingly still, the sexist way that male customers become more content when seated next to the supermodel characters, where as the female characters get less contented when seated next to them because they are jealous of their looks... I kid you not!

9. Fashion Rush

Fashion Rush is actually very similar to the other titles just mentioned, though it is more professionally presented than some. The artwork is nicely executed but the main character dresses like a hussy and is LITERALLY so skinny that, with a wig, she would bear more than a passing resemblance to Cruella DeVille!

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So, that's my pic of the casual dress up games for PC - basically the top 5 are all definitely worth a look, but probably only bother with the rest of you're quite bored or killing time until the postman arrives with your new dolly.

Since starting this list I have discovered a new fashion game named Vogue Tales so I will test it out (purely in the name of science of course!) and let you know how I get on :)

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I would also like to take this opportunity to encourage you to try three other related casual games, these are:

1. Sally's Salon

While not an actual fashion game, this is a makeover game and great fun!
Everything you could want is here, Sally's Salon is very cute and has LOADS of levels!
A wonderful time management game with a really well paced difficulty curve.

2. Belle's Beauty Boutique

While it is slightly less slick than Sally's Salon I still thoroughly enjoyed Belle's Beauty Boutique and found it quite charming and quirky.
The game gets really challenging towards the end but is still very enjoyable and rewarding at the same time :)

I particularly enjoyed the Halloween level which was an inspired idea!

3. Diner Dash: Hometown Hero

The Diner Dash series are absolute classics in the time management genre and I love them all. Hometown Hero is also relevant her though because it allows you to collect outfits for Flo, our heroine, and dress her as you wish paper-doll style.
Heartily reccomended (although it does tend to make me quite hungry!)
Happy gaming,
Holly & the Dinky Divas xoxo

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