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A Fashion Show Is On The Cards
Very girly, simple to play, you can design your own clothes and assemble outfits
Quite repetitive, not very challenging, not at all like real solitaire, some ugly outfits !
Value for Money
Difficulty & ComplexityQuite a simple game not too complicated
MultiplayerVery poor multiplayer functions
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Year of release: 2008 Publisher: Lifetime Games Genre: Card games
A couple of years ago I decided to download a couple of games on my computer, to pass a bit of time and enable me to avoid/bypass more effectively some boring tasks that I didn’t really want to do. One of the games I came across was called Fashion Solitaire. I have seen a few variations of solitaire (a card game also known as Patience) for the PC, including Fairway Solitaire and Faerie Solitaire, but this one really appealed to me as it seemed to be quite girly and frivolous – just like me!
Unfortunately, it didn’t take me all that long (a couple of seconds, perhaps) to discover that this game was, in fact, better suited for twelve year old girls than ones in their early twenties! Even as someone who happily admits to admiring many things beloved by the pre-teen girl (cheesy pop music, for example), I felt that this game was a bit too young even for me. However, I gave it a play in the interests of research and to enable me to write this review for those of you who may in fact have – or be – girls of an appropriate age for this game.
What Is Fashion Solitaire?
Fashion Solitaire is – as you may have in fact guessed – a combination of solitaire and fashion. (See what they did there?) In this game, rather than stacking the cards in piles according to number and colour, you have to use the cards - which feature items of clothing instead of numbers - to dress your models. Yes, this game isn’t really a work of genius... but what else can you expect from a game called Fashion Solitaire?
The cards are divided into different types of clothing, instead of into suits. These different items include:
However, you will not have all these variations available to you in every game, and at the beginning you will only have to deal with the basics (hair, top, bottoms and shoes), so that your model isn’t completely indecent when she takes to the catwalk!
How You Play
When you first begin the game you will see that there are eight different levels/styles you can play the game in. These are:
• Night on the Town • Rockin’ the Suburbs • Back to School • The Workout • City Life • All Business • Young and Trendy • Pure Elegance
Depending on the style you choose to play in, you will have a different pack of cards given to you, with the clothing items carefully selected to suit that style (workout gear for The Workout, example, and teeny skirts for Night on the Town). Initially you have to play these styles in order, starting with Night on the Town, however once you have opened up a style you are able to play it again at any time.
For the first game you only have to dress three models – that is your first task. Each model needs to have a top, bottom, shoes and hairstyle before they can be dismissed. You can also deck them out in jewellery and hosiery (including some very cute knee socks of which I am a big fan) but they are not obligatory to passing the level. As in solitaire, you can only choose the card that is turned over on the top of each deck, so if the one you are after is not turned over, you have to play around with the cards to try and get it. There is a space for storing up to 5 cards for this reason, and you can also stack some cards on top of each other on the decks if you stack them according to type of clothing (or “suit”).
Within each style or level there are 6 rounds or games, and then you can move on and open up the next style. As you progress in the game various things happen to make the game more fun and/or challenging. These are as follows:
• At the beginning of the game you start with a basic range of clothing. As the game progresses, however, you will have a bigger variety of items in your pack of cards, such as hair accessories and outerwear.
• As well as having more variety of clothing in your pack, as the game progresses you will also have more actual cards, less cards already turned over, and more models to dress, making the solitaire aspect of the game a bit more difficult.
• After the first round you will start to earn money for dressing your models, which will go towards designing new clothes (more information on this below). You will get extra money for passing challenges.
• As mentioned above, as the game progresses you will be given different style challenges. The models will not only have to be dressed in the basics required for avoiding arrest for indecent exposure, but they will also have particular demands of what they want to wear. Over each model’s head there will be a symbol or colour, alluding to an item or colour that they want to wear. If you dress enough models in the items or colours that match their demands, you will meet your style goal and earn more money.
