What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that kids with an artistic flair or a love of crafts should find this game to their liking. There is no objectionable content. If the game is being played on a Nintendo DSi, players can take pictures of themselves sporting the necklace and earrings that they've designed. Players can purchase actual jewelry based on their designs, which are of a high quality. But this is an extra expense. Ubisoft has provided a Website where players can upload their jewelry designs using the DS's WiFi connection, but it didn't seem to be live at the time of our review.
What kids can learn
- making new creations
- work to achieve goals
- digital creation
Engagement, Approach, Support
For a game that emphasizes design and aesthetics, Jewelry Design's graphics could be more polished. However, the game is a fun creative outlet for artistically-minded kids with hundreds of different beads to unlock.
Kids can easily transfer in-game skills into the real world and start creating wearable jewelry. Players could even use the game to experiment with aesthetically-pleasing designs without having to buy real beads in advance.
In story mode, players receive feedback on how closely their design matches the customer's original request. Players can submit their designs to a website and purchase physical versions of the jewelry they've created in-game.
What's it about?
STYLE LAB: JEWELRY DESIGN puts players in the shoes of a young woman who's just graduated design school and has decided to open a jewelry shop featuring her own creations. In each chapter of story mode, customers will arrive at the store with different demands, such as a fun bracelet with a pirate theme or a fancy necklace with some green in it, and the player must create the piece by selecting appropriate beads, choosing a compatible template, and arranging the beads in a stylish way. Satisfied customers will leave cash that can be used to unlock hundreds of additional beads.
Is it any good?
Whether it's filling customer orders in Story more or playing around with custom designs in the free play mode, Style Lab: Jewelry Design is a wonderful outlet for creativity and a decent primer for kids who might eventually like to try their hand at making "real" jewelry, too. While the graphics could be better - especially for a game that's all about style and aesthetics - and some of the tasks (like having to measure out lengths of chain or rotate earring pieces into their proper positions) seem like unnecessary make-work, the sheer number of beads and design possibilities make the game a good choice for artistically-minded kids.
Families can talk about...
What design choices look nice? For example, do you prefer symmetrical or asymmetrical patterns? What color combinations work well together?
Does designing jewelry in the game inspire you to try making some "real" jewelry too?
What are some of your favorite necklaces, earrings, and bracelets that you own?
What are some differences between a "fun" style and a "formal" style?