May 29, 2019

Monster Prom - Game Review

While browsing Steam game suggestions, I happened upon something called Monster Prom. Monsters? Sure ok! Prom? Um...I guess?

Love interests
Monster Prom falls under the "dating sim" or "visual novel" style of game. And while that's not my usual thing, the fact that it features monsters and some fun cartoony art sold me on it.

Monster Prom allows you and up to 3 friends to walk the halls of Spooky High to try and woo a date for the prom. You start by selecting one of the four students, giving them a name and choosing your gender pronoun. You're not locked into gender roles here, monsters just love other monsters! You then answer a few questions that determine your initial stats like Smarts, Fun, and Charm. The only difference between the player characters is their looks so there's no reason to play one over another aside from personal preference.

You then click around the school having crazy experiences that can boost/drop your stat levels. You'll also encounter other students in pairs and it's up to you to settle what's going on with them, usually helping out your intended prom date.

Each "week" is broken into three stages: Morning, Lunch, and Evening. Morning and Evening let you pick where you want to visit on the map that turn. Lunch brings you to the cafeteria where the love interests are paired up at different tables so you can choose who you want to interact with.

The game is presented with no instructions so you may feel it's just a Choose Your Own Adventure type dating game. Not so! Your scores matter. The love interests will only go to prom with you if you meet minimum scores in specific stats. I played through a few times to get a feel for things. But of course, there is a Wiki if you want to peek behind the scenes.

You'll have the chance to buy weird items that will either change your stat scores or open up new story content if it's flagged as "event." Just be careful, you don't know how an item will change your stats before you buy it!

If you play you're cards right, your crush might go to prom with you! Or you may face crippling rejection. Either way, there's a fun little epilogue where you get to see what some of the students are up to post-school.

In the base game alone, there are 1472 possible outcomes! It's a lot of replay value but the more you play, you will see the same events again and know how best to handle them to drive towards your desired outcome.

The art style is cute but the dialog and writing would most definitely get this game an R rating for profanity and not-so-kid friendly subject matter. The humor is funny and occasionally crude but it gives this game its own vibe. Each of the love interests has their own quirky personality and you'll quickly figure out what they like to get on their good side.

I'm having a lot of fun with Monster Prom exploring the wacky stories and experimenting with playing characters in different ways. I can only imagine how crazy it would be with multiple people playing at the same time, especially if you're going after the same person!

This Valentine's Day saw the first DLC pack, Monster Prom: Second Term, release with 2 new love interests and plenty more events and secret endings. And if that's not enough monster antics, they're currently doing a Kickstarter for the sequel, Monster Prom 2: Holiday Season. This one sounds like a lot of fun too as it will have three mini-stories to pick from: Camp, Winter Retreat, and Roadtrip.
They are crushing the $36k goal as they close in on $400k!

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