|System: DS||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: syn Sophia||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Nintendo||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Nov. 2, 2009||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-4||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Amanda L. Kondolojy
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.