On the outside, Monster Prom seems like any other silly dating simulator, but with Monsters… and prom. Once you get past the superficial similarities to a classic visual novel, Monster Prom is actually more akin to a Rogue-like Competitive Party Game with a Dating Simulation twist. While that might seem like a lot of words to jam-pack into a game description, one thing that is undoubtedly clear is that Monster Prom is frickin’ fun as heck- I’m sorry- fun as hell.
Developed by Beautiful Glitch and published by Those Awesome Guys, Monster Prom is pretty much what it sounds like. You’re a monster going to high school and you desperately want a date for prom. You choose from 6 eligible bachelors/bachelorettes and do your best to woo them, usually by picking an answer to a problem that corresponds to your desired date.
Get Your Dirty Hands Off My Prom Date
So here’s where things begin to differ from your average dating sim; Monster Prom is a great pick up and play game. As opposed to your average dating sim, which usually takes you on an extended, several-hours-long journey following one story, Monster Prom has you playing for either 30 or 60-minute sessions where you have 3 or 6 in-game weeks to woo your boo. There are also an insane amount of combinations of situations, so the game feels fresh with every playthrough. Hundreds of events, each with 4 possible outcomes, add up to over 1,000 different specific situations.
Playing Monster Prom on your own is pretty similar to playing just another dating sim. Where the game truly shines is in its multiplayer mode, and it only gets better the more people you add. Monster Prom has the capability to have up to 4 player couch multiplayer, which makes it a great party game. The game also has some touches in there that make the experience akin to something like a Jackbox Party Pack or That’s You! I ended up playing both modes- I did two rounds of single player with one success and one failure and had a pretty fun time, but I had a great time playing the multiplayer with my partner. We happened to go after the same date, a sexy ghost girl named Polly.
We were forced against each other to win her affection, with one of us trying to level up stats and the other trying to talk to her as often as we could. Another neat feature only available in multiplayer mode is the events that come outside of school, where one of the dateable monsters approaches a player and lets them know they’re attracted to another player and are seeking advice on them. At this point, you can decide whether to help your friends or hurt them. In Polly’s case, we went after each other’s throats. I ultimately came out on top, and Polly and I totally went to prom.
The Choices Are Yours To Make
Your choices as a player actually do matter in this dating sim as well. They end up affecting future situations and can let you unlock new and potentially very secret endings. I’ve yet to get those secret endings, so they are indeed very secret, and require a very specific series of actions to obtain.
There are also events and situations that trigger because of items you purchase at the shop, or characters might react to you differently depending on what item you happen to be carrying with you. How these characters react is totally up to chance, and it’s awesome, giving every playthrough a distinct sense of unpredictability.
Along with the clean functionality of the different game modes, the dialogue is hilarious. Monster Prom is totally aware of itself and uses that meta-awareness to fully immerse the players into the world of this monster high school. Each character you can date is an archetype, but with a monster twist. This makes it easier to try to woo them at some points, but totally soul crushing when you fail to do so at others.
One positive is that the game is unaffected by gender or sexual orientation, so you are free to date who you want to date. I will note that this game should by no means be played by younger audiences, or those with more sensitive sensibilities, as there is a ton of swearing and very dirty jokes. I myself found that very charming because as we know, even human high school is not very PG. However, it may come as a shock to players who might be misled by the cutesy art style.
They Did the ‘Monster Prom’
Fortunately, there are not many downsides to Monster Prom. The game overall is fun as all hell, and I would absolutely recommend it to those who enjoy those weird, almost off-brand dating sims, like Hatoful Boyfriend, and those who plan on playing these types of games with other people.
If you’re going to be playing Monster Prom on your own, it’s pretty fun for a few runs. But, unless I had my partner, or wasn’t planning on bringing it to a multi-player party, I might not find myself returning to it that often. That said, there is an online multiplayer at launch where you can pit yourself against others in winning a date to the prom.
Overall, if you’re looking for another kooky dating sim, or you’re looking for a fun party game, I can’t recommend Monster Prom enough. I want to play it with my partner and I want to play it with my friends. My only hold up is that I wish it was on the Switch, so I could bring it with me everywhere.