Nintendo presents: New Style Boutique Review

by Wencke Schuncken
author awarded score: 80/100

Nintendo presents: New Style Boutique Review
Developer: syn Sophia
Publisher: Nintendo
Format Reviewed: Nintendo 3DS
Reviewed by: Wencke Schuncken

Can’t get enough of fashion? Want to keep up-to-date with the latest fashion styles? Don’t want to become a victim of the fashion police? Or maybe you’re just a female gamer with a 3DS who cares less about cloths and styling and rather spends money on games than looks? Well, let us tell you about a game which is suitable for all types of girls and women with the release of “New Style Boutique”

Welcome in the world of fashion and styling. In New Style Boutique on Nintendo 3DS, players get the opportunity to make a career in the fashion industry, learning more about different fashion styles, looks (make-up, hairstyle) and how to run a fashion boutique! Your very own fashion clothing store! First things first as you take on the role of an assistant in a boutique managed by the lovely Evie. She is amazing stylist and famous for her styles. As her assistant (you have to start somewhere on the career ladder), it is your job to welcome customers, give fashion advice, order and manager stock and make a career as the next style icon in town, and finally owning a store of your own.

To make it a more personal experience, a few customizations can be made in the beginning of the game. A personal profile can be created, or see it as your first test if you got any stylist skills) by giving the character a name, shape and choose a color of the face, eyes, eyebrows, mouth, hairstyle and body height. Note that the options are quite limited, especially if you want to make a virtual look-a-like of yourself. Another customization is the currency which can be changed to Euros, Dollars and Pounds which makes it easy to understand the value of an outfit. To complete the new “you”, a new mobile phone is a must-have item with lots of functional features such as a fashion 101 encyclopedia with helpful definitions of fashion terms, a photo album to store up to 100 pictures of customers with the use of the camera, and of course receiving SMS (Stylist Message Service) from people you’ve become acquainted with to get in touch or to share important news. More features are scheduling plans for today and tomorrow and the possibility to check a customer list which reveals useful information of customers served in the past (how many times did they make a purchase, what was the most expensive item the customer purchased, etc.).

All styled, equipped and ready to become a fashionista of the first degree, willing to help any type of customer who’s being chased by the fashion police? That’s the spirit to start a new boutique. After a deserved good night of sleep, the life of a stylist starts with checking / adjusting her own clothing, hair and make-up style. Decorating her apartment, with new unlocked furniture, wallpaper and other useful decorative items can be done as long as our almost-famous stylist is at home. Checking the mobile phone for new messages, schedule and information is always a good start to prevent any sudden “surprises” and knowing when to socialize with important people in the café or new unlocked places can boost your sales. And then it’s off to work!

The workflow (oh wait it’s still a hobby!) in the boutique is easy to describe; a customer comes into the boutique and a short description of this customer is visible (what type of character, hobbies, statements, fashion kind of type). In the store the customer talks about buying certain fashion item (s) such as a skirt, bag, and top but also full outfits! The customer also reveals in most cases which type of fashion this item needs to be. For example, Rock, Gothic, Basic, Casual, Bold, Pop, Eastern, Girly, Feminine etc. In the beginning it is simple to please a customer with an item that is in store and fits to the customers’ wishes but later on in the game customers are going to test your styling capabilities by not revealing what they like and it’s up to you to style them and make them happy customers!

When the customer communicates via speech bubbles what she likes to have, it’s your job to check the current stock of clothing in the store to find a perfect item. Note that the amount of money a customer is willing to pay is also visible on screen! If you found a matching piece of clothing that fits the customer and their wallet, the customer will try it on. If you’ve done a wonderful job, the customer will pay for it and stamps are stamped on the customers’ card. The stylist has 3 changes to pick the perfect clothing, otherwise the customer leaves the store wondering what kind of stylist you truly are and probably also considering if they ever should pay you another visit. When the difficulty increases and not much hints are revealed to pick the right style, it’s possible to present the cloths as “take a look” before the customer tries it on. This makes it easier and faster to see that you picked out the wrong type of item(s). As in real life, customers can be picky, annoying, or not really knowing what they want. This is also the case in New Style Boutique, and it’s up to you to run the store as professional. Note that there is no feature to throw customers out of your store, to talk to customers to convince them why they should pick that particular item, or to give them a credit to make bigger purchases than their current amount allows spending in your store!

No stock, no sales. Make sure to have enough stock in the store to make sales. It’s so embarrassing if you cannot please a customer, simply by lacking in purchase qualities. All type of fashion items can be bought in the exhibition hall. It’s a kind of mall with specific type of fashion stores (feminine, casual, alternative, luxury and even men’s fashions). The unlock feature is also in place here. Play more to unlock more stores and styles. Take advantage of the special offers to make more profit in the end! It’s fun to see new styles and new items which can be purchased to sell in your own store. And the best thing is that for every single item purchased, one extra is going to be delivered to tour home / wardrobe. Sounds like the ideal drive to keep on buying the latest fashion items.

There’s more in the life of a stylist in New Style Boutique than just making sales by pleasing customers. Socializing is also very important to make fame in town. Meet new people or friends in the park, café, downtown or even in a hotel for an after-party. Show your own style, impress people, chat and perhaps some will drop by at your store in the near future! For each positive experience you can earn happiness visualized in pink sparkles. Actions such as meeting friends, pleasing customers, and taking good care of your own looks and home, produces happiness which fills up a happiness bar. Whenever the happiness bar is full, it will spread its happiness over the whole town and unlocks new features!

From a female point of view, this is the game which has been created with the female gamer in mind. And the fun thing is, no matter what type of female gamer you are, this game pleases any gamer girl! In game are some important female characters such as Evie, the former store owner who gave you the chance to take over the store. She also gives advice throughout the game and introduces you to new features such as the contest feature for top stylists. For a new hairstyle, Clarissa can help you out with all her expertise. Elena is the waitress at the café for a nice cup of coffee. Is it time for a beautician? Elspeth is a great sales person of make-up. At the exhibition Hall, Shivani always welcomes you and gives the latest information of what is going on in the stores. These female characters are the most important ones in the game, but it’s obvious that most of the customers in store are also female, even when this game includes mens’fashion.

New Style Boutique is an excellent game for any female gamer out there! It contains fun activities with lots of rewards and new features while making progress. The icing on the cake is the “contest” feature which is a real challenge to test your styling skills offline as online with friends! New Style boutique is not a real management sim game where the player has to make a certain profit, expanding the store to a full imperium, hiring staff, etc. No this is a more laid-back gameplay where pleasure is more appreciated than money. It’s more rewarding to help out a customer with a perfect new style than getting 500 dollars in the pocket, plus the happiness bar gets filled! All activities such as purchasing cloths, styling customers, socializing to competing in a style contest in a later stadium are fun activities. Maybe not for hours and hours in a row, but the temptation to check it out and be creative on a daily basis is huge!