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October 28, 2006

REVIEW: Fashion Fable

While my daughter likes games like Sly Cooper and LEGO Star Wars a good little bit, she also enjoys the occasional fashion-focused "girlie" game, like Fashion Cents and, for better or worse, Paperdoll Heaven.

A couple weeks ago, I mentioned in passing that she and I had been playing Fashion Fable together.

Just now, as I linked to that there Fashion Fable website above, I saw that they had a gameplay video which takes you through most of the points that I was about to make, so I'll just run those down quickly:

There's a backstory (which we really didn't pay much attention to) about a clothing designer whose clothes were echanted and turned into mischevious imps, and your task is to capture said imps, via a match-3 puzzle game.

While the match-3 game may have been done to death in the casual game space (see Bejeweled. Lather. Rinse. Repeat.), it's pretty varied and entertaining the way they did it here. There are lots of vibrant and colorful animals, flowers, and other fun stuff.

In addition, every few levels introduces the player to a new imp with unique properties which affect your strategy.

The one element of the puzzle portion of the game that annoyed the hell out of us was the music - the horribly repetitive, schlock wedding band music (as someone who has played in wedding bands, I knows it when I hears it), which never seemed to stop. The same song played over and over and over again, driving us freaking nuts. They finally switched to a different song, but that was only after we'd played it many many times.

Now for the fashion. Depending on how quickly you finish the puzzles, you earn money every time you capture the required about of imps, which completes the level. With your money, you can buy (and eventually sell) dresses, blouses, pants, shoes, hairstyles, and special items like teddy bears and bunny rabbits. You can also customize the colors of all of those items (even the teddy bear).

My daughter likes the puzzles, though she sometimes needs my help (which I'm only too happy to give) to clear the levels. But she loves the fashion stuff - putting together outfits and hairstyles? Fugghedaboudit.

Best of all, though, it's a special thing that she and I share for 20-30 minutes, after homework and before bedtime, just the two of us. And that, my friends, is as good as it gets.


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