The simple life sim that charmed its way into our game collections in 2012 has a sequel in the form of Cherry Tree High I! My! Girls!. Taking off directly from the formation of the Comedy Club, I! My! Girls! follows the everyday life of the group as they take the next step towards being comedy greats.
It hasn’t been long after Mairu and her group of friends revived the school comedy club and took one step closer to being like the fabled Grinmeisters of old, but they’ve missed one important thing – they need a teacher to act as supervisor. Fortunately, they have someone in mind and pursue her in classic Cherry Tree High fashion. But when a new face appears in school, intent on joining the club, the group’s concerns turn to this sparkly transfer student and her goals to become Mairu’s partner, potentially replacing her best friend Hoemi.
I! My! Girls! sets its cute life sim aspect aside for this sequel, instead presenting a number of small episodes that follow the club’s next struggle. It still has the same quirky humour and antics of the previous game, just distilled into kinetic novel-like moments. After you experience the main game, a number of sub-episodes unlock for you to chuckle at as various members of the group spend time with each other.
The most noticeable thing about I! My! Girls! – after the jump from life sim to kinetic novel – is the change in localisation. Cherry Tree High Comedy Club featured Westernised names, nicknames and some glossing over of the obviously Japanese setting, but with the release of its sequel, it changes to something more usual. As a nice bonus, the previous game can be played “de-Westernised” as well. It can take a little while to get used to Mairu and Hoemi instead of Miley and Harriet but while we get to see jokes play out a little differently and a bit less obviously, some cute translations still make their way in.
While I! My! Girls! makes a few changes and adds a few new characters, its tone and style never wavers. Even with small drama between characters, it has a constant bright atmosphere and lighthearted tone. It has a perfect combination of no-big-stakes slice of life mixed with cute situational humour that the art and music supports all the way. New places are given loving detail and the music is as fitting as ever.
Perhaps a small annoyance is that the game sticks to its tiny 640×480 resolution, but that just means you can have it open and play the game in six different windows if you have a larger screen. As a sequel made in the same year as the first game, it gives you more of what you like with less chasing after Chris/Haru and shouting about music so that she can join your club.
Cherry Tree High I! My! Girls! is a great sequel to Cherry Tree High Comedy Club. While it changes up some of the gameplay and takes a kinetic novel approach, its lighthearted tone, cute antics and lovable characters shine through like always. It’s a great follow-up if you enjoyed the first game and are looking for something short and just as fun.
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