Couture Craft, by Resonant Craft, is a game all about taking smaller things and combining them into one bigger, more awesome thing. Weaving threads into cloth. Stitching that cloth into clothing. Taking the match-3 genre and infusing it with the likes of an puzzle game. Here, your playing pieces resemble fashionable accessories, but they don't just vanish into the ether when you get three of them together! Drop them two at a time into the playing field to combine them into newer, better pieces, and you can combine those pieces into even more pieces, and so on and so forth until your wardrobe is a veritable explosion of style. And if that wasn't enough alchemizing for you, you can also mix your socks and hats and whatnots into powerups and goodies between the levels! It's not quite clear how you turn a pair of khaki shorts into a T-shirt, and then morph three of those right back around into denim jeans, but that's the magic of alchemy, isn't it?
Couture Craft boasts a clever concept bolstered by some lovely production values. The graphics are as adorable as a daisy patch sewn onto a sundress, and the whole thing looks clean as fresh laundry. The combination of genres gives this game a strategy all its own, distinct from both its parents. Because pieces never really vanish, just consolidate, you've got to plan your moves not only around matching pieces, but ensuring the resulting items can be easily combined as well. As you create better and better items in the field, they'll start appearing as dropping pieces, too, though the increased number of items to match can make things dicey. It's such a neat concept that it's almost painful to admit that it does have one large-ish drawback... the grinding. Certain levels require you to use specific items to pass them, such as nuggets that turn clothing gold, silver, and bronze, and they're not cheap to create. Inevitably, you'll need to replay earlier levels to get enough items to make them. Most high-level items can be crafted themselves, but that won't help if you run out of basics like thread. You do earn rewards regardless of whether you pass or fail a level, and you can purchase items that boost the rewards you gain, which help alleviate this. It's such an interesting combination of ideas, however, that makes it worth playing despite its flaws.