These are the basics of the game. However, there are two more fun features of the game that I think young girls will really like. These are as follows:
The Fashion Show
After each round or game, you are asked to pick your favourite look/model from all the ones you put together in that game. That look/model is then added to your fashion show line up. At the end of the six rounds for that level, the six models that you have chosen (one from each round) will do a fashion show and showcase your favourite looks, and you can take photos which can then be saved on your computer or emailed to friends. Funnily enough I have never used this feature; I'm not sure my friends would appreciate these photos!
The Design Studio
From the second round of this game, you will have access to a Design Studio. Here you can spend the money that you earn on designing new clothes which will be added to your deck. You can choose from the different areas of clothing listed above to pick the type of clothing you want to design. You then choose the shape, pattern, colour and material for this item from one of a few options. The options for shapes and patterns will increase as you go along and unlock more styles.
Once you have designed your item, you are then asked to name your creation and then choose whether you want to add it to your pack now, and if so which existing item you want it to replace. If you do add the item to your pack and dress a model with it, you will get extra money for dressing your model in one of your own creations. This money can then be used to design even more clothes!
What I Liked
I thought it was nice to see a fun, girly, modern twist on an old, familiar game. There is a big market these days for all things girly and fashion focused, and I think that this will really appeal to a lot of young girls who want to combine the two elements of a fun card game and some fashion designing.
As well as being a breath of fresh air within the card game genre, I think that this is also quite an innovative game within the world of fashion games. Although there are many, many fashion games around today, I have played quite a lot of them and there are, in fact, few games where you get to design the clothes yourself. I think that this is a great idea which gives the player an outlet for creativity as well as adding a lot of fun to the game.
Another great thing about this game is that you unlock new things as you go along, including new styles, new outfits and new options in the design studio. This makes the game more exciting as it adds variety and also means that you are working towards a goal.
What I Disliked
Looking at the game from a twelve year old girl prospective (I find that strangely easy!), there are few things that are really terrible about the game, however I do feel that it is not challenging or versatile enough to sustain interest for long. Once all the styles have been unlocked, I’m not sure there is enough about the game to keep players coming back and playing again.
Firstly, from a fashion point of view, I am not sure that there is much longevity. First of all, there are not that many different styles of clothing or patterns to choose from when designing clothes, so the design element would get boring after a while. Secondly, of the patterns and shapes that are available, I actually think that many of them are pretty ugly! I ended up dressing my models in the same things (generally miniskirts and little tops) over and over again. Thirdly, the task of dressing identical looking models in similar items of clothing over and over again can get a bit boring after a while.
From a card game point of view, the game is very simple and unchallenging. The game clearly puts a much bigger focus on the fashion aspect of the game than it does on the solitaire aspect, and it takes a while before the actual solitaire part of the game presents any challenge at all, and even then it is not too hard to use all your cards and complete the level.
When I purchased the game, I thought it would just be exactly like real solitaire, only with clothes on the cards instead of pictures of kings and queens, etc. However, I found that the solitaire aspect of the game is basically just a gimmick (rather than the fashion part, like I expected). It is really nothing at all like real solitaire; the rules are very different, you have a different number of cards and more than one deck, and it is nowhere near as challenging as proper solitaire. It is basically just a simple fashion game that is very easy to complete, and this is the main reason why I feel this game is not suitable for older players, and why I don’t think it would capture anyone’s interest for longer than one complete game.
Price and Availability
This game can be downloaded from many places including iWin games (iwin.com) or Big Fish Games (bigfishgames.com), where you can get it for $6.99 (this is currently about £4.50).
You can also buy it as a CD ROM for £4.99 from amazon, or perhaps from ebay, where there are a couple of them for sale right now.
Alternatively, you can play the web version of the game online for free at Big Fish Games or at fashionsolitaire.com, however you will not have access to all the game’s features this way.
Pre-teen and early teen girls who are interested in fashion.
Yes and no. I would recommend this to young girls who are very keen on fashion and want a simple, fun fashion based game where they can design their own clothes. For anyone else, basic solitaire is much better if you are after a card game, and if you are after a fashion based game, I would recommend JoJo’s Fashion Show as a better alternative.