Anne's Doll Studio: Antique Collection Review
Posted by Lee Meyer
Antique? Try "aged"
Gamebridge's Anne's Doll Studio: Antique Collection is one of several titles in the Anne's Doll Studio "series," and like the other entries is a complete waste of time and money. A simple application in which you can dress up a doll and save it as an image file, users will find all there is to discover in Anne's Doll Studio as soon as the title menu is booted up. Had all the titles in Anne's Doll Studio been released as one piece of software, there might be something of (very minor) value for young anime fans. Unfortunately, these individual releases are utterly pointless, and we're left to repeat the same message for a third time.
All Anne's Doll Studio entries are the same. Players are given a doll and can choose her clothes, shoes, accessories, hair style, eyes, a background to place the doll in, a frame, and some stickers or doodles to draw with. After the player is finished, the image is saved and stored for future "sharing" via SD card. That is literally all there is to Anne's Doll Studio.
Antique Collection gives the player some vintage-style options, but they are extremely limited. There are very few dresses, hair styles, and backgrounds to choose from; going through and trying every option would take about 10 minutes. The clunky interface doesn't help matters; the 3DS/DSi is held like a book and controlled via stylus, but rather than instantly show the clothes the player has chosen, the screen fades to white with a "swoosh" sound before updating the doll. This was presumably to add an element of excitement and anticipation, but it will likely become annoying very quickly for those who just want to experiment with the few choices they have.
When choosing a background, users can take a photo using the 3DS/DSi, but with the poor quality of the cameras there is little point; with no options to edit, crop, rearrange or customise the images in any way other than the preset stickers/doodles, kids will likely just pick a pre-made background to finish up their project. The visuals, consisting of flat pixel art, are charming enough, but the low resolution and annoying "white out" flashes will kill off any good will the user has. There is a soft, melodic song playing in the background, but it's quickly forgettable and disappointingly generic.
Anne's Doll Studio: Antique Collection, like the rest of the titles in this so-called series, does what it says it's going to do and nothing more. It's not broken, but the clunky interface, lack of options and frustrating presentation ruin any fun the user may have. In the era of Instagram, Vine, Facebook and all other social media apps and sites, Anne's Doll Studio feels like a long-aged relic that should be stuffed away with all the other old dolls from childhood.