Impressions

Published on April 23rd, 2017 | by Graham

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Fabulous – Angela’s Fashion Fever Impressions

Impressions are based on a time-limited free demo of the game - they're not reviews and don't have a score.

These time management games can be funny.  Yesterday I played Heart’s Medicine: Time to Heal, and really enjoyed it.

Today I’m playing Fabulous – Angela’s Fashion Fever, which feels more or less the same game – and it’s leaving me cold.

Here we’re following Angela as she pursues her dreams, from working in a fashion boutique initially, to competing in a TV gameshow to become the world’s next fashion icon.

The simple story is told in interludes between the time management action, which is really typical genre fare.  Customers come in to your boutique, bubbles pop up above their heads indicating their desires, and you click frantically around the shop to make Angela dash round to satisfy their needs.

Playing two time management story-based games back to back really highlights just how damn similar these things are.  Both games are pretty slick, nicely presented, and satisfyingly addictive – up to a point.

The second level takes us to Tokyo where everything changes dramatically and we’re suddenly caught up in… oh, no, it’s basically the same. My mistake.

Ultimately the clickclickclicking can feel rather empty, particularly in the relatively easy levels I’ve played so far.  With Heart’s Medicine I found myself getting drawn into the story a lot more, which kept me engaged past the is-this-what-I-should-really-be-doing-with-my-life thoughts that tend to arise after a few samey time management levels.

With Fabulous, I’m just not that invested.  It’s perhaps the subject matter: hospital dramas are simply more interesting to me than the world of shopping and fashion.  There are games that very much remind me that I’m a guy reviewing games that are often focused on a female demographic, and Fabulous is definitely one of them.  I want to say “I could imagine some people being into this kind of thing”, but it sounds revoltingly condescending, so I won’t.  The truth is that the story seems well told, and the characters are fine, if broad stereotypes.  It’s just not a subject that’s ever going to grab me.

There are occasional interludes back at Angela’s obscenely over-decorated house. Take it from me as a guy: this house is probably at least 80% of why she is single. This is the house of a madwoman. It is a man repeller.

I only played through the first of the six worlds, then quit when I realised the second world was going to be spent doing very similar activities but with a different backdrop.  I’m writing these up as impressions rather than a review, because I think this game is so completely not aimed at me that to review it would be unfair.

So I’ll leave the story and setting alone, and concentrate on the gameplay.  And as I’ve alluded to above, it’s addictive – but not quite enough.  It’s no great feat to acquire the maximum three star score for each level in Fabulous, at least so far, and it just failed to hold my attention for longer than an hour.  The challenge did ramp up encouragingly in the last level of the first world, but it was back to super easy in world two.  Perhaps there are more interesting challenges that come later in Fabulous.

Angela is not crying here about how awful her house is. But she should be.

Ultimately, my recommendation would be to skip Fabulous in favour of Heart’s Medicine: Time to Heal, which is basically the same game, but one I found funnier and more engaging.

I played this using gamehouse.com, who have generously provided me with a free access to their service. At $10 per month for unlimited access to all their games, it's genuinely a great deal. Plus you get a one hour demo of all of their games for free.

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