Fashion Show is published by Finnish Peliko, and I received a free review copy.
The game: Fashion Show by Theora Design, published by Peliko in 2016.
Elevator pitch: A simple tile-laying pattern recognition game with a Top Model -like fashion theme.
What’s in the box? A large board checkered with different cloth patterns, a bunch of thin cards. The cards have images of girls and boys, with the clothes cut out. When the card is placed on the board, it’ll get clothes from the patterns. There’s also the Style Mixer, a plastic gadget with four dice.
What do you do in the game? The Style Mixer is mixed so that is shows four random patterns. Each player is assigned a side of the board and when the Style Mixer is placed on the board, each player gets two of the dice. Those dice determine the pattern combination players must hunt for.
If you can find two adjacent squares on the board with the designated pattern combination, place a card on those squares. There are no turns, so everybody plays as fast as they can. Because the Style Mixer only has four dice, in four-player games players are sharing each dice with one opponent, so there’s guaranteed to be conflicts even if nobody else is looking for the exact same combo.
The round is over when nobody can place any more cards. The game is over, when somebody places their eighth card. This takes three or four rounds, maybe more with four players.
Lucky or skillful? Quite a bit of luck, as the die rolls can determine a winner. If one player has four matching combos on the board and the other has one, being fast doesn’t help. That said, if you’re fast, you will win more often. The level of luck seems quite suitable for such a short, quick game.
Abstract or thematic? Abstract, could be any patterns. The fashion theme is refreshing, and while it’s clearly an attempt to sell the game for girls, I think it’s fine. My daughter, whole loves the Top Model line of products, found this immediately attractive.
Solitaire or interactive? There’s competition for the spots, so you need to be fast. However, there’s no intentional cruelty towards other players.
Players: 2–4. The game works with all player counts, but is the most exciting with four.
Who can play? Age recommendation is 6+. This seems correct. Six-year-olds can easily play the game without adult assistance.
Length: Box says 25 minutes, our games took few minutes each. However, it is impossible to play just once, so a total of 25 minutes per sessions sounds reasonable.
What’s to like: Simple rules; unusual fashion theme and look; the cards are nice.
What’s not to like: The game is a bit easy; the cards may not last long in use (but can be replaced easily, if necessary).
My verdict: My daughter took one look at the box and immediately loved the game. The first time we played, we did seven rounds and she would’ve wanted more. So something’s done right here.
I think the game’s a bit too fast and bit too simplistic, it’s over before it really begins. But I can understand why it feels addictive. It looks cute and stands out – and while it looks like a proper mass market game, the game play is decent.
On the scale of Enthusiastic, Suggest, Indifferent or Avoid, Fashion Show gets Indifferent from me – but if you have a six-year-old girl who loves Top Model, they’ll love this.