Review – Fashion Dreamer

Make it work!

Overview

Developer syn Sophia
Publisher XSeed
Genre Simulation, Lifestyle
Platforms Switch
Release Date 11/3/2023

In Fashion Dreamer, players explore dream worlds called Cocoons, and help the people there overcome their fashion challenges. The more they help, the more their influence grows. But becoming a fashion influencer is not easy, and there are plenty of challenges for players to overcome.

I love fashion. One of my dreams is to start a fashion company, so as soon as I saw this game’s announcement, I immediately took notice. I doubted it would be a Game of the Year contender, but I did expect it to be fun. So, let’s jump into the review and look at how it turned out.

Content Guide

There are no content concerns in the game. I never encountered any risqué outfits, nor any dialogue inappropriate for younger players. This is a family-friendly game.

This game is rated E for Everyone.

I’ve got news for you, it already is.

Review

Before you can get started on the meat of the game, you have to create your Muse. You get to choose a male or female character, customize the face and hair, and pick a simple outfit. The choices of facial features and hairstyles are reminiscent of K-Pop artists. Accidentally at first, then intentionally later, I made my Muse resemble the singer Kim Jae Joong.

Annoyingly, this picture saved sideways in my Switch

The gameplay loop is simple, but surprisingly solid. You walk around and find other Muses. You talk to them, they tell you the type of outfit they want, and you do your best to follow their wishlist. The fewer the clothes in your inventory, the more difficult it is to get the wishlist done. Additionally, you can customize items. The more items you customize, the higher your brand level gets. As you level up, you unlock various things in other areas of the game.

The outfits you create for others are called Lookits. And occasionally, one of the NPCs will create one for you, though you don’t need to continue wearing it if you don’t like it. Luckily, you get to keep the clothes regardless.

With each Lookit you make, the game gives you a rating on a scale from one to three stars. You get a star for following the wish list, for color matching, or for using trending items. Each Lookit guarantees one star, so it’s up to you to strive for the other two. Once you reach three stars with each Muse, talking to them once more at a later point will allow you to increase your relationship level with them. Getting to a high enough relationship with some of them unlocks other Muses that then come in and hang out in that particular Cocoon.

Girl, same.

The only way to get new clothes is to “like” them. You can observe a Muse’s outfit and like whatever clothing you don’t already own. The game will warn you if there is an item your Muse can’t wear, but I would recommend liking it anyway. That way, it will be part of your inventory and you can use it to make Lookits for other Muses.

There are sections of each Cocoon where you will find new clothes on display that you can like. The selection seems to change daily, but not necessarily everything will always be brand new. In these places, you will also find a spot to change your Muse’s makeup (if you wear any), or facial features. There is also the Photo Egg, where you can go for photoshoots. Lastly, there is the trend forecaster.

There are three minigames: a gacha machine, and two different bingo machines. In order to play any of them, you need tickets. You get tickets by making Lookits for Muses. However, you don’t have control over what they give you, and you could go quite a while without getting any new gacha tickets. The gacha machine, as one would expect, gives you a random selection of items. Meanwhile, the bingo games give star points, which are essentially the currency of the game. There are ways to get extra bonuses and get more star points, but as is bingo’s nature, it’s randomized. 

Showrooms are another fun element of the game. You get to create your own with furniture you’ve unlocked or purchased with star points, and up to two mannequins. You can customize it as much as you want and display as many clothes and accessories as you can fit. For an exorbitant amount of star points, you can purchase new floors and backgrounds as you get to higher levels for your brand.

The showroom streams are a good way to get new outfits and accessories. They are generated by the game daily. You can spend as much time in there as you want, walking from one showroom to the next, but eventually you’ll loop back around.

The online feature of the game is where you can get the best clothes and the most star points. By finding other players in the Cocoons, you can like their outfits just like any other muse and get those clothes. Best of all, you can create Lookits for those players, and other players can create Lookits for you. There are no real time interactions with other players, however. And, from what I could tell, no way to send them messages. Overall, I think that’s good, as you won’t have to worry about harassing messages.

For every like you get, you receive a considerable number of star points. It’s the most efficient way to get enough to afford the different items and backdrops for your showroom. For that reason, I prefer to go around and like everyone’s outfit that I come across so it can help them obtain star points. Plus, it comes with the perk of getting new clothes.

“They called it ‘The Red Carpet Day.'”

I do have three big complaints with the game. Firstly, there is really no clear direction. Once you get through the tutorials, it lets you off the leash to make as many Lookits as you want. All it says is to increase your number of followers. Credits roll as soon as you hit a specific number, and it’s lower than one might think. I wasn’t expecting a story—and certainly not a spectacular one—but I had hoped for a little more than that.

Complaint number two is perhaps a bit more like a spoiled brat, but I had hoped for more Cocoons. There are only four, and none of them are very large. I can get over having little to explore, but I would have then liked more Cocoons to visit. And yes, I missed the part of the trailer where it says how many there are. The four small places just left me wanting more, but not in a good way.

I quite like my showroom, I must admit.

My third complaint is what I find to be the biggest flaw. There is a feature called “Item Creator,” and is described as such. The problem is, however, that you’re not exactly able to do much. You just take an item you already have—and how rare the clothing is determines whether you can do it for free or spend star points to do it—and change the colors. That’s it. You lose the item you used as a pattern, too.

I consider myself a reasonable man; I didn’t expect to be able to make the items from scratch. As much fun as it would be, I don’t need to make the pattern, cut the fabrics, and sew them for the muses. It’s not that in depth of a game, and that’s okay. But when Animal Crossing has more customization features for clothing than a fashion-focused game, something has gone wrong.

I can understand why it may have been a smarter business move to not allow it. This is a family friendly game, so you don’t want to risk children receiving clothes littered with profanity from online users. But from a single-player, offline standpoint, it’s annoying to only be able to change one or two of the colors.

You have numerous ways to design your brand logo. The game gives you plenty of designs, colors, frames, and layers. That way, other players can know a garment was your creation, for whatever that’s worth. But that sits in stark contrast to how anemic the Item Creator is. You can’t even put your brand logo on the clothes.

Trying to make Tim Gunn proud by making it work.

Conclusion

I wanted to love this game. It has enough going for it that could make it surprisingly great. But the lack of true customization, a literal gacha element, and few ways to get new clothes all hold it back. It’s a fun game, to be sure, and we’ll see what the promised future updates add. I do enjoy it a lot, and I intend to continue playing it, but it’s not stellar.

The Bottom Line

 

Fashion Dreamer is a fun dress-up game that fails to reach its full potential.

 

7.5

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David Koury

I'm a writer and aspiring fashion designer residing in the wasteland called Nevada. Also, I'm trying to juggle learning both Korean and Japanese.

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