New Game Review

Review – Monster Prom (PC)

A ghoulish dating sim with jokes as fresh as a zombie's breath.

Nearly everyone can remember the angst they felt before going to their high school prom. From the pressure you felt trying to ask out the person of your dreams (or even just someone with a pulse), to scouring the shops for your perfect outfit, it all served to create one of the most memorable times of your life. Monster Prom tries to recreate this experience, but with a ghoulish twist and a less than memorable way.

Monster Prom is set in Spooky High, where you can choose one of six classmates to try and convince to go to the prom with you. There’s the upper class mermaid, the stupid jock werewolf, the hot headed demon, the nerdy vampire, the business savvy gorgon, and the drugged out poltergeist. Don’t they sound like a bunch of winners? You can pick between four different preset characters to play as, including a zombie and a Frankenstein-styled monster (though aren’t they really sort of the same thing?).

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Quite the motley crew.

Monster Prom is set over a course of three weeks, separated into several time periods each week in which you can interact with your friends and potential prom date. There’s a variety of locations you can venture to, such as the classroom, cafeteria, gymnasium, library, auditorium, and fields. Each character is more likely to hang out in a few of these locations versus others and they’ll behave differently if it’s in a location they prefer or dislike. There’s also a moving store that you can purchase unique items from to unlock certain character options that would otherwise be unavailable to you. Too bad a great game isn’t one of the things you can purchase from this shop.

The characters in Monster Prom are pretty one-dimensional. You’ll typical gain a pretty good idea of their personality and therefore the dialogue options you should choose in order to gain their favor. At least that’s what you would think. Monster Prom is extremely unpredictable in regards to which options you should choose to woo your desired creature. Some seem to prefer over-the-top destruction and mayhem and normally warrant responses that coincide with that personality, until the random times that’s the exact wrong reaction for some unknown reason. This game definitely doesn’t hold your hand, but it does little to explain the inner working of these monsters on a personal level (yeah, I know I’m reading way too much into this simple game). I would’ve liked to have seen more rhyme or reason to these characters than just a simple crap shoot of dialogue options.

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Didn’t care about impressing the cool kids back then and I certainly don’t now.

The art style is cartoonish, but serves it purpose well for the type of game it is. Who really needs groundbreaking realistic graphics from a high school monster dating sim? Monster Prom is stylized like a graphic novel of sorts and shows wacky character designs and a wide color pallet. It fits the feel of the game without trying too hard (or very much at all for that matter).

The sound design in Monster Prom is mediocre at best. The score is limited and far too repetitive. It’s basically just the same thumping background music with random character sounds thrown in from time to time. There’s no really dialogue spoken, just sounds of surprise, growls of anger, and condescending laughter, none of which is done very well.

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About as much of a painful experience as my own prom.

Monster Prom could have actually been a weird but fun game given its premise, but instead fell flat in many ways. The characters are not fleshed out (once again, I know this isn’t deep piece worthy of Mary Shelley or Bram Stoker, but I’d still like to see some sort of character development, or at least consistency). The settings quickly become boring since you’re just revisiting the same few places over and over. Not to mention, with all of the bloodthirsty monsters you’re dealing with, I’m shocked that none of the crazy things you hear mentioned are shown onscreen. Instead, you get to just stare at one of them making a doofy face as the text box tells you about the exciting stuff going on around you. I’d rather see something interesting than just reading about it. I guess you could say that Monster Prom has replayability since it does have multiple endings, but with each playthrough being seemingly nonsensical, who’d want to subject themselves to several hours of flat jokes with too forced punchlines and no pandemonium to witness?

 

Graphics: 7.0

A cartoony animated visual novel style with cutesie monster character designs.

Gameplay: 5.0

It’s a dating sim, so its point and click is, ahem, on point. No minigames or anything extra to give it more actual gameplay.

Sound: 4.0

The same background music over and over with terrible voice expressions.

Fun Factor: 5.0

Ever so slightly amusing for one or two playthroughs, but not much more than that.

Final Verdict: 5.5

Monster Prom is available now on Steam.

A copy of Monster Prom was provided by the publisher.

GameStop, Inc.

As an avid gamer from childhood, I've come to love and appreciate games from all genres and I work hard finding time to play all of them between work and my two children. Some of my favorite games are: The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Dragon Age: Origins, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Bioshock, Street Fighter 2 and Super Mario Land 2.

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