A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Style Savvy: Fashion Forward is a Nintendo 3DS simulation that has you take on various roles: boutique manager, designer, hair stylist, makeup artist, and model. There isn't any controversial content, though some parents may feel the "digital dress up" elements and makeup aren't setting the bar high for young girls -- not to mention how thin the models are in the game -- but the game also encourages them to be smart in business. It works with optional amiibo cards and characters to unlock character-specific outfits, and players can download a Style Savvy theme for their 3DS for real cash. Parents should be aware that user-created items can be shared with others by StreetPass.
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What's it about?
In STYLE SAVVY: FASHION FORWARD, you live and work in the fictional Beaumonde City. Here, you'll schmooze with the locals to build relationships, find out the styles they love, work your way up as a designer, design a showroom of your work, and, if you like, even visit friends' games over the internet to engage in fashion contests. You can play this fashion-focused game in multiple ways, such as designing clothes, becoming a top model, styling hair, excelling as a makeup artist, or managing your own boutique with almost 20,000 articles of clothing and accessories. You can play these kinds of mini-games individually or play them all simultaneously.
Is it any good?
While this fashion-forward title does give kids (and adults) a glimpse of the industry, it doesn't really expand or improve on the formula of the franchise. For example, the game's magical premise is silly, as your character is mystically transported into Beaumonde City, where you grow your business as a shop owner, stylist, and fashionista. You'll get more people into your store, help customers achieve their best, turn a profit, design clothes, and compete against others in your space. Similar to games like Animal Crossing, this game offers a real-time clock, which adds welcome urgency to your tasks -- even necessary ones like eating and sleeping. Along with the photo shoots and fashion shows, gamers might also like sharing their work (and dollhouses) via the StreetPass feature, along with competing in online Miiverse contests, swapping designs with friends.
It's not all good: Many of the tasks are repetitive, and there's little replayability (even with the many thousands of items). The girl models often act ditzy and look very thin, so they aren't great role models (thankfully, your character is). Plus, this game is clearly a port of the U.K. version, with no North American localization. Overall, fans of the franchise should enjoy this third game in the series, but it doesn't do much to push the series forward.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about fashion and personal style. How important is the way someone looks or dresses? Are people treated differently dependent upon how they're dressed?
Discuss budgets and financial responsibility, since you're encouraged to work within a budget for yourself and with customers in the game. Why are budgets important? Can you work out a budget for yourself outside the game?
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