Have you played this game?You can rate this game, record that you've played it, or put it on your wish list after you log in.
Playlists and Wishlists
RSS FeedsNew member reviews
Updates to downloadable files
All updates to this page
About the Story
"You hold in your hand a pink, heart-shaped card daubed in rosewater and oil of jasmine — an invitation to the Princess Philantha's Grand Equinox Ball. In gilded, sweeping, sweet-smelling calligraphy, the card expresses best wishes to one Dame Demitria of Dolcet. You are not Dame Demitria. How did you acquire her invitation? Don't worry about it. You have a long day ahead of you."
|Average Rating: |
Number of Reviews: 6
Write a review
Most Helpful Member Reviews
Magical Makeover is a self-styled parody of over-the-top Flash games 'for girls', namely those whose interactivity consists wholly of choosing outfits. It starts with floridly named makeup products and a rhyming, snarky mirror but delves into a touch of body horror, and into riffs off fairy tales.
This game is generous, in various senses of the word. The writer revels in description, evoking sparkly, colourful images. While the passages got lengthy at times, this was made up for by the wit: the game lampshades tropes from fairy tales and adventure stories. ‘Lampshades’ doesn’t even begin to describe it - much of the game felt more like an exuberant riff.
The level of story branching was certainly generous as well. As the author says, there are seven possible endings, but I was impressed by how distinct and well-developed each of them were, with their own backstories.
A familiar tack of Twine advocacy pieces: take some problematic social issue, particularly as expressed through games, and make it grotesque and unsettling. In this case, it’s a satire/re-appropriation of beauty-oriented games targeted at young girls: beauty products are presented as uncanny magic, and have actually-transformational results with strange consequences. There is a judgy magic mirror.
Mechanically, it’s a Sorting Hat kind of game: your choices of beauty product determine which of several branches you find yourself going down, most of which are pure-choiceless. Although the results are weird and are at least informed by Twine’s strong taste for body-horror, they don’t get so visceral as to make the piece unsuitable for its ostensive audience; and the story progresses away from its beauty-myth opening into fantasy adventure that’s only tangentially related. The on-the-nose theme and long linear sections could easily have rendered the piece tedious, but it’s buoyed up by a pleasant Diana Wynne Jones-ish ordinariness-of-the-fantastic charm.
The first time I played through Magical Makeover, I enjoyed the descriptive writing and snappy dialogue, but wasn't sure how sold I was on the game's low-choice structure. But after a few replays, I started to see how the different paths hinted at each other and played off my growing understanding of the game's universe.
"Quirky" can be kind of an off-putting descriptor, but this really is a pleasantly quirky game, just wry and satirical enough to avoid becoming insipid, but just sweet enough to dodge cynicism. I look forward to more work from this author.
See All 6 Member Reviews
If you enjoyed ♥Magical Makeover♥...
Related GamesPeople who like ♥Magical Makeover♥ also gave high ratings to these games:
|The Parenting Simulator, by Matt Simpson|
Average member rating: (2 ratings)
A unique story that lets you experience all the highs and lows of raising a child. Watch your little one grow and change from the choices you make!
|Break Stuff, by Amy Clare Fontaine|
Average member rating: (8 ratings)
What better way to get over a breakup than smashing things? In Break Stuff, you make decisions for a troubled young woman who just broke up with her boyfriend. When your old friend from high school comes over, she invites you to vent...
|Advent Door, by Andrew Plotkin|
Average member rating: (10 ratings)
Where’s that door? This game was written for a collaborative 2019 Advent Calendar project. The theme was "The City of Doors" from the Planescape roleplaying setting. That project was never completed, so I released this game by itself.
Recommended Lists♥Magical Makeover♥ appears in the following Recommended Lists:
Combinatorial Explosion by verityvirtue
Combinatorial explosion is a name fitting for a band, or a game about chemistry, but, according to mama Wikipedia, it refers to "the effect of functions that grow very rapidly as a result of combinatorial considerations". There you have...
PollsThe following polls include votes for ♥Magical Makeover♥:
For Your Consideration: Games from 2014 that should be nominated for the XYZZY Awards by Molly
There were a lot of great games released in the past year, and now that the XYZZYs are coming up, it seems like a very good idea to take a poll of all the games from last year people would like to see nominated. The management has asked...
Getting back into IF, best re-introductions to the genre by Sorrel
I haven't played any IF for roughly the past 6 years and am excited to get back into it. So, what have I missed? What have been some of your favorite games released since 2010? Alternatively, what games do you think would serve as a good...
This is version 5 of this page, edited by Zape on 9 August 2020 at 11:52pm. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item