The Disney Fairies game franchise has once again expanded on iPhone and iPad, as e-books and side-scrollers have been joined by Disney Fairies Fashion Boutique, a free-to-play fashion design game that will see aspiring clothing designers opening their very own fairy fashion studio where they can create hundreds of different clothing and accessory items for their new friends in the forest.
Disney Fairies Fashion Boutique works simply, allowing you to choose from a large variety of patterns in a few item categories (tops, bottoms, shoes, headwear, necklaces, etc.) and then giving you the chance to further customize them by choosing their color(s). Each item takes time to complete as your helper insects work diligently to sew or craft the item over time, but you can speed up each item's progress with Pixie Diamonds, the game's premium currency.
While you can spend as much time as you'd like creating items for your own fairy's wardrobe, gameplay will be forever pushed forward by a set of fairies that visit the shop as customers and request specific kinds and colors of items to be designed. These orders appear to be random, as playing the game on either the iPhone or iPad resulted in different order combinations over time. One fairy may ask for a blue shirt, for instance, while another asks for a green necklace. These requirements tend to be fairly basic, giving you the freedom of choice on the item's overall design.
You can only have five open crafting projects at a time, and your insect helpers will need time to recharge and relax after they've worked. You can use Pixie Dust (coins) to recharge these bugs instantly, or you can also spend some extra time to train them and increase their productivity. Training comes in the form of insect-specific mini-games that unfortunately suffer from fairly poor controls (this is especially true on the iPhone, which also suffers from the small screen size). One game, for instance, may have you bouncing a rolling bug off of a small platform at the bottom of the screen, while another may see you sheering the fur from a caterpillar using sheers that are apparently too dull to accomplish much of anything without unnecessary frustration and wasted time.
The iPhone version of Disney Fairies Fashion Boutique also experiences some odd gameplay issues, as you might be forced to wait for a few minutes (or more) before a new customer will enter the shop, making your gameplay come to a complete stop. Sure, you can spend time creating items for your own outfits, but this wastes your helper bugs' energy which might eventually be required for something else. The iPad version never seems to run into this drought of customers, and since the game is better suited for the iPad's larger screen anyway, there's really no reason to play anywhere else if you have an iPad available to you.
That all being said, Disney Fairies Fashion Boutique is ultimately a very simple and even boring experience, clearly aimed at a younger audience that would actually appreciate the simple fashion designs and fairy friends that they'll get to interact with along the way. If we were given more control over the actual designs of outfits, rather than being able to simply choose colors and patterns from a list, perhaps the game would be more engaging, but unfortunately that isn't the case. If you have an aspiring fairy or Disney Princess in the family, by all means give this latest fairy-themed game a shot, but don't expect a lot of depth if you try to play it yourself.
Click here to download Disney Fairies Fashion Boutique on iTunes --->
What do you think of this latest Disney branded fairies game? Have you found a better fashion design studio on iPhone or iPad? Sound off in the comments!