/ 23 of 33 hearts / Pretty Good
Let it never be said that I won’t try any kind of game. When the dust, smoke, and brimstone clears, some genres become my go-to favorites and others become my personal plague, but everything gets a fair spin. After more than twenty years of playing, though, Cherry Tree High Comedy Club has become the first game I’ve played that uses the dating sim style of gameplay—and it’s taken me so long because almost no one releases anything in this genre. CTHCC has no dating, but every other element is there: Cherry Tree High Comedy Club revolves around time management.
Our heroine Miley, seeking to recruit members for her startup comedy club, can perform three of the following actions each day: chatting up potential recruits to become better friends, learning about a variety of topics to become more effective at those chats, and earning money so that she can pay to learn about those topics. It’s a simple cycle, but the game dresses the activities up in different contexts; Miley can learn by watching movies, reading magazines, watching TV, visiting exhibits, or occasionally participating in the topic of choice—playing games makes her a more knowledgeable gamer while eating at a cafe makes her more knowledgeable about cooking.