I’ve had my eye on Fashion Dreamer since Nintendo first announced it in February 2023. Like most people I see hyping up this game, I’m familiar with Style Savvy (or Nintendo Presents: Style Boutique as it’s known here in the UK) but I never really played it myself due to my teenage aversion to ‘girly games’. So, this new release for the Switch is my chance to see what I’ve been missing.
Fashion Dreamer is a dress-up game developed by Syn Sophia of the Style Savvy series, in partnership with Marvelous and XSEED Games. Where previous entries in the genre focused on growing your brand’s popularity and customer base, this game instead centers your player Muse as an influencer, earning likes and follows based on your selfies, the outfits you create for others, and your brand showroom. As you grow more popular, you unlock more items that you can completely customize to suit your personal style, creating your unique brand.
The feature that drew me to Fashion Dreamer in the first place is the sheer range of different clothing options available, from all sub-styles. One of my hobbies is lolita fashion and my day-to-day style is heavily inspired by fairy kei fashion, making it pretty hard to shop for on the high streets of northern England. Not only does this game include a wide range of lolita fashion items, but they’re so incredibly accurate to prints from real-world Harajuku brands. One of the first characters you meet wears a dress that’s basically a digital replica of Angelic Pretty’s Dreamy Parfait!
One of the criticisms I’ve seen floating around about Fashion Dreamer is that, compared to Style Savvy’s linear story mode, the single-player campaign doesn’t really have a plot. The gameplay loops for offline and online play are practically the same, with the offline version offering you considerably fewer clothing options as you don’t have access to the community’s wardrobe of UGC.
In my opinion, Fashion Dreamer doesn’t need a story mode. I may not have played Style Savvy, but my sister did and I saw her restart her game tens of times after beating the story mode because there was nothing left to do. In Fashion Dreamer, you can just keep going forever. That being said, I do think the real meat of this game lies in the multiplayer online function.
This isn’t the sort of game where you have to pester all your friends into buying it, too, just to have a decent online experience. Instead, I’d describe it as a ‘passive multiplayer’ mode. Other Muses take the place of the NPCs that usually occupy your Cocoons (worlds), so you can add their items to your inventory and design Lookits (outfits) for them based on their preferences. You get access to their boutiques for more style inspo and the Pop-up Area is flooded with UGC instead of default clothing, throwing open the doors for your imagination to create awesome new looks.
As with many Nintendo Switch titles, the online functionality isn’t perfect. Going online adds a lot of connecting and buffering time to your gameplay, which could be a turn-off for some. You also can’t request Lookits from specific players, this is a shame as I’ve encountered some Muses with incredible fashion sense and I would love them to dress me up!
Overall the UI is very intuitive and it’s easy to find whatever menu or option you need. The tips in the early game are also extremely helpful, and you can revisit them whenever you need a refresher. Even taking the online buffering into account, the gameplay experience is very smooth and pleasant.
I do have some qualms with Fashion Dreamer alongside my generally positive view of the game. While there are a range of body types to choose from for your Muse, none of them look like my body, which is to say none of them are plus size. There’s a fairly wide selection of different bodies, but they’re all some variation of slender. All that really changes is the height at waist-to-hip ratio.
Fashion Dreamer also goes down the fairly standard Nintendo route of ‘removing’ gender from the game by labeling the different body types as A and B. Both types can share accessories for the most part, as well as hairstyles and makeup options, but those are the limits when it comes to sharing a wardrobe. I dress fairly femininely, but as a non-binary person I like to have the option of more masculine clothing items, and this game simply doesn’t let me wear those unless I switch my Muse to type B first.
Despite these few issues, Fashion Dreamer just makes me really happy. Thanks to health, money, and body image issues, I’ve not been able to dress how I want to in real life as often as I would hope, so this game gives me an outlet to wear my silly, poofy dresses and ridiculous accessories in a world where others appreciate my unique style. I find myself picking up my Switch to play whenever I have some free time to design an item or two or give myself a new outfit. I can see it staying in my regular rotation for the foreseeable future.
That’s it for our Fashion Dreamer review. If you’re looking for similar, fashion-focused games, check out our lists of Barbie games, girl games, and dress-up games. Or, for more from Marvelous, head over to our Silent Hope Switch review
Fashion Dreamer is the next evolution of Nintendo dress-up games, boasting creative and robust online features, adorable character design, and near-endless customization options for the style-conscious gamer.