Prom is something I always saw as a fantasy in movies and video games, as we don’t tend to celebrate the end of our highschool years that way here in Argentina. Luckily, Monster Prom let me experience not only a party in which the most popular students get their desired moment to shine, but a different take featuring werewolves, ghosts, vampires and all sort of horny creatures.
Yes, I did say horny. Monster Prom is a dating sim, and one of the funniest out here. You start by selecting your character from four different options, and after selecting your pronoun (he/she/they) you’ll begin a ridiculous quiz to determine your beginning stats. After that, you can choose the length of the session, either 30 or 60 minutes long, which will change the remaining days until prom starts in school.
Then it’s up to you to choose who you’re going to invite, and how you plan to achieve that goal.
The game always presents the same routine for each playthrough, but all the small decisions we take shape the outcomes of many of our love stories in some of the most hilarious forms possible. Each level is assigned to a time of day (morning, lunch time and evenings) in a number of weeks, and you’re free to select a location from a static map fo the school in which to spend your time, from the library to the outdoors where, for some reason, there’s always a party going on there.
In each location, along with increasing your stats depending on the activity (boldness, charisma, fun, and others) you’ll start meeting your possible romances in different situations. They tend to be along with someone else at first, and your choice in dialogue will determine who will most likely be interested in you as well by gaining points towards your relationship.
All characters you meet are timely, fun, interesting and trapped in nowadays stereotypes. In fact, pretty much anything in Monster Prom follows this exact standard, and it’s better for it. There are situations that could totally happen in 2018 and beyond (if we were monsters, that is) that are executed in a modern, young language.
Sometimes, introduced as a random even of sorts, a merchant will be present in one of the locations. In here, you can find some of the most bizarre items in any game: used tampons, erotic fanfiction, drugs, a PR agent and much more.
Most of the items will instantly grant a few points in any of your stats, but others can be used in specific locations or moments during the game’s weeks in order to either boost your relationship with someone or unlock secret endings. It all comes down to experimentation, and Monster Prom does a really good work in keeping track of your progress, showcasing how many outcomes and endings you’ve gathered during your playtime.
Monster Prom carries a lot of branches within, rather than a standard dating sim experience. The game expects you to fail a lot (love is tough after all) but in doing so, you can also unlock new items to buy next time in the shop, along with collectibles for the in-game gallery. It’s sort of light rogue-lite element that greatly increases replayability and experimentation to see all the secret endings. There is also a multiplayer mode that can be played either local or online, adding not only variety and co-op rejection, but also quick and fun challenges that happen in between school days.
It didn’t take long for me to start getting interested in the characters, the small stories in the school and everything that surrounds the game’s aesthetic, mixing a rockabilly style and soundtrack that blend perfectly. Monster Prom might not be an overly complex game, but seeing everything it has to offer might take a while. At the end of the day, it was the mature and smart humor what got me every single time, and an element that stood with me even long after I had finished run.
A copy of Monster Prom for Steam was provided by Future Friends Games on behalf of the studio. Make sure to visit the game’s official site for more information.