Thursday, June 7, 2012

Stylista Fashion-themed Facebook game

Stylista is a fashion-themed Facebook game from Thai developer Sandbox Global. The title has been available in open beta for some time now, but showed up as the No. 4 top emerging Facebook game last week.

Stylista casts players in the role of a woman who’s recently arrive in New York and focuses on the growth of the player character’s “style” through shopping, decorating and social interactions. Gameplay largely revolves around visiting shops to purchase new clothing items and accessories, completing non-interactive real-time “jobs” to earn money and fulfilling the requirements for various quests in order to progress through the game’s light story.

The game begins with the player designing a custom avatar. This may only be female, though the player does not seem to be referred to by name at all in the game. A fairly limited choice of appearance options is provided at the outset, though players are able to unlock additional hair, eye, makeup and eyebrow styles as they progress through the game and earn money.

When shopping, players are able to “try on” various outfits simply by dragging them from the shop screen to their avatar, and then may purchase them using one of the game’s two currencies. Upon purchasing an item, players are rewarded with “style points,” which are used to unlock new districts and shops to visit. Hard currency items tend to offer considerably more style points than those purchased with soft currency. Hard currency may be acquired with Facebook Credits, credit card, mobile phone or PayPal, though for card, phone or PayPal payments the game’s interface only displays real money prices in Thai baht rather than dollars until the actual Facebook pay window pops up.

A lot of content in the game is friend-gated. An early quest requires players to invite a friend to the game in order to progress, and the expansion of the player’s room — required to store all their purchases — also requires the “assistance” of actively playing friends to complete, or the expenditure of hard currency.

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