The fashion business has changed quite a bit since Jojo Cruz took an early retirement a few decades back. So, now that her daughter, Rosalind, has convinced Jojo to make a comeback, is it any wonder that she needs your help? Grab your eye for style and get ready for Jojo's Fashion Show.
Gamelab's latest release takes a new twist on the time management scene, combining casual creativity with classic career simulation. The game can be played in either of two modes. "Dress-up mode" is a leisurely, virtual version of paper dolls; mix and match outfits on a customizable model, accessorize, and admire. "Runway mode" challenges you to put together stylish outfits behind the scenes at some world famous fashion shows. Half-naked models breathlessly await your choices in attire, occasionally offering their opinions on the style: "Hot!" "Ew!" or "Totally rad!"
The runway mode includes series of shows in the fashion capitals of the world: New York, London, Sydney, Milan, Tokyo, and of course, Paris. During each show, you'll have to dress up to three models at a time. Various choices in tops, bottoms, and shoes will line up on the rack at the bottom of the screen, and can be mixed and matched in various ways. Rock & Roll or racy? Modest or valley girl chic? If you're the type who has trouble picking outfits, or gets accused of dressing in the dark, don't worry. Jojo and Rosalind are on hand to give advice, and offer a detailed description of the appropriate style before you begin. These descriptions can be recalled by clicking the name of the style listed over the model's head.
Throughout each show, three complete outfits will be on display in the window behind the dressing room. If you can manage to re-create these "signature outfits" before the end of the show, you'll unlock them in dress-up mode. Each show can be replayed unlimited times, so unlocking new signature outfits can add quite a bit of additional challenge. As Jojo regains her success, your wardrobe may grow. Feel free to try your own combinations on the models, however. Some styles are intuitive (can you say t-shirt and jeans?) and will score you bonus points as you send the model to the runway.
High-scoring choices may also bring helpful bonuses, which can be used while dressing the models. One may shuffle the clothing rack providing fresh choices, or change the style the model is supposed to wear. Another bonus will pick an outfit off the rack, saving you a bit of time. That's right... did I mention this was a time management game? If you can't dress the models quickly enough, they'll be sent out onto the runway in their underwear. Not only will this not score you any points, it will earn you the scorn of Claudio Maximiro, Jojo's old rival.
Jojo's Fashion Show: World Tour Now Available! Featuring photo shoots, male models, and new clothing choices! Click here for our review.
As you travel across the world with Jojo and Rosalind, secrets from the past will be revealed and scandal will arise. Just how did the feud with Claudio begin? How will Jojo react when Rosalind, who sports a trendy nose stud, wants to try some fresher styles? Can they keep their styles fresh and their audiences cheering? All will be revealed, (hopefully not on the runway!) but only with your help.
Analysis: When I first looked at Jojo's Fashion Show, I was rather skeptical (a fashion game? Puh-leaze.) yet I was hooked as quickly as I began. The game gives just enough guidance to make any outside knowledge of fashion unnecessary, while including styles that anyone should be familiar with. (This might be a good thing or a bad thing... I had a pretty harsh recoil when I spotted my first pair of leg warmers on the rack.) The cute or pithy comments coming from the models, combined with Rosalind's peppy encouragement, offer some light entertainment during the standard time trials.
I even found myself returning frequently to the dress-up mode to play. (You know how hard it can be to choose an outfit before a photo shoot... I changed the outfit shown above many times before deciding this was the one.) Rosalind can take a photo of your complete outfit and model, and save the picture to a folder in your documents file. Since the game doesn't ask before creating this folder, this might be more of a hindrance than a convenience. Still, between the two different modes, this game offers quite a bit of variety. So, whether you've been seeking an excuse to get nostalgic with decades of various styles and play virtual paper dolls or you just want to help half-naked girls in their underwear, Jojo's Fashion Show is sure to please.