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Monster Prom: Review
The crushing feeling of competing with your peers to fall in love turned into an actual competition
Do you remember your high school? Chances are, you probably had a crush on someone in school. If you were particularly ballsy, you probably had some kind of fantasy that involved asking them out.
Enter Monster Prom by Beautiful Glitch and published by Those Awesome Guys. It’s a novel concept- all the fun of a dating sim about prom, with the added twist of multiplayer. It’s a great laugh with its quirky humor, witticism galore and unique characters. You play as a student in the school in the buildup to prom, and you’ve got to ask someone to go with you. Fortunately, unlike real high school, you’re bizarrely confident and decide to ask one of the coolest kids in the school. Enter the game’s many quirky love interests.
Essentially, this game boils down to you eavesdropping on a bunch of private conversations and jumping in with your own opinions. For a high school game, this sounds an awful lot like most adults I know.
First thing that catches my eye is the art style of this game. Each character looks distinct, drawn in the game’s unique art style. Depending on the context, the game’s many romanceable protagonists have a variety of expressions, including the mandatory anime blush for even the most tsundere of gorgons.
This game is colorful, too- you’re not mistaking any characters with every single one having a stand-out color that immediately grabs your eye. Heck, even the player characters themselves are cute. Not gonna lie, the urge to ask if they could be dated is strong here.
A small footnote that deserves mention is that while the four protagonists are very clearly gender-coded, their actual genders are entirely up to the player with a choice for pronouns including he, she and they. The inclusiveness is a nice touch, and I thought that just deserved mentioning.
Don’t be fooled. Literally asking you out on a date is no guarantee any of these characters will go to prom with you
Monster Prom feels like a fun board game to share with your friends. I appreciate the devs giving you options with this game: either play with your friends online if they all have a copy of the game, or have them come over and begin Waifu War 3 from the comfort of your own room with all your friends, a maximum of 4 players, via local play.
Depending on whether or not you’ve got an 8am class in the morning or just don’t like your friends that much, you can choose between a short game or a long game. Short games are advertised as taking around an hour, with fewer turns before you go to prom. Long games are as advertised: longer. Don’t know what you were expecting.
Events in this game appear to be largely randomized, ensuring that most playthroughs are dissimilar from each other. This makes it pretty fun, but can also be greatly frustrating if you’re trying to get a particular route. That being said, as an activity you’re doing with your friends, randomized events work much more in the game’s favor than against it.
And you don’t just interact with monsters, either. In between rounds, the game gives you silly prompts to debate with your friends and decide on the order for the next round. Friends not very creative? Are they blinded by their pursuit for some hot demonic action that their improv skills have disappeared? The game has a convenient randomize button too for when you just wanna get back to chasing some volatile demon princes.
I should note that the game offers two modes of multiplayer: one where players can either own individual copies of the game, or have the players all huddled around one machine with the game. These aren’t mutually exclusive, as you can mix and match the two to have two people share a copy and two more with their own, for example. The game itself admits that online multiplayer is a little buggy, I’ve had my friend unable to choose someone to take to prom because she wasn’t allowed to click the accept button.
Plenty of secret characters will poke their heads in, too. Side note, just like my own high school, everyone’s super into MOBAs and playing without me.
For the completionists, Monster Prom has its slimy-yet-somehow-sexy tentacle wrapped around you to hook you in. Without a guide, the chances of you getting the mer-person of your dreams to prom is pretty low. Just really have a thing for certain mer-royalty? There’s more than one ending per love interest, with different events needed to trigger them. The randomized nature of events in this game keep you replaying it, as well as looking for more people to play with to hope they’d accidentally trigger more events for you.
Several of the events and routes are triggered by progress, too, making sure even the most tacit of wikihounds can’t snipe out a secret ending and end the game. This tends to treat the endings as more a reward which really works with the game’s boardgame-like nature. Having constantly played the game with friends, it feels good having goals for every round.
You may be asking yourself, what route could be so great that you’d have to set it as a long term goal? Two words, my friend:
Monster Prom is a great dating sim, regardless of your experience with the genre. It’s more westernized take on the genre gives it a huge breath of fresh air that it uses to its full advantage by having a very western sense of humor.
The game oozes character, with snarky jokes and pop-culture references everywhere done with enough subtlety that they don’t feel shoehorned in. It doesn’t take itself too seriously, because why should it?
And even if you’re not an avid fan of dating sims, it’s a great jumping on point. Monster Prom plays like a great boardgame with your friends and the game encourages playing via screenshare even if you don’t want to buy 4 copies.
It’s a fun game- well worth replaying either with new friends or the same thirsty conspirators every time.