Monster Prom is an indie dating simulation visual novel game developed by Beautiful Glitch and published by Those Awesome Guys, and is similar to last year’s smash hit, Dream Daddy. Instead of single dads, this time around the game revolves around various monsters in high school, using a more Halloween like theme.
Monster Prom features two different single player modes: a short game mode with an average playtime of 30 minutes, as well as a full game mode that’s around 60 minutes. It also has multiplayer support for up to four players both local and online, where players can play minigames against each other to compete for another character’s affection.
There are four different characters to play as — whose name and preferred pronoun can be changed –, as well as six potential date characters. All of them are based on some kind of high school stereotype, but as monsters also have their own terrifying yet amusing quirks. These characters also happen to have an age range of 19 to 400, for those who feel uncomfortable about character age in more typical high school dating sim. As you go through each in-game day, you get the chance to engage in various activities with your classmates while also getting to know them, improving or worsening your relationship with them and in turn increasing or decreasing your stats depending on how you reply. You can also purchase helpful items from a constantly moving shop, which can tell you where you can increase each stat, give you a slight stat boost, or start exclusive events.
I rarely play dating sims, but since last year’s Doki Doki Literature Club as well as Dream Daddy, I’ve been slightly more open minded with the genre, particularly when it revolves around a more intriguing theme. Being a long time fan of Halloween as a holiday, I thought Monster Prom would bring another compelling concept to the genre, and I was definitely far from disappointed.
In my first 30 minute and 60 minute playthroughs I played as Yellow, the shade creature in a yellow shirt, and tried to court Miranda, the wealthy and semi-ignorant mermaid princess with a thirst for blood. After miserably failing in my shorter playthrough, I was sure I just didn’t have enough time to interact with her. In the longer playthrough, however, I kept replying to her answers she didn’t like, which negatively affected my stats and led me to another failure, albeit not nearly as harsh due to how much I had helped her throughout the course of it.
In my second 30 minute playthrough I decided on Polly, the friendly ghost who loves to party, as she seemed to be more open minded. This was much easier as with her personality it was more obvious which stats were important and which replies to use, despite still making a few mistakes. In the same playthrough, I also made a demon student named Damien want to kill me, which didn’t seem to negatively affect my relationships with any other characters besides him, and seemed to coincidentally amuse Polly if nothing else.
The humor and references in Monster Prom are enjoyable and varied. From fictional parodies of popular shows like Boo Paul’s Drag Race, to two characters arguing about Naruto of all things, there was no shortage of unexpected and entertaining conversations. The cast being monsters, there’s also plenty of dark humor and a hefty amount of swearing, so players who dislike those things or can’t at least tolerate them might not appreciate the game as much.
Monster Prom is a humorous game which really takes pride in its theme, although I typically wouldn’t recommend it to players who try to stay away from dating sims. I haven’t had the chance to try out the multiplayer mode yet, but with any luck it’ll add yet another charming feature to an already terrific game.
Monster Prom is available on Steam.
A review copy was provided by the publisher.