Eye for Design
Decorating your home is loads of fun. Assuming you have a huge budget, unlimited resources, and all the time in the world. Sandlot's new casual game Eye for Design drops you into the interior design chair with near total control over the inside of each house. You play Halle, the top grad from a prestigious design school in Paris, working with clients looking to spruce up their abodes. Choose and arrange nearly every element in each room to make the customer happy and earn respect in the interior design world.
At the outset Halle gets simple decorating jobs that involve little more than dropping a few pieces of furniture and calling it a day. Your goals for each room are listed to the left, furniture inventory at the bottom, and an isometric view of the room fills the rest of the screen. Simply drag and drop items onto the floor. Most rooms display helpful guide marks to show you where the furniture can be placed. You earn points for fulfilling listed goals and bonus points for completing "secret goals" and hitting color combinations with your selections.
Each job usually consists of several rooms in a home, and groups of homes create a neighborhood. As you progress through the stages you move on to bigger and posher areas where the customers' tastes are bigger, more expensive, and more difficult to satisfy.
Analysis: Eye for Design takes itself a lot less seriously than Home Sweet Home, dropping the concept of a budget, loosening the design guidelines, and foregoing the arcade-style building sequences entirely. Instead, what we get is a super-stylish game that focuses on simple goals and color coordination. Sure, you won't get points deducted if you cover that beautiful painting with a lamp, but if we wanted stringent decorating rules, we'd try moving furniture at aunt Agatha's house.
A drawback to this freer approach is a game that is lighter on actual design and heavier on furniture placement. At times you'll feel more like you're playing a warped version of Tetris trying to pack furniture in limited spaces within the room's four walls.
The best thing going for Eye for Design is its presentation, which has more attitude than you might expect. The visuals are good, the interface works well, and the game is as enjoyable as any casual game should be. Walk in expecting only a minimal amount of actual design and you'll walk away a very happy gamer.