Fashion Dreamer — Review
Fashion’s not my forte. When I leave the house I’ll just put on whatever to start my day. Don’t get me wrong, I like the clothes I own, but my fashion sense doesn’t go much further than that. But with the release of Fashion Dreamer for the Switch I thought I’d try diving headfirst into the virtual world of fashion, where unlike the real world, cash, time and space are non-issues. I’m no fashionista, but I can dream!
Fashion Dreamer drops you into Eve, a fashion-forward utopia for all things style. After creating your Muse with the versatile character creator (although body shape variety is lacking) and picking a few of your favourite fashion facets, you’ll enter the game world, also known as a Cocoon. After a bit of a tutorial drip feeds you the game’s features, you’ll be let loose in the fashion sandbox to make your own fun. So get fashioning!
The gameplay loop of Fashion Dreamer is pretty simple – collect clothes, design clothes, show off clothes, boost your influencer rank and brand level, which will happen when doing any of the above. If you go up to a Muse you can save any item of clothing they’re wearing for yourself, be it NPC or an online player. And the range of fashion is huge – you’ll see bright Harajuku pop idols, goth street punks, or beige blazer and beret bohemians. To design and customise these clothes yourself however you’ll have to unlock them with gacha machines or as rewards for upping your influencer rank. Despite how simple the base gameplay loop is, there’s a lot of stuff revolving around it. Like the thousands of outfit items and combinations, and all the in-game tokens – that is bingo tickets, gacha tickets, lucky coins, E-points and creative keys. Oof.
The Cocoons you’ll occupy in your time with Fashion Dreamer are basically one big photo-op. The first of these, Cocoon HOPE is like a catwalk up top of some of high-rise buildings decorated with fashion signage. The other Cocoons have some unique themes too, but besides the decor and layout, there’s not much else going on gameplay-wise. There’s still the same salon area, gacha and bingo games, item vending machines and NPCs. For online play they might act as servers of some sort but its hard to say, the online player characters just stand around idly and seem to load in and load out as the game sees fit. At least you’ll get different backdrops for your drone camera shots and designs for the Photo Egg photobooth pics which’ll boost your Muse’s likes and follows.
Two of the neatest features come from this online mode – the Trends and the Showrooms. The Trend Board shows you fashion items, colours and pattern that are most popular at any given time, and is updated regularly. There’s also a board showing the top-five items in the world, which is a nifty sample space of the playerbase’s taste. And the Showrooms are little studios complete with customisable wallpaper, floorboards, furniture and music that can be filled with a player’s designs. There might be a mannequin with a curated outfit put together with in-game clothing, or a rack featuring some items a player has proudly designed themselves. And you can save any of these for yourself!
For the most part, Fashion Dreamer is like an enjoyable lazy river ride, but occasionally you bump into the edge of the river and spill your Fanta. The walking speed is too slow (and there’s no run), the bingo minigame is tedious as hell, the NPCs repeat dialogue too frequently, and a lot of the virtual influencer stuff ain’t my cup of tea. But I gotta say – collecting clothes, designing pieces and seeing what other people are wearing is very entertaining!
If you’ve got a passion for fashion, then Fashion Dreamer is right up your alley. You could spend hours here, and Fashion Dreamer will definitely inspire some IRL outfits, and vice versa. As someone who’s a fashion novice I enjoyed my time here, but when the credits rolled I’d had my fill of fashion. Some free updates have also been announced so watch this space!
+ Great collection of modern fashion
+ Online features are a good look into actual fashion trends
+ Customisation plus online play equals endless outfits
- A good bit of tedium
- If you can't see yourself as a fashion influencer, this isn't for you
- Definitely fem-leaning options-wise