Listen, if you love dress-up games and absolutely wild dramatic plots that have no place in a dress-up game, you might want to keep your eye on Infinity Nikki (opens in new tab). As revealed by Gematsu (opens in new tab), for the first time the pink-haired fashionista is making the leap from mobile over to PC as part of an “open-world dress-up adventure game” from Chinese developer Paper Studio.
You’d be forgiven for not having a clue about the Nikki series—though you may have seen its wildly misleading ads (opens in new tab)—but it’s one I’m all too familiar with. I played its third iteration, Love Nikki, every single day for over a year. I had a guild and everything! It’s a basic dress-up game at its core—play through levels that have a certain theme, pick an outfit that matches that theme and score enough points to progress. But it’s wrapped up in one of the most bizarrely dramatic stories I’ve ever played in a mobile game. You play the titular Nikki, a human who’s been whisked away to the magical Miraland in order to help save it. You see, Miraland is currently at war, but there’s a blanket agreement to settle all battles with… fashion instead of violence. Oh, and there’s a magical cat called Momo who helps you out along the way. I did warn you.
It’s a story that begins lightheartedly and then turns absolutely batshit halfway through. I won’t spoil it, but things get oddly dark for a game about wearing pretty dresses. That story continues in its mobile sequel Shining Nikki, but it’s unknown if Infinity Nikki will build upon the narrative or start from scratch. What I do know is that the trailer looks about as all over the place as I’ve come to expect from a Nikki game. Multiple outfits are shown off as Nikki traverses some very Genshin Impact/Breath of the Wild fields. That may have something to do with the fact that IGN China (opens in new tab) says Kentaro Tominaga, designer on the latter game, is the executive producer on Infinity Nikki.
Some gameplay in the trailer shows that Nikki can shrink down and hop on top of Momo, which looks like it’ll be needed to squeeze through some smaller gaps. No game can be considered good without fishing, and Infinity Nikki looks to have it alongside bug catching. Towards the end of the trailer, it looks like Nikki is entering battle with some smaller enemies, though it’s unclear how she’ll use fashion to beat the everloving crap out of them. It does seem as though different outfits will assist in different situations, which hopefully doesn’t hamper the customisation aspect too much. It’s something that you simply wouldn’t expect from a dress-up game, but Paper Studio knows how to turn a bizarre niche into something moreish.
There’s no release date yet, but I imagine it’s still a ways off. It looks pretty stunning though and may tempt me back into Miraland once more.