Project Makeover Review
Posted: 6 months ago, last updated 10 weeks ago.
Although you are given lots of options, the gameplay and choices are relatively linear. There are some items you open like "loot boxes" to discover which rarity you have won. But largely you are working through a standard set of purchases to complete the level.
While the game may appear to younger players the match-3 puzzles soon become challenge to complete without spending money. Also, the makeovers often imply that how we look defines what we can do and how happy we are. For example, you pay to remove glasses and getting high heals helps work advancement.
A series of adverts for the game aim to attract players with shock tactics - waxing armpits, pulling out teeth and shaving off eye-brows. None of these things happen in the game itself. This, combined with the PEGI 3 or App Store 4+ rating to alarm some parents.
Content Rating: PEGI 3
Release Date: 20/11/2019, updated in 2020
Platforms: Android and iOS
Players: This is a single player game.
This game is free to play. Additional in-game purchases are offered for items that enhance the experience. Some of these purchases (known as 'loot boxes') are for a chance of getting rare/higher-value items although common/lower-value items are more frequent. There are three currencies in the game:
- Coins earned by playing the matching games to buy makeover items.
- Cash earned by playing matching game
- Gems hard to earn, and crucial to gain extra goes in the match-3 puzzles if you fail.
You are encouraged to spend real money on Gems. When you have failed five times you have to 20 minutes or spend real money on these Gems.
You can gain boxes to open which grant random items, although these are not purchased with real money.
Rated PEGI 3+ and ESRB EVERYONE.
In addition to the official ratings, that don't take body-image into account, parents should know that while the makeover is presented as a positive experience, it focuses on the need to look a certain way (not having glasses or wearing high heals) as being essential.
I contact the VSC Rating Board for a comment on its PEGI 3 rating and asked about the body-image aspects of the game. "The game, which is similar in nature to a TV make-over show, offers the opportunity to make a variety of purely cosmetic changes to the characters' appearance and environment. This includes adding new items of furniture and coats of paint to their rooms, as well as the opportunity to wear different types of outfits and try out different forms of appearance. For example, both male and female characters are given the opportunity to try out different types of hair styles. The game does not suggest that only one type of appearance is acceptable. Each time, several different options are presented and it’s up to the player to decide which one they prefer. Nor does the game suggest any physical changes should be made beyond grooming and cosmetics. The comments made by other in-game characters about the changes the player decides to make to various characters, both male and female, are supportive and positive."
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