Friday, October 11, 2013

Cherry Tree High Comedy Club

Lino made a cryptic post on Facebook asking if I wanted to start a comedy club. It included a link to a game on Steam, which I went to check out. It sounded like an interesting enough single player game with Steam cards, so I decided to give it a shot.

It turned out to be a 'life simulator' game where you choose what three things to do each day over the course of about 50 days. The actions you take can earn you money, or let you spend money to level up your skills, or let you talk to other characters in the game to level up your friendships with them. The goal of the game is to get 3 of the 6 targeted characters to become very good friends with you in order to convince them to sign your charter to create a comedy club at your high school.

The game was really short (I beat it in around two hours) but I enjoyed playing it. It had good music and nice art. It wasn't nearly as funny as I was expecting for a game about a comedy club, but there were some good puns spread out over the course of the game. It also claimed to have a 'better ending' if I played again and acquired all 6 friends in the course of a single playthrough. Getting 3 friends was pretty easy and pretty much just required ignoring 2 or 3 of them entirely and working on the remaining ones but getting all 6 feels like it would be pretty hard. I couldn't really figure out what  leveling up my conversation topics was accomplishing but I imagine being better at talking about the things people liked would trick them into being my friend quicker. So there's bound to be an optimal progression of things to learn first and why to talk to about those things first. On the other hand it did say some stuff would carry over if I loaded my save file from a finished game so maybe working out an optimal progression doesn't matter and I just need to play through a couple of times to build up a big enough stock of carried over stuff.

I've always liked 'life sim' games (like Princess Maker 2) and I'm not really sure why. Maybe because they boil down making friends to a nice easy formula. Figure out what stat someone wants you to max. Max that stat. Show them that you maxed that stat. Profit. It reminds me a little of the Big Bang Theory episode where Sheldon creates an algorithm for getting Kripkie to become his friend. Actually talking to people is scary and hard. Following a formula is easy!

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