How the Competitive Dating Sim ‘Monster Prom’ Broke My Heart
“You’re asking me to go to prom with you? Have you seen yourself in a mirror? Your face is a crime against humanity.” Wow, I can’t believe the writers over at Beautiful Glitch interviewed my high school crush when writing their script for Monster Prom. Available now on Steam, Monster Prom is a fresh take on the dating sim genre, allowing players to play by themselves or with up to 3 friends to compete for which ghoul, goblin, or ghost to take to prom.
Filled with over 1000 situations, throughout the time spent with Monster Prom players will have several opportunities to woo (or in my case disappoint) one of the game’s 6 love interests. Aside from the over-the-top humorous script, and loveable and distinct cast, what makes this game truly special is the ability to compete with friends for the affection of your sweetheart. Despite prom being mentioned in the game, and the narrator emphasizing that you’re all high school students, the monsters are all aged between 19 to 4xx years old. Making the game accessible to those usually crept out by the typical high school setting of dating sims.
Heads up: From here on I’m going to be sharing my experience of a failed relationship on one of the many dating paths in Monster Prom.
When you start the game you first get to select your avatar from a pool of four characters including a peppy rendition of Frankenstein’s monster and a strange shadow like creature who looks to be the president of the Michael Cera fan-club. The next step was my introduction to my potential prom dates. The first to catch my eye was the tank-top flaunting apparition, Polly Geist. I mean, for the name alone, the party-loving ghost who’s described as having an “insatiable hunger for all the wrong things,” became instant bae. After introductions, next players get to choose the stats for their characters. This was something that I found myself overly appreciative of. Rather than simply adding and subtracting points from your charm or smarts, stats are allocated based on a personality quiz, like what would be found in a Cosmopolitan magazine. Not only did this catch my eye as an interesting way of handling stats, but it was the first moment where the raunchy humor started to shine through and prepare me for what to expect. Unfortunately, at the end of my quiz, my fun stat was only a 3, and I knew I wouldn’t be able to keep up with Polly’s party lifestyle. And if Emily is Away Too taught me anything, I know I should be true to myself when courting 2D avatars.
The main interface of the game is a simple, overhead look of the school’s campus, with the addition of a list of accessible areas along the left of the screen. On my first day of class, I decided to cut (earning me +2 Boldness) for the day and hang out in the bathroom, where I was introduced to Vera and Scott. Vera was a somewhat snobby, business mogul, Gorgon. While Scott was a hairy, dumb-jock, werewolf who leaned heavy into all the stereotypes. After our introductions, it was time for lunch. Lunch is presented in a comparable way as the main map, however, floating heads are added onto the cafeteria layout to denote where everyone is sitting. Noticing that Scott and Vera were sitting at a table with one another, and at this point they were the only monsters I knew, I decided to join them. I moseyed over and popped a squat next to my snake-haired-bougie-queen, and noticed she was drinking scotch, a gorgon after my own heart, I was quickly getting over my loss of Polly.
Apparently, in this monster high school, age and most laws don’t seem to matter. Making Vera drinking scotch a non-issue, or at least it should have been if Scott wasn’t such a dummy. After a long attempt at trying to explain to Scott that Vera was drinking a beverage named Scotch, and not Scott’s drink. Frustrated by the conversation unfolding, I convinced Scott that it was in fact opposite day, so everything that’s Scott’s is Vera’s. We didn’t stop at just the drink though, we convinced the werewolf to give us his wallet and all his money too. Then proceeded to “definitely NOT spend it on cocaine,” while earning me some favor with Vera. Humorous moments like this are spread thickly throughout the game, and despite being initially alarming, work well in the story never failing to conjure at least a smile on my face.
With my budding Bonnie and Clyde relationship off to a fantastic start, I was unsure if I was ready to commit, still slightly recovering from my non-starter of a relationship with Polly. Then one day after theatre class it all changed. “How would one of you ladies like to go on a date tonight with the hottest dogs ever to not be a literal hotdog?” I’m still debating on how I feel about that line, but that’s how it started when the perpetual shoulder pad wearing character approached Vera and Miranda proposing a date. Seeing that this guy is clearly not getting the hint, Vera and I team up yet again to put another dogboy in his place. We ended up scaring him off by convincing him that Vera has sssssssyphilisssssssssssss. Get it? Because she has snakes, and they hiss– I audibly laughed at this, and I’m not even sorry. After this, I was pretty much set on taking Vera to prom. If this were real life, I would be changing my AIM bio to lyrics from her favorite band, she would be number 3 on my Myspace top 8, anything to make sure she noticed me. I guess I didn’t learn anything from Emily is Away Too after all.
After attending a party one night, I was notified that I had been poisoned. A poison which the narrator informed me only Vera has the antidote to, and is her Tsundere way of saying let’s hang out. Oh, we’re in there. More than just hanging out, Vera took this as an opportunity to confide in me about her new start-up, Murdr. Think Uber, but assassinations. Turns out I’m not the best at advising aspiring mob bosses and our relationship began to wane. After suggesting that Vera should temporarily leave the life of crime to make the other bosses understand how much they needed her, I earned myself a “not so charming reaction” and lost 2 of the points that I had earned for charm and 1 for fun. Sadly, the decline of our relationship didn’t stop there either. When Vera began her campaign for prom queen, being unfamiliar with the seedy world of blood rituals. I made the silly mistake of summoning a blood coven for advice on how to use blood magic to sway the opinions of my classmates. But the coven wasn’t too appreciative of being summoned for such a frivolous reason, and Vera was very displeased with my “sorry ass,” leaving me with -2 smarts, -1 charms, and a shattered heart. Prom is nearly here and messing everything up, I thought games were supposed to be an escape from reality.
In the end, I was never able to recover from my mistakes in courting the self-proclaimed “bad bitch” Vera. regardless of my continuous failures, I still thoroughly enjoyed the time I spent with Monster Prom, and all of this was from just one of the several potential endings while fully focusing on one of the six love interests. Monster Prom is playable in two modes, each expected to last either 30 or 60 minutes. This short playtime in conjunct with the charming cast and laugh-out-loud humor makes Monster Hunter a game I believe can be played repeatedly. This isn’t even mentioning how much the experience will change, fighting over the same monster with a friend in the competitive mode. Even if dating sims are usually not your jam, I think Monster Prom is an experience that can be easily enjoyed by anyone!
Monster Prom is available now on Steam for just $10.79!