Every Style Savvy game starts the same. Players are a new arrival in a small, but fashionable, town. Residents immediately recognize them for their sense of style. One of the people there will be so captivated by their abilities after watching them in action that they will bestow upon them their very own shop. The task from that point is to sell as much as you can, have an impact on the community and take part in styling contests that show how well coordinated you are. It is all rather freeform. However, initial impressions of Style Savvy: Styling Star seems to suggest more goalposts for people to pass as they play.
The Style Savvy: Styling Star demo has been released on the Nintendo 3DS eShop to give people a taste of what to expect from the full game. It is not the longest experience. Essentially, it covers the first hour of the game. Players come to town. They visit their uncle Tim’s boutique, Timorrow. He admits he is not very good at running it and passes ownership of it over to you after seeing you excel when aiding a customer. Once it is renamed and you hire your first assistant from handful of options, business as usual commences.
Style Savvy: Styling Star abandons the real-time element of previous games to fall more in line with Style Savvy: Fashion Forward; time passes as you aid customers or explore the town. When a day ends, you return to your apartment to sleep and advance to the next day. You earn experience for successfully serving shoppers, which is tallied at the end of the night. (It is impossible to see how this impacts gameplay in the demo.) Since this segment only covers the initial interactions in the game, we do not get to participate in any big events, buy any stock for the shop, begin decorating the apartment, create any clothing or help out at the salon or makeup store. Instead, the focus is on aiding individuals.
The small scale customer service experience is unchanged from Style Savvy: Fashion Forward. Someone comes into the store. (In the demo, only female customers appear, though male clothing does make a reappearance in this installment.) They name a specific item or look they are searching for. You can then check your stock, agree to help them or turn them away. Should you agree, you are taken to a screen where you see their basic desire, their budget and everything currently available in your shop. It is possible to narrow down available items via a search function that lets you go by brand, pattern, color, style or part. There is an array of adequate options available, with even watches and bangles available. This gives a good idea of the moment to moment goals.
It is then that demo introduces the new element that provides an entirely new aspiration for Style Savvy: Fashion Forward’s players. In this installment, we essentially become professional stylists. In so doing, we are given new goalposts to reach. Not long after taking over the boutique, players will notice the NIN10 Pro modeling agency. After (literally) running into Rosie Mayfield, NIN10 Pro’s latest star, you are given a major assignment. The agency asks for your assistance in preparing her for her singing debut. She can be a pop star or a rocker, with your clothes determining the course of her future. Her debut single is influenced by the outfit she wears.
This segment is a perfect example of not only an element of the fashion industry that the Style Savvy series has not yet touched upon, but provides additional motivations for playing the game. After all, the series has largely been an open experience where you play as much as you want. It is impossible to “lose” and there are relaxed definitions of success. Rosie is only one of multiple characters NIN10 Pro will trust players with assisting; knowing there are opportunities to continue to shape their careers could prove to be an interesting means of keeping people invested in the game.
It seems like Style Savvy: Styling Star could provide a new gameplay element that sticks to the title’s original mission, store management and customer service, but in a way that encourages further investment. Knowing that a talent agency will continually trust you with clients and ask you to meet certain objectives is a nice larger goal that will work well alongside the day-to-day tasks helping people with more minor fashion emergencies. It provides both major and minor missions, which could help with this installment’s relevance.
Style Savvy: Styling Star will come to the Nintendo 3DS in Europe on November 24, 2017 and in North America on December 25, 2017.