Love Nikki has become something of a mobile sensation. Surpassing the popularity of its predecessor, Nikki Up2U, this entry kicks things up a notch. There is a madcap story and a much larger closet. But that is not what we are here to talk about today. We are here to talk about how effective the game is at easing people into meeting fashionable objectives and developing a sense of style that will help them make Nikki the most adept stylist.
Things start out rather easy in Love Nikki. You have a Maiden difficulty, which gives you a general theme for each stage and offer advice from Momo, the cat mascot. Momo’s specific suggestions will recommend some generic items that will always do well on that stage and point out a few things from your closet that will help guarantee you a good grade. In your first few hours, this is invaluable. While you can sort items in each section of your closet by theme or look for specific tags, precise examples help you learn what criteria the game is looking for while you find your footing and build your wardrobe.
Your first few outfits will be ridiculous. For the first two or three chapters of Love Nikki, you will be forced to make due with whatever you can scrounge up to pass various hurdles. Colors won’t match. There will be odd overlaps because the layering isn’t just right. You might find yourself pairing a heavy winter vest with a swimsuit or gym shoes with a wedding dress. But it won’t matter. At this point, you are trying to accumulate a wealth of clothing so you have better options later.
After the third chapter of Love Nikki, the Princess levels unlock. These are higher difficulty versions of every Maiden stage. The opponents may have new skills to use, requirements could be a bit more strict and you will not have Momo’s advice to draw upon. However, you can press Memory and Best Score or Last Suit in the dressing room. The former puts the outfit that has earned you the highest score so far on Nikki, while the latter lets you wear whatever you last wore moments before. These efforts are designed to challenge you and force you to begin thinking more critically about which outfits will or won’t help you proceed.
In later levels, Love Nikki starts forcing people to be specific. It will require a specific piece of clothing and ensembles that revolve around them. Part of this is undoubtedly designed to encourage additional investments, both of time and money. The necessary parts always involve evolving existing items by collecting certain amounts of base clothing or accumulating plenty of other parts which cost both in-game cash and real-cash Diamonds. But, it also forces people to work around a certain objective. You need to create an outfit where that one dress or a specific top and bottom are the focal point. If you can’t do that well, there is still a very good chance you will miss that S-rank.
Once you have found your footing and sense of style, something that should probably begin happening between chapters six and eight of the story, Love Nikki’s Competition and Stylist’s Arena become the greatest challenge. The Competition is a brief event that gives players a theme. Most recently, it was “Mad for Music.” Participants must tap into their closet to create an outfit that best exemplifies that thought in their mind and hope that their fellow players agree. Everyone doles out “likes” to the outfits they think look best, with all participants receiving Diamonds, Crystal Roses and coins depending on the number of votes they receive. Here, we receive tangible accolades from the community for our efforts.
In the Stylist’s Arena, we can be given a more vague theme, such as to dress up in a “sassy swimsuit” or look like a detective. We can set skills, which will be automatically activated. But winning her is key to paying attention to the theme, suggested tags and groups and watching what opponents are wearing. This can lead to more hodgepodge designs, as people attempt to cover bases to complete objectives. But there are some outfits which can win a category on their own. The Ink Tale outfit, which is acquired by joining a guild and undertaking Commissions, can be used to win a challenge where a Cute and Pure outfit is desired with about 60,000 points.
People who play Love Nikki will find themselves constantly growing. As they spend time with the game, they will understand what certain stages and objectives demand of them. They will find themselves with a wardrobe filled with enough clothes to not only accomplish these tasks, but do so without looking like they threw on whatever items vaguely met the necessary guidelines. It can take time, but people will begin to make decisions that not only are the right ones, but the most coordinated and fashionable ones too.