Monster Prom is the first installment of monster dating games from Beautiful Glitch and Those Awesome Guys. Monster Prom was supported via Kickstarter and won several awards for its hilarious writing and style. With Halloween in the rear view mirror and another monster dating game on the way, Monster Prom deserves some attention.
Monster Prom is a visual novel, so there’s no visuals or active moments of violence. However, some characters discuss violent things, like destroying property, using their knife, genocide, or being aggressive. Often these discussions of violent acts are jokes or empty threats.
Monster Prom features teenagers—modern teenagers. So, there’s language and quite a lot of it. Characters swear regularly, and sh*t and the f-word are commonplace.
This is where most of one’s issues may be. There is a lot of discussion of sexual topics like different fetishes, pornography, innuendos, inappropriate pictures, and sexual acts. You don’t get to have sex with many of the characters, but in some cases, it is implied that you do. There’s a special ending that is entirely about finding special items for a sexual act. There are some provocative visuals, but no nudity and a player can choose to avoid more sexual content if they wish. The discussion of sexual acts in unavoidable though.
You also have the ability to date whoever you want, male or female. So, homosexuality and gender issues are included in the game, but you can choose to opt out of that if you wish.
Drugs and alcohol do play a role in the game. While you never see anything, some characters do use drugs and talk about drugs. You can buy drugs from the store as well, but this is usually a part of a special mission and you don’t use them.
As this is in the realm of monsters, there are angels, demons, and ghosts. One of the characters is a child of demons and is from Hell.
Monster Prom is the ultimate guilty pleasure. I’ve never seen a game that makes you feel so morally ambiguous, but also makes you laugh so incredibly hard. It’s like hanging out with college or high school students, basically. But those students are monsters and prom’s in three weeks, so you better get one of them to like you—and fast.
You have about twenty-one days with a morning, lunch, and afternoon time to meet monsters and make choices. Each morning and afternoon, you choose from the school map where to go, and during each lunch, you have to make the high pressure choice of who to sit with. Through being in certain locations or at certain tables, you get to see characters in all sorts of situations and reek all sorts of havoc. It’s through this set up that you have to carefully decide who you’re going to try to ask to prom.
But one of my favorite things about this game is how it’s written. Even with the challenge and often crude humor, these students are hilarious. Ridiculous side characters show up often, every dateable monster has some sort of running joke, and the writing is funny in a dark and snarky way. You can tell that the game was written with love and to be taken with a large grain of salt.
The ultimate goal is to get a prom date, and through that process, you can play Monster Prom is so many different ways. You can go full party girl, ditching school, staying up late, and chasing your next adventure; or you can go full nerd and spend all your time in the library, talking about high literature, and going to artistic movies. Depending on who you pick as your dream prom date, the whole game shifts to fit that character’s theme and personality.
Through managing your personality stats, navigating conversations, and making smart choices, you can maybe get the monster prom date of your dreams—emphasis on the maybe. This game is as tricky as it is hilarious and bawdy.
Monster Prom offers you several options for dates, from overly-violent and arson-loving demons to party-centric and carefree ghosts. All of the typical high school stereotypes have been turned up to eleven, uncensored, and turned into some sort of monster: the jock’s a werewolf, the party girl’s a ghost, the mean girl’s a medusa, and the hipster’s a vampire. However, as you talk to and try to woo these characters, you’ll discover that there’s much more to them than meets the eye. Even through the dirty jokes and questionable decisions, many of the characters are just human—insecure, confused, and lovable humans.
But the path to discovering your potential date’s true self is often challenging. Every potential date has several endings and you can easily get to the end of the game and be rejected by everyone. Every choice you make impacts you, your date, and your possible prom experience. Sometimes you have to make sure you’re in the right location, have the right item, or you’re stuck without a prom date at the end of the game.
The gameplay of Monster Prom is centered on your personality stats and dialogue choices. At the beginning of the game, you can choose your character and take a quick quiz to determine your stats. To get certain dates, you must have certain stats in smarts, boldness, creativity, charm, fun, and money.
Throughout the game, you can pick different places at school to go to that help you meet characters and gain (or lose) stat points. You can also buy items from the store which can be essential for special endings or alter the game entirely. But you only have so many days to win your date’s heart, so you have to be careful about every choice you make. You can easily make a wrong move in a conversation and suddenly lose the stats you need to woo your date.
The choices and strategies get even more complicated (and fun) once you add some friends in. This is where 50% of this game’s unique charm comes in. There are few games I’ve enjoyed so much with a group of friends, especially those who don’t consider themselves gamers. I’ve never heard of a multi-player dating simulation before, but Monster Prom does it beautifully.
You can add up to 3 friends for local multiplayer and the whole game adjusts based on this. You each can pick your own character, take your own personality quizzes, and chase your own dream dates. Beware if you pick the same person. Monster Prom also adds scenes, characters, and subplots if you play multiplayer. Instead of there being a simple morning, lunch, afternoon cycle, you also sometimes have a night event where you can meet characters and influence their feelings for other players.
Multiplayer also adds challenge by only allowing one person per place on campus. To make this fair, Monster Prom asks questions before each turn to determine who goes first. Who wins the discussion is up to the players, but this mechanic really makes the game go beyond the screen. The questions are often ridiculous things like “what would be the most annoying curse?” or “what would be more likely to end the world: bugs or robots?” and they add another element to the game’s multiplayer playability.
Monster Prom overall is a hilarious game that was crafted with love and humor. You can tell the creators and writers enjoyed making the game as much as the gamer enjoys playing it. But the only thing that holds this game back for me is how raunchy it is. Often times, it just feels unnecessary. Yes, teenagers swear and tell dirty jokes, but there are definitely times, especially when describing events, that it just feels unnecessary to add an innuendo or include a sexually explicit joke. While this comes up more in some storylines than others, it’s definitely something that can turn off certain players to the experience. I would always recommend Monster Prom to anyone over 18, but I’d be super hesitant to bring it up around kids. This is a game made with adult humor for adults, even with its cartoon characters and high school setting.
I would highly recommend Monster Prom to anyone looking for a dark sense of humor who doesn’t mind putting their morals aside for a few hours. Yes, you could easily become a crime boss, a party girl, an arsonist, or a furry, but you can also share some great laughs and conversations with your friends who want to try dating monsters.