The Best Eroge Ever Review
This review is only for the first four episodes. See my The Best Eroge Ever review for my opinion of the last four episodes.
Although the first chapter was a slow start (for good reason), after that the plot moves pretty quickly, making it easy to focus on the positives mentioned above. The gameplay also does a nice job of not dragging out, except for a handful of deliberately hard boss fights which were quite satisfying to beat. Last but not least, it did feel like significant effort was put into fleshing out the fictional world, which (like in any other decent fantasy story) helped in a lot of ways.
The slice of life and comedy in the common route has some fairly silly heroines, a quirky yet nuanced writing style, plus a calm yet mystical atmosphere from both the town and the nice fluffy story to occupy time until the genre shift. Somehow it manages to be a highly immersive and relaxing experience that makes you eager to learn more about the town's secrets after the plot kicks in.
The plot tying all the protagonists (and a few other characters) together is also quite intriguing. There's a steady supply of hints and reveals about various parts of it all the way from the first few scenes to the climax of the final route, and the resolution of the major conflict (and the heroine-specific conflicts) is satisfying and plausible in all routes. Admittedly, the vast majority of the time nothing really happens to advance this plot, and often I found myself wondering when something would, but the comedy was just too good for that to bother me at all. And because you spend so much time getting attached to the characters, when stuff does start happening to the protagonists later on, it hits hard.