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JoJo's Fashion Show

Clothes are in this year.

Despite being someone who allowed his fashion sense to condense into a comfortable black shadow about a decade back, I found myself unable to resist playing Gamelab’s recent game: Jojo’s Fashion Show, because I’m perfectly at home with my inner cliched bitchy gay fashionista.

In short: You have to dress models as fashionably as possible to fulfill a vague look (“Racy”, “Summer”, “Bridal”), then push them onto the runway to see how your taste in fashion matches the games. While clearly aimed outside the traditional gamer market, there’s something intrinsically funny about imagining the standard gamer demographic obsessively playing it. And it’s actually neatly done, polished and better than you’d expect it to be. There’s a 2 Peggles Demo available to try, which gives you an hours free play, but I suspect you’ll find some further impressions and/or ladies in their undergarments beneath the cut.

Seriously, I wasn’t joking:
Maybe that's a bit too racy.

And, yeah, I’m over-acting to reaffirm my MAN CREDENTIALS or some Neanderthal shit, because I spent close to the hour on this before stopping, realising it’s not an incredibly hardcore turn-based strategy game. It’s basically an action-puzzle game, based around pattern recognition – that is, the family tree derived from Tetris. You’re presented with a set problem (a model who must be dressed in a certain style), a set amount of resources (some clothes) and a time-limit to do it against. The thing being, choosing the optimum piece is based on fashion rules, and your ability to identify how well any one garment fills it. For example, clothes which work well when you’re trying to dress like a Hippie include…

Never trust a hippie.

Sadly, as you see, not washing and and using your own faeces as aftershave isn’t in the list, but you get the point. In practice, when you understand the rules and assuming you know what a fringe is, you can just riff off the word. After all, you already know that the tiny red shorts may not be exactly suitable for a Bride, but is de rigeur if you’re the personal shopper of The Duloks. Even so, there’s all sorts of good dressing rules based around classic looks buried in there – exactly WHAT should you do to best set off cowboy boots? Jojo’s fashion show knows, even if you don’t. Problems hit, because what you’ve got on your hangers may not always exactly be optimal – limited power-ups can be lobbed at the problem to reshuffle the, or automatically go for a matching outfit. Accessories can enliven – but not save – lack-lustre outfits and so on and so forth.

But primarily, it’s a game which really enjoys watching Sex and the City. And thats’ fine. It’s about six times as good as it should be – which, admittedly, isn’t very good – and if it something inspired by it doesn’t end up on the DS within twelve months, I’ll be very surprised.

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Kieron Gillen

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Kieron Gillen is robo-crazy.

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