That's QT is a curious blend of fashion design and business management. It looks simple and, as the title suggests, cute, but in reality is a complex and surprisingly deep game. It is so good, and so much fun, that I hope Koei decides to release it in North America. If it doesn't, well, That's QT is import friendly and can be played even if you don't read Japanese.
The basic premise is this: you're a up and coming fashion designer who has decided to try and be the best. You start out in a small store with some money and the tools to succeed, but no clothes.
The game begins by asking you to enter your name. The second tab from the right brings up the English characters, so input a name and press start. You will then see your character in pajamas waking up. The game asks your gender (the first option is female, the second male). Your character then goes to wash his/her face, giving you the option to choose eyes for your character.
After this there will be a slight amount of exposition. If you don't speak Japanese, don't worry – it isn't crucial. Then the tutorial will begin. It covers the three main aspects of gameplay.
The first thing you'll need is to find some inspiration. This is done by going to the streets. Tap passers-by to start a conversation. Occasionally they will drop a red or blue colored buzz-word. When they do, a small light bulb will appear between the two dialogue boxes. Tap that to memorize the word. After you acquire your first two words, you'll be whisked to the next stage of the tutorial.
Before I move on, I want to say two things. First, look for flowers when out talking to people. You start the game with five colors, and new colors are acquired by tapping on colored flowers you'll see when roaming the streets. Second is to talk to animals repeatedly. Animals will always provide information on animal costumes or items, and you must harass them repeatedly to receive the words.
Back on track, after receiving keywords you'll head to your first shop. Its really small and cramped, but a nice place to start. You'll head to the side room, which acts as a menu. There's a record player you can tap to change the background music, a bookshelf you tap to save your game, another bookshelf which lets you look at things you've learned, prizes you own and make clothes from older designs you've created, a computer where you can check your standing among other designers, a desk for making new drawings and a torso which lets you change your character's clothes. Head to the desk, and you'll be able to combine keywords. Click the first option to make the item (my first one was a shirt with a heart, I'm not sure if everyone's will be different), and then after finishing click the second option to exit.
Now that you have a design, you'll head out to the main shop. Tap some shelf space, and a menu will come up that will let you place the item. Then prepare for customers!
Don't worry if initially no one's buying. Go in the back and put on your design, then take to the streets. Talk to some other people and walk around. If people like what you're wearing, they'll zero in on you and a balloon will appear over their heads with the clothing item inside. After learning some new keywords, head back to your store and get behind the register. Hopefully some people will start coming in to buy. When they appear at the register, tap them to take their money. If an item runs out, go over and tap the area to restock. (There's also a Y button instant restock, but I don't advise it because it will randomly restock items.)
After a short while, your first employee will appear. Agree to hire him/her, and he/she will start working. This means you can go out more and not have to worry about disgruntled customers. Do NOT fire this employee, as you don't get an opportunity to hire people anytime until you're in your second shop. Tap the person, then tap the T-shirt icon to dress him/her, then never bother him/her again.
The first goal is to earn 10,000. After you do that, you'll get a new shop, a new designer adversary and a new fashion challenge to overcome!
Images courtesy of Koei.