First Look: Fashion World makes shopping a social experience

Fashion World is a new game on the Facebook gaming scene that has captured the attention of over 1 million people in just a short month. Released in early June by Metrogames (the company in which Playdom invested 5 million dollars earlier this year), this clothes creation game is essentially a hybrid of Cafe World or Restaurant City combined with Mall World. In Fashion World, the player owns their own store. Instead of just buying the clothing and accessories from a catalog such as Mall World, players in Fashion World have to sew and create their own items. This is the part that feels very much like a baking game, because each item needs to go through a quick clicking process to get started: sewing, cutting, putting buttons on, etc.

Creating new clothing items to sell in your store is as easy as clicking on the sewing machine provided for you and then selecting an article of clothing you wish to create. Each article of clothing takes a different length of time to complete, anywhere from 5 minutes to several days. The longer it takes to create, the more coins and XP you will get for producing it. After your item has been finished, you then have to click on it and transfer it to a rack in your store. Once it is on a rack, there is a limited quantity that can either be purchased by computer-generated shoppers, or your friends.

One thing that sets Fashion World apart is the shopping experience being more social. When you visit a neighbor's store, you can see all of the clothing and accessories they are selling on their racks. You can then click on the clothing and buy directly from your friends. Any clothing that you buy from your friends will be added to your inventory and can be worn by your avatar (or sold again). This gives players the option to collect clothing, mix and match attire, and choose whether they wish to shop for their clothing or create it themselves. One thing is for sure, creating clothing and knowing that your friends can shop in your store is a very virtual world experience that doesn't have many comparisons to other Facebook games.

Over all, Fashion World plays very simply, much like all the other Facebook games. A brief tutorial walks you through the main game loop and gives you just enough to get you started and leave you interested enough to keep exploring. A quick perusal through the store shows that players can decorate using all sorts of interior design techniques, including buying decorations and changing out the walls and carpet. Stores can be expanded using either Facebook Credits or coins (if you have enough neighbors)

On the exterior, Fashion World is very pleasant to look at. It's bright and colorful, whimsical, and resembles many other games. I personally feel this is the best fashion-themed game so far, with the ability to buy and shop at your friend's houses, and a more involved clothing creation process. At just over 1 million monthly actives this month alone, Fashion World is a game that we're going to be keeping a close eye on. It seems like Metrogames was a good investment for Playdom, and we can't wait to see what comes next.

Play Fashion World on Facebook
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