Cherry Tree High Comedy Club (CTHCC) is a light VN with 2D side-scrolling exploration that applies traditional dating sim mechanics to non-romance subject matter. This approach to dating sims has only been notably applied in Persona 3 and 4, so naturally it draws a lot of comparisons.
The dating-sim-esque format works a whole lot better here than it did in Persona. Mairu (or Miley, if you're a weirdo and chose the westernized version) is an actual character with her own personality, motives and ways of interacting with other characters (beyond being dead silent while other characters monologue to themselves for the entire game). Scenes where Mairu is strongarming people to bow to her own ulterior motives or genuinely relating to people with her own life experiences is infinitely more compelling than standing around while people sort out their own problems and attribute it to your intervention.
Gameplay-wise, the 2D side-scrolling helps enforce the illusion of an explorable, breathing, homely town a hell of a lot more than the usual VN affair of disconnected backgrounds, and while the locales are noticeably limited the walking/running and interactions with optional NPCs is welcome.
Generally, interacting with other recruitable NPCs involves finding them and opting to spend a block of the limited time you have with them, talking about one of 12 topics. The topics grey out after one use, and the NPCs reactions to each topic differ from person to person. Mairu can improve her knowledge on each topic by either spending a block of time performing an activity or by finding collectables around the time, that differ from day to day. Guessing which topics NPCs like involves a lot of gauging their character, and that's appreciated.
There's six recruitable NPCs, and you only need three to finish the game. While there's ample time to get three, getting six is impossible on a first playthrough, and there's a slightly different ending for nabbing all six through the NG+ mode, which encourages multiple playthroughs.
I wouldn't recommend this VN.
Despite taking place in the formation of a Comedy Club, and revolving around Comedy, there's almost no comedy in CTHCC. What little there is, is safe, sterile, clean and tasteless. A few puns and light insults thrown into an otherwise unremarkable conversation, or nothing at all. It's some of the weakest comedy they could have possibly gone for, and unless you've never heard a joke before, or are incredibly amused by "cute girls doing cute things" it'll do nothing for you.
Beyond that there's just no substance to it. Even after two playthroughs there's no memorable moments. Even if the light dating-sim mechanics "work" a whole lot better than it did in Persona, it's got no punch, no bite and no gall to back it up.
This is an incredibly boring game that with all it's talk about making you laugh, won't even put in an effort to make you smile.