Juliette’s Fashion Empire
Game Review by Debbie Winkler
Make your rivals turn green with envy as you style and design your own clothes, cosmetics and accessories. Grab the most stunning models, give them a head-to-toe look and send them out on the runway! You will travel the world and showcase your fashions in stunning locations like New York City, Milan and Tokyo as you fight your way to the top in the cutthroat fashion business! Use your earnings to upgrade your equipment, hire help and turn your little shops into a fashion empire!
This is a solid, if slightly unimaginative time management game. It has a very simple, basic point-and-click interface with the “mini-games” so easy that they are almost laughable. You play the part of Juliette, a recent graduate of a fashion institute, who opens her own boutique. Unfortunately, Juliette’s clothes are not selling and she is almost ready to close her doors when an egotist classmate offers her a tip to success: run fashion shows to get her name out there and to get her clothes recognized. You will take models into your store, feed them, apply their makeup, select a style for them to wear, accessorize them and send them out onto the runway to find buyers. Work your way through three locations and launch your fashion empire!
There are very few stations to worry about in this game and it is pretty easy to keep them all under control. Upgrades are available for all stations that increase speed, patience and supplies hearts (each model has 1 – 5 hearts and you earn more money based on more hearts). You can also hire assistants to help you run the salon more quickly, patience boosts, money boosts, food upgrades, and speed upgrades for yourself. I found that the token earning was pretty slow, which limited my upgrade purchasing power, but I loved that my upgrades stayed with me through the whole game! This means, once you save up for an awesome upgrade, it is yours throughout the duration of your game play. Purchase additional stations/chairs as quickly as possible so that you can move the models through more rapidly and you will find yourself beating the competition in no time at all! Also, don’t forget to target chains to get the maximum bonuses available with your models. The game doesn’t spend a lot of time talking about the chaining so you may think that it doesn’t matter, but it really does. Money can pile up quickly if you can get three or four models in a row doing the same thing.
I found this game too easy for me as I play quite a few time management games, but it is a great game for beginners to test the waters of this game genre. You drag the models from station to station and then you just click on them. If there is a mini game associated with that station, it will pop up automatically. For the makeup styling stations, an area on their face will highlight and you need to select the correct makeup to apply (lipstick for lips, mascara for eyes, scissors for hair, etc.). For the clothing selection, you just click on the right or left arrows until you find an outfit where the model is smiling. For the accessory station, you simply click on the accessories that the model is thinking about in a bubble above her head. Simple and easy to navigate. This can get a bit monotonous and it is easy to click on the wrong thing if you have a tendency to chain things and get ahead of yourself like I do. There is no undo button and no way to unselect something so it is easy to lose hearts this way if you are not careful.
My main complaint with this game was the styling itself. I know that it is a fashion game, but I found a lot of the selections to be tasteless and overly sexual. Juliette is dressed in a bare midriff top that is skintight and leaves nothing to the imagination. When she turns around to work on a model or walk to the back of the room, you can see the top of her butt crack as her pants are really low. She has exceptionally large breasts for a woman her size and they bounce when she jumps up and down in excitement when she wins. The models themselves are rail thin except for their breasts, which are also far too large for their thinness. When you are selecting clothing for the models, it shows them all dressed in their underwear (bras and panties) so they show quite a bit of skin, as well as fairly deep cleavage. I want to recommend this game to young time management players as it is so easy to play, but I really would not feel comfortable having my niece play this game until she is a teenager and understand a bit more about the way the fashion industry is portrayed. This game is easy enough for an 8-year-old to play, but I would really prefer a 12-year-old or up to play based on the overly sexual styling.
This game’s directions are all written in English, as well as the tips and tutorial instructions. You must be able to read well enough to follow the directions (though all of the models request items with icons above their heads so you could probably figure it out if you can’t read the directions). I found the styling of the game to be too sexual for younger players. Even though the characters in the game are just avatars, they have very unrealistic and exaggerated bodies. Recommended for ages 12 and up.