There are going to be many unhappy customers in the eShop thanks to Treva's Top Model 3D. The misleading title would suggest an affiliation with any number of popular reality television series, such as America's Next Top Model, but there is no branding to be found. The atrocious presentation is going to turn off anyone expecting a fun, sparkly package in the vein of Nintendo's own Style Savvy: Trendsetters, and the gameplay — what little "real" gameplay there is — will disappoint. While Top Model 3D is a reasonably functional piece of software, it is unfortunately marred by these issues and just isn't ready for the runway.
After taking a photo with the 3DS camera — seemingly for no good reason other than to give off a false sense of customisation — you're dropped into a swanky loft and left to your own devices. There isn't much to do in the loft, other than talking with the rather blunt coach, talking with another model who gives a hint or two to the player like "make sure you eat fruit every day!" and scheduling your training for each day. The phone, which is accessed on the touch screen, allows you to view statistics, choose an activity for each day of the week, and look at photos (which are just ugly snapshots from the photography portion). At the end of every five-day cycle you're brought before a jury and have to perform several of the activities; there are also a series of trivia questions about the real-life fashion world that must be answered.
The activities, while seemingly varied, are deceptively simple and trite. Walking the runway and taking photographs is the exact same gameplay — simply press the correct buttons and move the Circle Pad in the right direction and a meter will go up or down depending on your accuracy. There's no rhythm or real coordination required, so it feels really rudimentary. During the fashion segments you have to assemble an assigned style, such as sporty; it was here we were reminded of Style Savvy, which has a similar element but done much better. The makeup round shows a face on the top screen with makeup on and you have to replicate it on the touch screen. Photography works exactly like fashion, except that instead of alternating between "rounds" of buttons and Circle Pad movement, both are included in each round.
You must also eat before doing any activities. This mechanic amounts to literally tapping fruit from the fruit bowl before walking out the door to do an activity. There is also a "wellness day" option, which costs a whopping 8 play coins; the game says you'll be going to a spa, but in actuality you just skip a day. It's utterly pointless.
The gameplay may be boring, but it's at least functional. Unfortunately, for a game about beauty, Top Model 3D is downright ugly; dull, washed-out colours are used throughout. Character models look unfinished and generic, the music sounds like dreadful elevator fare, character portraits sport a creepy "uncanny valley" style, and the text is hard to read on the screen due to its tiny size and colour that clashes with the background. The most glaring omission, though, is not being able to customise your avatar. One would assume that a game about modelling and looks would at least have some fun customisation options, but Top Model 3D is — unfortunately — a bare-bones package.
A rushed skeleton of what could have been a reasonably fun mini-game collection/simulation, Top Model 3D pales in comparison to other games of its ilk. While it's not inherently broken (save for the ridiculous Play Coin feature), Top Model 3D is just not strong enough to earn any kind of recommendation. Games aimed at this audience need to be better than this.