Oh Covet, I just can’t quit you. I know people get addicted to mobile games of all shapes and sizes, but the one that’s kept me glued to my phone is Covet Fashion. A game about styling and dressing up pixelated dolls, winning clothes, then buying more clothes and raging when people don’t vote for your glorious looks. YOU BETTA’ RECOGNIZE.
A Review of Covet Fashion
AKA Couture Dress-Up
I admit, I have a soft spot for fashion. Looking at the latest designs off the runway is fun, even when they’re weird (in fact, especially if they’re weird). I like putting outfits together even though I lack the disposable income to spend $600 on a designer jacket. If you’re in a similar boat and appreciate the industry without having the money to indulge in it, then you’re a solid target for this app’s milieu.
Covet allows you to build up a personal wardrobe of all the most beautiful, outrageously expensive brands you’d never buy in real life, then throws “styling challenges” at you ranging from casual to avant-garde.
Instead of having to deal with real world issues like earning money, purchasing clothes and styling yourself to look cute, you can dress your doll with the tap of a finger.
The game is essentially hoarding at its finest. And prettiest. If you’ve ever thought it would be fun to be a stylist for celebrities and models, or just enjoy putting together beautiful looks, then Covet is the perfect platform to show off your fashion know-how.
The Voting System
To add an extra layer of community interaction, your looks are placed in a voting pool that randomly matches you against other players’ creations. Users judge which outfit they like best and you’re assigned a star rating based on their choices. You win prizes—new clothing and/or diamonds, the premium currency—at higher star levels.
If you get a perfect score (currently 5.8) then you’re assigned to the “Top Looks” section on the app’s home screen. Better still, you get awarded a whopping 5k diamonds to spend as you please. As your CV (Closet Value) grows with new pieces, you also unlock a broader variety of makeup and hair styles.
The clothes are drawn from real, current brands which lend themselves to the polished look of the game.
Some people like to bash Covet for occasional clipping issues, but I’ve only seen this a handful of times. New clothes appear in the store daily in addition to the prizes you can win from challenges.
The voting system is both rewarding and frustrating. It’s nice that Covet found a way to make the game more social, and it can be fun finding out what people think of your looks. Unfortunately, people’s preferences can be dull and predictable.
Even in more creative challenges you’ll often find the safest looks score well while the unique and truly fashionable looks can fall through the cracks. Formal dresses abound and are used even in the most inappropriate challenges, so much that it’s become a running joke within the Covet community.
More rage-inducing than seeing a princess dress in a viking challenge, however, is the fact that white, blonde-haired dolls usually outperform everything else.
This is not always true—there have been challenges like “African Princess” and “Thai Dancer” where dolls with the darkest skin tone or Asian eyes score well.
But for the most part, if a challenge is not specifically geared toward non-white dolls, you’ll rarely see them beat the competition.
This is not Covet‘s fault and instead reveals a harmful bias within the voter community.
This issue is frustrating to say the least, but it does feel rewarding when you get a non-white doll scoring a 5.
Update: As of January 2017 Covet has introduced a “modern” version where skin tone, face type and even body size are locked in each challenge. You see far more diversity. Grateful to the devs for listening.
If you’re always playing to win, the game becomes more about trend forecasting and following the herd than actual style. Thankfully, I still follow my own beat and usually manage to score at least 4 stars.
How to Play for Free
Let’s get into how you can play without spending cash, since that’s a pain point for a lot of newbies. The makeup and hair styles you get when starting out are not as nice as those you get at higher levels. Does higher CV hair/makeup usually score better than the starter looks? Sure. Always? No, and you can manage perfectly fine without them. The game is pretty fair overall.
I scored my first-ever Top Look at level 11 with a $300k CV, which is pathetically low compared to players that have upwards of $3 million closets.
It was a surprise and a rush, but not a wholly random occurrence. Low level dolls are frequently scattered among Top Looks, and if you’re playing the modern version with locked features, you’ll enjoy a more balanced playing field.
In regard to diamonds: You’re given an allowance of 100 diamonds a day along with 20 tickets. The tickets are needed to enter challenges, and normally you have to vote on looks to renew them.
The amount of diamonds doesn’t seem like much at first, but if you save up you’ll find yourself with several thousand gems, even without winning Top Looks.
You can also compete in “Jet Set” challenges, watch videos or complete surveys to earn more. I actually find the main challenge to be earning and saving cash, which is the non-premium currency. If you run out of cash then you’re forced to spend diamonds on clothes instead, which is where I think a lot of people get stuck (or end up pulling out their wallets).
Luckily there is a challenge that provides you with $500 every day, unsurprisingly called the Daily 500. This challenge has no requirements to enter, unlike most where you need to use certain brands or styles of clothing in your look.
Between the daily and the clothes you’ve already hoarded in your closet, you can slowly develop a padding of saved funds so you never have to rely on diamonds to buy something—unless the item is out of season, in which case it will always cost diamonds.
How do you get scoring bonuses? Well, just like in the real fashion world, the game is divided into different seasons. You earn extra points for staying in-season.
This provides incentive for people to get new clothes instead of always relying on older items. That being said, if you need a silk dress and have one from Fall 2015 during the Winter 2016 season, you can generally still use it. You earn varying amounts of cash simply for entering challenges, meaning there are times when you can enter challenges and make money rather than having to spend.
The problem is, when you’re first starting you’re SOL because you have no clothes to fall back on.
Your first season will be difficult since you’ll always be spending until you’ve built up your closet essentials.
Thankfully, Covet does have a method to alleviate the difficulty of meeting challenge requirements: borrowing.
Borrowing for the Win
Borrowing is exactly what it sounds like. For each challenge, you’re allowed to borrow one item of clothing from someone on your friends list. This is where Facebook comes into play. Being averse to social media I was hesitant at first, but I ended up making an account for the game and friended over a hundred players in the Covet groups available.
This makes it easy for me to borrow in every event, getting another scoring bonus and saving the cash it would take to buy items outright.
This is a lifesaver for newbies.
Since formal dresses are so popular, you can sometimes borrow the current “it” dress and make 4 or 5 stars while spending low amounts of cash on whatever else is needed to enter.
There will be some challenges outside of your price range, but just ignore them. This is what I did, and I’m now comfortably sitting on about $14k and 10k diamonds with no concern about entering the majority of challenges.
Update: “Runway Rallies” were created in October 2016. These challenges are specific to Covet groups, called Fashion Houses, and allow you to win prizes based on participation. This makes it worthwhile to join a house so you can build your closet faster.
Covet is a great game for fashion lovers and creative types. I enjoy seeing the new designer clothes come out and getting to “wear” them, even if it’s only in the digital world. Many of the challenges are fun and fantastical – I’ve seen ones inspired by ice queens, succubi, robots, samurai princesses and even The Fifth Element‘s Leeloo.
If there’s one thing Covet does right, it’s novelty. The vast amount of clothes released help keep players interested no matter how long they play. Just be careful with this one; it really is addictive!
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