A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this app.
Ease of Play
There's a very easy, user-friendly interface. But in order to make sure you don't lose the clothing orders you've placed, you need to make sure you check back in with the game when those orders are due. The amount of attention you need spend on it (not to mention the time) makes the game more difficult to keep up with in the long term.
Products & Purchases
Certain items can only be purchased with "gems." You start the game with 10 gems, but there's no way within the game to earn any more. You can only get them by buying "gem packs" with real money -- anywhere from $5 to $100.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Fashion Story is a business simulation game that allows players to run their own clothing boutique. Kids will have to keep buying new items to sell in their shops, and each time they order clothing, they will be told how long it will be before the order arrives. If they fail to check back in with the game at the proper time to receive their order, the order will have expired and the player will have wasted their in-game money. Kids can receive items instantly by spending gems. They can also spend gems to buy certain items that are not purchasable with regular in-game coins. However, after they use up the initial 10 gems they're given at the start of the game, kids will then need to spend real money to buy any more gems. Gem packs can cost anywhere from $5 to $100 in real money. Also, be aware that in order to get the fullest from the social aspect of the game (visiting friends' shops, commenting on their stock, and trading gifts with them), kids will need to sign up for an ID with the network, Storm8. Once "friend-ed," other Storm8 members can also write comments on your child's Storm8 profile wall.
Is It Any Good?
FASHION STORY looks adorable and has a very nice, user-friendly interface, which will make it very appealing to kids. However, it is also one of those insidious "velvet rope" apps that appears free (to suck you in), but once playing, you realize that you need to spend real money to have fun. Without purchasing "gems" -- which you can't earn in the game otherwise -- you won't be able to buy a lot of the coolest, most interesting fashions for your store, or a lot of the best-looking decorations. You also won't be able to have shipments of clothing delivered instantly to your shop. And without instant delivery, you're forced to check back in with the game repeatedly, to make sure you're there when clothes are delivered. And if you're too late, you lose everything, including the in-game money you spent. In essence, the game will either eat up your time and attention, or it will eat up your real money.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.