Different games are made for different people. I can understand that. Nevertheless, it's disappointing that Nintendo addressed its new game, Style Savvy, exclusively to girls. An adaptation of a Japanese game that Nintendo has already found great success with, Style Savvy is entirely devoted to fashion. You buy clothes, you sell clothes, you dress up your avatar, and you open your own boutique to sell your fashion solutions to the world. When Nintendo sent its alerts and asked us here at CNET to check out the game, we were slightly less than excited about it. That doesn't seem like great news for a game that's front-and-center in Nintendo's holiday lineup, but then again, we're not the target audience.
I am far from interested in fashion, and the box design looked a lot like other DS shovelware released by many, many companies already. To be honest, my colleagues thought I was crazy to even be covering this game in the first place. Still, I was curious. I said I'd give it a try. And so a copy found its way into my DS. And, to my great surprise, it's still in there days later.
First off, this game is a retail/shopping simulator. The main focus is on greeting new customers, listening to their shopping requests, and then recommending a piece of clothing to fit their budgets. It might sound boring, but the reward is guessing right and getting a very satisfied customer who might buy even more, adding valuable income to your supply. With that money you buy more items from the design center (10,000 items cycled by season and randomness adds up to an Animal Crossing level of diversity). An in-game fashion magazine even shows off new fashion trends for the season, which parallels actual time.
The game starts you off as a store employee and then puts you in charge of your own store, where you try to succeed as well as you can. Everything you wear and how you behave also affects your performance, creating a surprisingly casual, yet deep, experience...and as you can see, I pretty much became hooked. I'm not embarrassed to admit that. The game is also controlled via stylus and with the DS turned on its side in "book" format. Its pace is slow enough for a subway ride, and the many small interactions create a persistent microgame that can be played in intervals as small as a minute.
My main issue, however, is that this game is officially targeted at girls.… Read more