Style Lab: Fashion Design, is a game where you design your own tops (t-shirts or sweatshirts), hats and bags. There are a variety of colors, tones, fonts and images that can be used to make different original creations. When you're done designing an item, you can actually upload it via wi-fi connection to the internet, and order your own original design.
I played this game with my cousins (girls aged 8 and 6) to get the full kid perspective on game 'coolness.'
In short, it passed.
I got lots of "WHOA THIS IS AWESOME," and "Did you see this part? This part is COOL!"
This is solidly a 'girl' game. You start by creating a game avatar (a female character to represent you in the Style Lab). There are a variety of in-game 'friends' who guide you through the operation and game basics.
You can go through challenges where you design items for other in-game characters, earning new images, as well as 'hearts' when you discover a character's favorite things. Once you earn enough hearts, you can compete in ribbon events. These events feature specific design challenges, which are scored, and which earn you additional images for design.
The main menu items are workshop, where you are free to create and save your own designs, wardrobe, where your saved items are, and where you can change the outfits of your avatar, diary, which is where you see your friends, accept their design challenges, and enter ribbon events, avatar, which is where you change the look of your character, and options, for game settings.
The user interface is intuitive. I had no trouble navigating my way through the program, nor did my cousins (though they are far more tech savvy than I am). The characters draw you through the game in such a way that you learn how to design different clothing items and bags as you go. The "E for everyone" rating is accurate, everything is appropriate, etc.
We didn't actually order any of the clothes we designed, but we did upload them to our online shop, and while I had no trouble doing so, this isn't something that I would have let the girls do on their own (I'm pretty strict when it comes to internet access). The service through which you can order your products is Zazzle, a company from which I have ordered products in the past, with good luck. This service seemed pretty clear cut and easy.
The girls LOVED designing their own clothes, and I think we ultimately will end up ordering some of the designs, we just haven't done so at this time.
I think it would be nice if the game was a little bit less stereo-typically girly. My son Gabriel was super interested in designing himself some dinosaur-robot-skeleton shirts, but this is purely in the camp of rainbow-sunshine-bunnies. I don't know if it could be that there was a boy version of the game, or if there could just be more of a boy interface, or if, when you created your avatar and selected your favorite things, if there were boy avatars and boy favorite things, or maybe just gender neutral? I think that would be a big improvement on the game, and I now plenty of little boys who would love to order their own shirts and hats that they designed. I think that my soccer-obsessed cousin (girl, 8) would have really loved some sportier design options.
I also think the game could be improved by supporting multiple accounts. As it is, it's set up to support a single character. Since I was testing this game out with the help of not one, but two little girls, I can say that we certainly would have liked to create two avatars with two sets of favorites and chances to complete the different challenges.
Would I recommend this game to a friend? If you have a little girl under, say, 12, I'd say yes, definitely. I might hesitate on recommending it if you have multiple girls, as the inability to save multiple users' data might end in some tears, but I suppose that depends on your girls.
This was a good, fun game, and we all had fun testing it out.
Again, Style Lab: Fashion Design. Thumbs up.
While Ubisoft provided me with this game to review, the opinions I've expressed here are solely my own and represent my honest viewpoint. Ubisoft, Clever Girls Collective and I promote Blog With Integrity. (My Amazon links are the affiliate kind, so if you click on them and then buy this product from that click, I might get some monies, just fyi)