PC/Mac/Linux
enfrdeitptrues


From paper dolls to dress up. And tiaras to purses. This game has "girl" written all over it. No doubt, your first look at Fashion Cents will have you summing up the game in less than a second. But don't let your first look fool you. Wrapped up in this delightful game is a very well done strategy/puzzle game. Read on to find out what this game can offer the entire family.

Gameplay

The game contains ten (10) girls. The object of the game is rather simple: drag matching colored clothes to each girl to create a complete outfit. Matching colors is exactly what you expect. A blue hat can only be placed on a girl who is already wearing something blue. A yellow shirt, only on someone who has something yellow. And, of course, you may choose any color to begin dressing a girl. Once you have completed an outfit, the clothes go in a shopping bag, scoring you points. Complete enough outfits and you level up to the next level. An outfit consists of pants, shirts, shoes, and a hat. Special accessories (purses and sunglasses) add extra points to your completed outfit. Each turn, a new, random piece of clothing appears. You can either place it on one of the girls or move it to one of 5 open shelf spaces, saving the item for later. To move an item, you just click on it, then click again where you want to place it. The game interface is truly THAT easy. Not everything is a solid color. There are shirts with a main color and a fringe of something else. Hats of one color, with a ribbon of another color. Multiple colors allow you to place the item on someone who is wearing any of those colors. White and denim? They're wild and can go on anyone, no matter the color they have. Then, there are the special items. Scissors to cut any one item off. Bleach turns any one item white. A credit card gives you one free item. And the gift box gives you a complete outfit for free! You are probably wondering, "How hard can it be to match some colors?" Well, part of what I think most families will appreciate about the game are the varying skill levels. On the easy levels, it's rather simple to play. My 3-year old loves it because she can actually complete outfits and complete levels. As you begin to level up, the game gets progressively more difficult and increases at a fairly steady pace.

Sound

The music is really well done. Its contemporary jazz feel lends a fresh and fun quality to the game. The game contains two songs, both are pretty snazzy. With only two songs, the song choice is rather limited, but thanks to the added efforts of the developers, they have several expansion packs for the game, some of which contain new music. A young and hip Valley Girl sprinkles comments throughout the game. The game begins with a relaxed, "Ready to go shopping?" When mismatching colors (putting a blue shirt on a girl with orange, for example), you get the funny "Like, ewwwwww." And when completing an outfit you may hear, "That is like TOTALLY cool." The comments are funny and perfectly suited for this game.

Graphics

The bright graphics are well-suited for kids' eyes. As this game is built around the whole concept of colors, it is a very important part of the graphics. The developer has done a really terrific job of selecting colors which do not compete with each other. This makes it fairly easy to differentiate between each color. Where I do notice a problem is when viewing an LCD screen at an angle. Some of the colors which are close (pink and lavender, for example) can tend to look the same. Even red and orange are a bit difficult to tell apart when viewing from an angle. As viewing from an angle only occurs when you are watching someone else play, you really should not run into this problem when you are actually playing. Special mention should also be made as you can right-click on an item and a list of each color is displayed. This means the game is playable even if you are color-blind or have difficulty seeing colors. A definite nice touch! The simple graphics capture the cute nature of the game extremely well.

Appropriateness

Rest assured. You will be safe with this game. It's kid-friendly, adult-friendly,casual, fun, and educational. I've mentioned the strategy part, and I should probably explain it a bit in this section. Just one small example is dressing up a girl who has only one color, say yellow, for example. Let's say she only needs a hat to finish her off and in your storage shelves, you have a yellow hat and a yellow hat with a blue ribbon. You are left with a problem of probability. In this case, use the yellow-only hat. The yellow/blue hat will give a higher probability of finding matching colors, so you don't want to use it up on someone requiring only yellow. The easy point and click interface makes it appropriate for even young ones just starting out with the mouse. No dragging is involved. The colors make it a great way to help your kids learn their colors. I recommend sitting with your child as he/she plays and help in discovering new ways of playing. For some who may be concerned with the image the girls present, these are simple, cartoon-like drawings. I don't think you need to worry about your little one having a desire to look like 'the fashion cents girl'.

Conclusion

'Fashion Cents' has a unique quality. It is simple enough for a 3-year old, and yet challenging for adults. This blend of depth along with its family-friendly presentation makes the game fun for the entire family. Our 3 and 6-year old enjoy the game, my wife and I play it, and I even discovered my parents playing the game when they watched our kids. In nearly 2 months, the 'girl game' (as our daughters call it) has been loaded up every single day. The challenge and the fun lead to a game with lasting appeal and longevity. To top it off, there are several free expansion packs you can download which include new outfits (tiaras, dresses, hawaiian, fatigues) and new music. From the bright colors, fresh music, and fun game play, 'Fashion Cents' may just become a surprise hit with your family.

Gameplay: 19/20 Graphics: 8/10 Sound: 8/10 Stability: 5/5 Controls/Interface: 5/5 Total Gaming Score: 45/50
Appropriateness Score Violence: 10/10 (none) Language: 10/10 (none) Sexual Content/Nudity: 10/10 (none) Occult/Supernatural: 10/10 (none) Cultural/Moral/Ethical: 10/10 (none) Total Appropriateness Score: 50/50 (none)

Total Score: 95/100

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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