You know you gotta do it right because it’s gonna be a night to remember.
It’s six weeks away from Prom, the night of all nights. And like any young’un on the brink of graduation, you’re in desperate need of a date. Luckily, you’ve got six good-looking classmates who seem like they might be down to spend the night of your dreams with you. It’s only a matter of charming them. Easy peasy.
Oh, and, by the way, your classmates are all monsters. You’re one too.
Monster Prom is a new dating sim, where you navigate a highschool full of Monsters to try and snag a prom date. Created by Beautiful Glitch, Monster Prom was funded by Kickstarter and raised over €32,000. Boasting “beautiful art, witty dialogues and hard choices”, this game seems like a very current twist on the incredibly creative dating sim genre.
We’ve seen our fair share of creative dating sims, from the pigeon-themed Hatoful Boyfriend, thirst-inducing, dad-inspired Dream Daddy to the dark, twisted tale that was Doki Doki Literature Club. So this game didn’t seem that different from the outset. But after playing a few rounds, Monster Prom left us surprised, and more than a little interested.
You can pick your player character for this game out of four, and you have the option to choose your character’s pronouns! But honestly, pronouns mean little in this game, since you can romance any of the given six, regardless of gender. But still, it’s cool to have a choice.
There are 388 different situations that it’s possible for you to encounter, and 1384 outcomes to the game. And all that from just 6 possible love interests. (We’re mildly disappointed that the monsters you can seduce are restricted to the humanoid form. Why can’t we seduce the computer monster?) But this set-up already sounds straight up insane.
To achieve this, the game makes certain changes from the traditional dating sim format, to give you way more scenarios in which to encounter the different characters.
Firstly, you can’t choose your love interest. Well, you technically can, but the choice is far less deliberate, and in order to be able to choose, you need to already know each character’s personality.
You start off the game with a “quiz”, which consists of three questions. The first two are a choice between three options, and decide your beginning stats. The last one is a choice from six options, and your answer will decide who you’re destined to court for your prom date. The questions change every round, so it’s not just as simple as remembering which character’s corresponds with which answer. The answers are appropriate to each character’s personality, so if you pick what you like best, you’re on a path to interacting with a character that you personally like. (Of course, after playing enough rounds, you’ll be able to get a sense of which answer goes to which character and you can pick your path.)
But after this “quiz”, you’re left with little choice, because you’ll encounter your chosen character no matter where you go. Traditionally, in dating sims, each character is tied to a location, so you meet whichever character corresponds with the location you pick.
While that’s a little frustrating at the outset, you can set that aside, because this opens up the game to a ton of new scenarios. Since you can encounter any character in any location, that means that you get a new story every time you play, even if you’re trying to win over the same character. Each different location has the potential for multiple different scenarios.
At each location, you’ll get a chance to increase your stats (which don’t seem to have huge bearing on the game, and vary from situation to situation), and encounter your love interest and at least one other character. You’ll have to make a choice, which tests how well you understand your prom date, and whether you can pick what they’ll like.
Because of this set-up, there’s a huge variety of situations that you can face, even with the same character in the same place.
Here’s a really unique part of the game: you have the choice of playing alone, or with up to four players on the same device. If you play alone, the game functions in a fairly straightforward manner; you get one action per turn, until the end of the game. But it gets more interesting if you play with others.
There are fun activities to determine the order of turns for each round, where you have to debate for…interesting topics. We tried this part, and while it took some warming up, the debates got more and more heated.
What’s more, you can compete for the same date.
A feature which pops up only in multiplayer mode is the “weekend” turn between “weeks”. One player will be randomly selected to play this turn, which will give you a chance to either sabotage or help your co-players. These challenges range from DEATHBOWLING to convincing your love interest to skip out on a date with your competitor.
There’s an online multiplayer version that’ll be going up with the official launch. Thus, the game is definitely worth trying with a few friends to test out how the game operates with a few more humans in the mix.
At the end of the game, you pick your desired prom date. Even this leads down unexpected paths. Depending on how you’ve played and which scenarios you’ve encountered, you can get rejected, or accepted, or….something else! Some routes lead to weird endings, where you miss the prom date…but become their partner as they ascend to the throne.
Monster Prom is bursting at the seams with creativity – from the imaginative situations, to the bright art, to the snappy dialogue between the characters. The dialogue reeks of internet culture, with references to Rick and Morty, Archer, South Part and Scream Queens. And what would a monster high school be without a plethora of nihilistic, dark, bloody jokes? Whether you’re seducing a ghost, a demon prince, a gorgon or a werewolf, there’s no shortage of references, evil plots and dark humour to send you on a ride.
But be warned: a lot of these jokes aren’t for the fainthearted.
In a world of creative dating sims, this is one that’s not just fun in concept, but worth replaying again and again just to experience the stories. It’s definitely a twist on the traditional dating sim format, and it makes full use of the opportunities it has. Plus, it’s hilarious for group sessions. We hope you give it a go and hopefully uncover some new monster surprises…
GEEK REVIEW SCORE
Overall, it’s definitely a game worth trying. The sheer number of ways you can play this game gives it insane replay value. If you think you’ll appreciate the humour, definitely give it a few tries.
Gameplay - 8/10
Story - 8/10
Presentation - 9/10
Value - 10/10