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Wednesday, April 7, 2010 as of 11:14 AM ET

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  • Exclusive Preview: 'Project Runway' Wii game brings runway (and Heidi Klum) to your living room

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    Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn make it work in the new “Project Runway” game for Nintendo Wii, which should attract fans of the hit reality show and young girls itching to become the next Christian Siriano from the comfort of their couches.

    Klum, Gunn and designer turned reality competition judge Michael Kors have all lent their voices to the hit fashion show’s video game, which is aiming to immerse the teen girl set into the gaming market.

    “We really believe the core target audience is girls 6-12. Girls are starting to buy their own clothes around 13 and 14 and as they are learning to make their own fashion choices this is a way for them to interact and participate with style,” explains Jonathan Anastas, Vice President of marketing for Atari Inc., the publisher of the “Runway” game.

    Fox 411 was given an early preview of the game on Thursday. Challenges are ripped straight from the show’s sixth season including the “Tokyo West” challenge to create a new Harajuku outfit for the lead singer of a famous Japanese pop band and the “The New Year” challenge which required designers to expand the fashion palettes of school administrators by creating innovative school uniforms.

    Players go through the various stages of the reality competition, creating an outfit design and patterns, selecting a fabric, choosing a model, accessorizing and applying hair and makeup. For players from Generation X, the game seems like a high tech virtual version of the beloved 1970s “Fashion Plates,” which unlocked the inner designer in tween girls long before “Project Runway” brought cut and sew to the small screen.

    The competition aspect comes in two forms. First, judges Nina Garcia, Kors and Klum award style points and critique the designs. There are three levels of difficulty. The cattier you want the judges to be when giving an opinion on your designs, the higher you should raise the difficulty level.

    Throughout your challenge Tim Gunn’s always helpful avatar doles out his words of wisdom for how you can make your designs really sing and contestants from the sixth season, including reigning champ Irina Shabayeva, offer advice and inspiration.

    The real interactive part of the game, which unfortunately PC users won’t be able to experience in full, is the catwalk, where the player becomes the model as they trot on the Wii balance board and strut the runway in their creations. It’s impossible to keep your hips still as you are required to sashay, pose, wave and generally prance dance down the runway. Points are awarded for consistency and general catwalk prowess.

    Like most Wii games, this one is incentive-based. As you score higher on more of your challenges you can unlock more exciting accessories and patterns, more exotic models and bouncier catwalking music.

    Players who wish to go head to head can compete in the “Pose Off,” which can get as heated as a walk-off between Derek Zoolander and Hansel. For the “Pose Off” a player can choose from their closet full of previously created designs, dress up a model and then pose on the Wii balance board for points. The poses become crazier and a little sillier as the difficulty increases.

    The game, developed by Tornado Studios, hits the sweet spot of Wii savvy tween girls and will certainly keep them up late at their slumber parties, pouting and posing on the balance board, but it also has enough pop culture flair to engage moms and older sisters looking to channel their inner designers and fashion models.

    The Wii version of the game retails for $39.99 and will be available next Tuesday. The PC version will be $19.99 and available for download at Atari.com.

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