About This Place

First started in late 2007, Kasey's Mobile Game Review (then just a regular feature of Kasey's Korner) started as a simul-post between here and IGN. Later I realized there's no reason to post it twice, when I can use the traffic on my own site. so, here we are, in 2010, and the mobile game industry has grown a bit. What do you think?

Mobile Game Review of "Super Model Empire"

Super Model Empire is a new "fashion tycoon" type game from Digital Chocolate. Does it make you a fashion tycoon? Not exactly. And balancing your books ain't simple. One bad decision can put you under, and bad decisions aren't that obvious. Thus, this game ain't as nice as it could be.

So how does it play? You are Troy Vance, upcoming designer. Your objective is eventually to get 100% fame, known in every household. However, your game cycle goes roughly like this: design research, best guess, then "fashion show", with some HR concerns in between.

Design research stage is where you must use the various research methods available, from hanging at local cafe to trip to Milan, Italy or Paris, France. Sounds exotic, but the actual "research" is done by playing dropping cards... If two adjacent cards are the same, they "disappear" and you are credited with 2 removed. If you can arrange 3 or 4, even better. Best: arrange "chains", which can gain you bonus moves. You can move only a certain number of cards, one pickup is one move, one putback is another move. Different cards represent the different parts of the outfit. The more expensive and longer the trip, the more moves you can perform.

Once you've done some research (i.e. gotten some cards removed) you get to see a picture, that has SOME parts of it revealed. Depending on which cards you removed, the corresponding portion (hairdo, top, bottom, jacket, accessory, shoes) will be revealed. However, as individual cases are small, and reveals are random, most of the reveals are worthless. So you'll need to make a best guess as to the "final design". Remember that each change requires some time, usually several days.

And remember, research cost money, running the company cost money, and making the dresses cost money.

You can hire people who can help you, for even MORE money. Dressmaker, if s/he passes the skill check, will figure out one piece of the outfit. Patternmaker will reduce the time needed to make changes to outfit by 2 days. Trend Consultant will give you additional reveals (again, if s/he passes skill check). There's also HR manager, PR manager, exec assistant, and so on. Remember, though... they need to get paid MONTHLY. And if you run out of $$$, your company goes toast.

Depending on your size, your "turn" starts at 30 days, then becomes 60 days, then even longer. At the end of countdown, your design will be shown at a fashion show, where you get a rating for how close you got to the actual fashion trend (if you got 100% match, you get bonus fame). You need to hire a model. The better known the model, the better your show will do, but cheap models are like $500 to $1000 per show, but famous models are like $15000 per show. You also need to play fashion photographer, and take 5 pictures by pressing OK when the picture moves past the brackets. Once that's done, you get a rating for how well you did, how much sales, then salaries and model fees, and whatnot are paid off, and you start again.

There are random events to keep you on your toes. Your trend consultant can run off (thus, leaving you with NO design!), your model can throw a hissy fit and demand a pay raise just before the show, and other disasters. You have to resolve them and keep the company running.

While all this sounds like a tycoon game, the actual mechanics of playing the cards, and revealing the trend, is simply busy work. Thus, the game isn't as fun as it can be. I guess girls may be more interesting in playing pin-up outfits, as there are hundreds of combinations you can generate, and you will unlock more as you go on. However, your goal is to match a randomly generated outfit by looking at the clues, and that's just not fun.

Overall score: 7 out of 10...

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