April Release: Yuusha to Maou to, Majo no Cafe [EDITED]
Now, considering that all the games Mint Cube made up until now were kusoge (personal experience speaking here), I didn't expect to be especially impressed by this game. Thankfully, I was surprised a little by how this game turned out. In the world of this VN, the light and darkness, embodied in the Maou and Hero, fought one another ten years before... and no one knows the outcome. Since then, the world has settled into a relative state of peace.
This game focuses on the amnesiac Tarou, who is taken in by the witches running a cafe in the middle of the forest. Tarou possesses powerful light and darkness abilities, and he is generally an intelligent young man who is utterly up front and honest about his feelings (including his ecchi ones).
The game uses a combination of a chapter flow chart and a ladder-style structure, but since each heroine's ending/path makes sense/is consistent within the greater setting, it didn't bother me as much as it might have. Most of this game is ecchi antics and peaceful SOL in the cafe, with occasional battle scenes (one-sided against monsters) sprinkled throughout. The 'common route' leads straight toward one of three endings for Rufuna, who is the main heroine (Dark, Light, Neutral), and at the end of each chapter two heroine paths are added to the flow chart.
If I had something to recommend about this game, it would be the fact that the side-heroines all get a substantial path that is worth reading in and of itself, taking away my usual objections about heroine neglect that come up with ladder-style story structures. In addition, most of the game alternates between wacky and 'hohoemashii' SOL that generally keeps a smile on your face.
That said, by the end of the game, I was starting to feel SOL fatigue (the fact that I had only just started to feel that way says everything about the relative quality of the SOL in this game). However, people with a higher tolerance than me shouldn't have any problem with this.
One group of people likely to have problems with this VN are the monogamists... Tarou, the protagonist, is very ecchi and indiscriminate until he actually chooses a heroine, and even in the 'common route' he has relations with several of the heroines in a very casual fashion. That said, he is, at heart, just a more open and ecchi version of the average harem protagonist, so that isn't necessarily a bad thing.
Despite the dramatic turns of phrase used by some of the characters for the events that occur within the VN, this game rarely falls into seriousness. The characters themselves are generally amusing (if not laugh out loud amusing), so people who don't want a lot of drama and darkness messing up their SOL will probably like this game.
Edit: For those who are interested in this game, you should know that the Getchu page spoils what story there is badly. I've basically stripped all the spoilers I could have legitimately dropped here (based on my policy of using information from the official site and Getchu as a guideline) because it becomes rather evident (in my eyes, anyway) that you aren't in fact, supposed to know certain things about Ruhuna, Peko, and Assam (there are actually spoilers for Peko's path in her character description, to my exasperation). While it is possible to guess at some of these things based on hints early in the story, I would suggest avoiding reading up in advance on this game in the official site and Getchu page. This is particularly egregious when it comes to Ruhuna, as her secret is stated outright in her character profile, and is treated as a big reveal in the story itself (relatively late in the game).