E3 2012: Fashion Hazard on iPad: Finally, a girl game with gusto

Fashion Hazard preview
Fashion Hazard preview

Who knew that it would take media monument Conde Nast to create a mobile fashion game that isn't a snore fest? The famed publisher of Vogue has assembled a crack team of mobile game makers to create Fashion Hazard, the company's first game for iPhone and iPad that's set to launch this July for a cool $.99. Fashion Hazard sends players across the runway as one of two models, throwing numerous obstacles, bonuses and challenges in their path.

The Unity-developed, (almost) endless runner takes some smart cues from hits like Temple Run and Subway Surfers, but tailors the entire experience toward lady gamers. (You know, the same audience that CrowdStar seems to have struck gold with?) You might be in doubt that a print-turned-hybrid media company can make a decent digital diversion, but here we are, and for one simple reason.

Unlike the lot of games geared toward women on mobile devices, Fashion Hazard actually challenges the player's skill in more ways than one. For one, players send a model out on one of four runways across New York, London, Paris and Milan, tilting the device to guide her. The model strolls automatically across the catwalk, leaving the player to swipe up or down at the touch screen to either duck to avoid oncoming trash or hurdle over obstacles.

Along the way, it's the player's job to collect as much "bling" as possible and to jump to catch stars, which unlock special, brief challenge sequences that further test players' reflexes. More specifically, sequences that task players with tapping photographers in order to ensure a successful photo op or tracking an inexplicable circle along a track.

If players successfully reach the end of the runway, they'll earn up to six stars, and this is right where Fashion Hazard falls a bit flat. While players can share their scores, there aren't many other social features to speak of, we're told. (A staple in any addictive casual game for iPhone and iPad.) While we're told by Conde Nast project lead Juliana Stock that the team didn't want to clutter up Fashion Hazard with social features, that could very well be what it needs to reach Jetpack Joyride-like success.

At any rate, Fashion Hazard succeeds where other fashion games for iPhone and iPad don't in that it respects the fact that some--if not not quite a bit of--women want to be challenged at least a tiny when they steal away precious minutes for game time. Fashion Hazard is due out this July on the App Store, and interested faux fashionistas can learn more here.

Are you excited about Conde Nast's Fashion Hazard? Do you like a challenge in your iPhone games? Sound off in the comments. Add Comment.