I’m torn. On the one hand, I have a soft spot for paper dolls and dress up. There’s just something about being carried off by flights of fashion fantasy that is appealing, especially when your own tiny wardrobe is cruelly limited by funds and space. On the other hand, promoting the idea that female success is based solely on the cuteness of your outfit is downright appalling, and this is the dilemma presented to me by Fashion Fix.
A memory game with a twist, you play as Romi, an astoundingly vapid young lady with a flair for fashion. Each of the 50 levels presents a particular fashion challenge, say, create the perfect ice skating outfit, and then you have 15 seconds to survey 4 different looks and commit one to memory. You then attempt to recreate the outfit on Romi, with points awarded depending on how successful you were at matching the original fashion plate.
All of this wouldn’t be so bad, except for the game’s tremendously shallow attitude interspersed between the levels. When setting up a date with a bookish grad student, Romi has this gem to say: “A handsome book worm, huh? I bet he’s attracted to intelligent women. I want to look perfect!” Uh, what? You don’t become intelligent by throwing on a pair of fake glasses, you twit!
Luckily for Romi, everyone in her life is just as ridiculously superficial as she is, which might be a consequence of their impossibly perfect and coiffed environment. The graphics are quite gorgeous, even if the social lessons are trash, and the sheer variety amongst the outfits and accessories is dizzying.
From a gameplay standpoint, I was a little disappointed that Fashion Fix was primarily a memory challenge. With such a vast wardrobe to play with, I had much more fun choosing my own outfits than attempting to recreate their examples. Fashion is all about having your own sense of style, and I would have preferred the freedom of going my own way instead of being forced to follow their fashion template. The game is also a Korean port, so the art and fashion styles won’t always jive with international tastes.
When all is said and done, it’s a great-looking game that functions nicely as a light diversion but horribly as a life lesson. It’s easy to use and even fun to play, but calling it sexist fluff is probably on the kind side. It’s definitely more feminine oriented, but I would have a long talk with any tween or teenager girls before letting them play this one.
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