Nintendo's New Look: Style Savvy is Ready-to-Wear


Posted November 23, 2009 - By Abbie Heppe

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Style Savvy might be the best game this year that was reviewed least by the games industry. As Editorial Manager for X-Play, I tend to acquire large piles of games on my desk, and not the ones everyone wants (those disappear quickly). I get the ones that don’t get reviewed for one reason or another, generally because they don’t fit our demographic. Just like many outlets struggle to find staff members who specialize in racing or sports titles, it’s hard to find a video game reviewer who specializes in fashion (or is even remotely interested in it).

Style Savvy

One of the top selling franchises for Ubisoft has been the Imagine series, which I have also played out of curiosity. Style Savvy, Nintendo’s entry into the subject matter, is a more detailed and complex version of those games but geared to a slightly older audience. One look at the box art, though, and you’d never guess the game could be as deeply satisfying as it is.

In fact, it’s been hard being on the Style Savvy defensive here. I’ve heard a lot of “Abbie, what are you doing?”, “Seriously?”, and received a lot of blank stares when I claim “Really guys, it’s awesome.” But it is!

Style Savvy is a mash-up of business sim and fashion show where you’re responsible for running your own clothes boutique. That means you buy clothes from distributors, create advertisements, dress mannequins for your store front and help your customers buy clothes that fit their style. It’s not as simple as picking any random item off the shelves: you have to pay to attention to what brands they like, what colors they wear and their budget. Customers will exploit gaps in your inventory, so you have to keep an eye to variety in your stock. You’ll also compete in themed fashion shows which ask you to create a winning outfit, and the game certainly doesn’t let you win. But hey, fashion and style are nebulous entities and personal taste is, well, just that. (Damn you, platinum contest!) As you progress and your relationships with customers, employers, and fashion gurus develop, you’ll open some fun side activities that vary the gameplay.

Style Savvy

In the same vein as Animal Crossing, your game is tied to the clock in the DS, so there is quite a bit of seasonal variation in what people ask for and what activities you do. Wi-fi allows you to send out advertisements and show off your store to other players. If, like me, none of your friends have picked up the game, you can go on the official Style Savvy website and find a hotspot based on your location. 

Of course, your own personal style is important too, so Style Savvy includes a hair boutique, a make-up store and lets you keep one of everything you buy from distributors in your personal wardrobe. And face it, dressing up is fun! Almost every little girl (including me!) spent hours playing dress-up in mom’s discarded clothing. Even though I’m a t-shirt and jeans girl, it doesn’t mean I don’t have a lot of coveted girly items (especially shoes) in my closet. They stand out a bit like Style Savvy stands out in my personal game collection. Trust me, you can enjoy customizing weapon loadouts, exploring wastelands, saving the world, and this.

Believe me, I’m well aware most people I know won’t play this game. Most gamers I know probably don’t want to put pants on, much less spend their day virtually putting pants on other people. But for those who appreciate good games and, as a bonus, fashion, Style Savvy has an engaging and mature take on the fantasy job sim that should be enjoyed guilt-free. For the girlfriend, tween daughter, or anyone that wants a fashion game that isn’t patronizing to one’s intelligence, Style Savvy comes highly recommended.

Style Savvy

Nintendo's New Look: Style Savvy is Ready-to-Wear


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