This is me, 43-year-old bearded man Mike Fahey, taking a short break from being a fashion boutique manager, hair stylist, makeup artist, clothing designer and interior decorator in Style Savvy: Fashion Forward. I canât imagine how I found the time.
The third installment of Nintendoâs Style Savvy franchise has arrived, transporting us to a magical world behind the door of a dollhouse, a world desperately in need of a makeover. Players create their hip young female avatar and are transported to a place where they can hold multiple high-pressure creative positions without being driven completely insane. Itâs so great!
Like the Style Savvy games that came before it, players open a boutique (which they wonât let me nameâwise choice) and deal with customers with only a vague notion of what they came in to purchase. Itâs up to the player to visit the supply depot and stock up on enough girly checkered trousers, bold black earrings and lively skirts to ensure no customer goes away unsatisfied.
The fashion boutique core game isnât much different than itâs been. Customers still range from deadly specific to vaguely interested in some sort of clothing whatever, and while thereâs quite a bit of repetition in clientele (I keep getting the girl who brings her friend along to remind her to buy pants), putting together the perfect outfit for your customers is still as ridiculously satisfying as it ever was.
Butâs it not just about clothes anymore. As the game progresses you gain the ability to service some seriously vague customers at the doll townâs makeup and hair styling shops. Like clothing sales, itâs all menu-driven, multiple choice sort of stuffâyouâre never actively cutting hair or painting on your clientsâ faces with your stylus. This is good, because the customers in the two additional establishments would drive anyone nuts.
âI want to look like a princess!â one hair stylist customer says, making you milk out of her that she prefers something long and regal. âIâm hosting an animal party and want my hair to look like an aniââ Oh god shut up. Great Clips is three doors down; go bother them.
The best customers are the ones who want to look like other customers. One character, Xiaoling, is going completely Single White Female on another character, Callie. First Callie catches Xiaoling sketching her, discovering a sketchbook full of pictures of herself. Then Xiaoling asks for clothing that looks like Callieâs. Then the stalker serves as our introduction to both the hair-styling biz . . .
. . . and the makeup department.
I fully expect Callie to stop showing up in the game one day, replaced with Xiaoling with a âCallieâ tag taped over her on-screen name. Of all the things you can do in Fashion Forward, you cannot be the police called to Callieâs apartment when this situation escalates.
You can, however, become an interior designer, collecting tiny furniture and arranging it in rooms within a tiny dollhouse, which somehow modifies rooms in a larger house, itself technically inside a tiny dollhouse… my head hurts.
Iâm still getting the hang of interior design, which is to say itâs not nearly as fun as buying and selling clothes and doing makeovers. I like to do virtual makeup. I think Iâm getting good, but I can handle criticism. Iâll show you what I know.
Okay, maybe not. The best part about giving a customer horrible makeup in Fashion Forward is that you will run into them again and again as you wander through town, stopping by the park for a stroll or sitting at the cafe sipping on some coffee. âShe paid me $150 to do that,â my character says to herself, finding comfort in the little victories.
Iâve still got a ton of stuff to do in Fashion Forward, from runway shows to designing my own clothing, which will probably be really, really bad, but my virtual friends will love it anyway. Except Callie. Poor, missing for five days Callie.