What all started with games like Diner Dash in the now classic time management genre has branched into fashion design on the iPad with Dress Up Rush from G5 Entertainment. Dress Up Rush places you in the somewhat cheesy role of a young woman who dreams of owning her own boutique while lounging on the beach with pals. Making her dreams a reality, you're sent on a 60 level journey through five environments as you sell clothes to a variety of different customers, each with their own individual fashion sense (in theory).
Where you might think this is simply a game where people come into your store and buy things automatically from the shelves and racks, it's much more archaic a process than that. Customers will sit down at one of four chairs in your boutique, and you'll need to bring them a catalog detailing your wares and services. A thought bubble represents their every need, and will show you whether they want a red shirt, a green pair of pants, a skirt, and so on. You'll then need to rush to your clothing racks, spinning them to find the right garment if necessary and bring it back to them.
While this mechanic works well enough, you'll also have to watch out for guests that want things hemmed or gift wrapped, as you must then take the item to another station in your boutique, completing that task, and then bringing them back to the customer. But wait! There's more! Your customer may decide to try the item on (a wise choice in the real world), which is really the only action they'll take on their own. Add to this customers that want coffee while they wait, and those that leave trash behind in their seats (which you must tap on manually, even if you've hired a maid service to clean them "automatically"), and you have an incredibly lengthy process in just getting a single guest in and out of the door.
What's more is the fact that while you're waiting for your picky customer to slowly sip their java, customers are lining up at the door, or even leaving as there's no place for them to sit. In theory, you would be able to better manage your taps to help customers move more quickly from the store, but I've discovered that each level has a very specific pattern of guests, that doesn't change on subsequent playthroughs. That is, even if you tap as fast as your little fingers will allow, the game sometimes codes so many requests into guests that it is physically impossible to help everyone before someone leaves of impatience.
On a positive note, in between levels, you can upgrade your boutique, adding new chairs, flooring and lighting to give off a more posh appearance, allowing with hiring cashiers, tailors and gift-wrappers to take care of those tasks for you. You can even purchase different clothing items to add to your shelves, giving your guests more variety.
All told, Dress Up Rush doesn't seem to be G5's finest effort, but it doesn't necessarily fall flat on the runway either. If you're a fan of fashion design or truly challenging time management games, this is probably one to at least glance at, but we just wish there was a Lite version to try before shelling out the $5 for the full version. If you'd like to take a risk, you can buy Dress Up Rush HD for iPad from iTunes.
Have you tried Dress Up Rush on iPad? What were your thoughts on this complex time management game? Did it satisfy your urge for fashion design, or were you left wanting more? Let us know in the comments.