Posted on November 27, 2012 AT 10:27pm
Nyu Media new to the gaming playing field brings us Cherry Tree High Comedy Club. Right from the start it is obvious their games are not for everyone. Nyu Media as a company has a mission to release Japanese doujin (indie) games outside of Japan. It feels like they were not sure if they wanted more of an interactive game/simulation or a visual novel. Mixed into the pot is a bit of gaming that tries to wade above the surface. Finding redeeming qualities does take a bit but there are a few that do shine through.
In Cherry Tree High Comedy Club you play as Miley a high school student trying to create a comedy club. Hearing of the Grinmeisters, a famous comedy group, that once attended Cherry Tree High. She hopes if she reforms the club they were part of when they were at school, she could be part of a comedy duo after she graduates too. Her rival Octavia is on the student council. Back when they were kids, they were always tormenting each other never outgrowing the childish behavior. In retaliation, Octavia’s trying to keep Miley from starting a comedy club. Any new club has to have at least five founding members. If the CTHCC want a room to meet in and school club funding, they need to get three more members before April ends. If Miley can’t meet that goal, Octavia wins.
Miley goes around town participating in activities and making friends with the six possible members. By developing certain skills, Miley builds chat levels. Chat levels and topics gives her more things to talking to potential recruits about, which boosts friendship levels with them. Certain skills require Miley to buy magazines to read, which means she also needs a part-time job to earn money.Your job will usually consist of cleaning up a shrine. Once a friendship hits level 5, that person becomes a founding member of the CTHCC. Miley’s fatigue and homework also has to be managed. So you have to keep that and her funds in mind. Miley must also be knowledgeable on video games, romance, whodunnits, fashion, music, sports, art, travel, history, pets, politics and cooking. Eight different locations to visit you have to remember who likes to hang out where and when.
On the fence between simulation and visual novel presentation is lackluster. Visually Cherry Tree High Comedy Club does not wow in any way but it does not disappoint either. Characters combined with the background visuals help push the game through to passable. Colors pop enough to give players something pretty to look at while playing but stop there. Just a scratch of the surface before fully stunning in any way to make the game stand out.
Lasting appeal is not really present in any sense of the word. Cherry Tree High Comedy Club will unfortunately fall into the realm of a one and done type game. Nothing really stands out to make players want to pick this game up again. Unless you are into this type of game it will be one you uninstall to save space on your hard drive. I did find some of the jokes funny especially related to American Pop Culture. Sexual tension overtones that were subtly placed into the text also gave a chuckle or two. It did feel out of place but surely made the game worth playing once.
Nyu Media did take a different route and I do give them credit for that. In the future I would love to see more from the company. Cherry Tree High Comedy Club is one of those type games that is hanging in the balance. Though it does not fall into the line of a true game it has gaming elements. Unfortunately gamers will find themselves stuck reading more than actually playing. Cherry Tree High Comedy Club will cater to only a certain crowd. Sexual tension and pop culture references were a saving grace for the game.
- THE GOOD: Pop Culture references, Sexual Tension well hidden
- THE BAD: Not so many game mechanics involved
- THE UGLY: Takes a bit to actually get into with all the reading
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