A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Monster Prom is a visual novel/dating sim available for download on Windows, Mac, and Linux-based computers. Players try to impress one of many Spooky High students to convince the student to be their prom date. While no graphic content is shown, the game still has plenty of adult content (mostly presented in a humorous, tongue-in-cheek manner). There are lots of jokes about and references to sexual activity, positions, and risqué photos. There's also heavy promotion, purchasing, and use of drugs throughout, as well as mentions of mutilations and sacrifices (although the violence isn't ever shown). There's a hefty and frequent dose of strong profanity, including "f--k," "s--t," and more.
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What's it about?
The teens in MONSTER PROM aren't your usual kids trying to grow up. The student body of Spooky High is entirely monsters (who, conveniently, are all of legal age). With the prom just a few weeks away, you'll need to practice all your best pickup lines (and maybe a few blood rituals) if you're going to have any hope of finding yourself a date to the big dance. Time is short, so you'll need to make the most of it by appealing to the object of your desire the best way you see fit, whether that's building a criminal empire, getting wasted at the party to end all parties, or scoring some time with a cute monster slayer skulking about in the shadows. But watch out, because you might not be the only one "staking" your claim to that vampire's heart. Up to four players can compete against each other in online or offline play. Will your prom night be one they'll read about in the Necronomicon for ages to come? Or will your love life wind up deader than most of the Spooky High student body?
Is it any good?
While this mature high school dating simulator can be amusing at times, its repetitive play and limited interaction won't keep you coming back unless you play with friends. The characters of Monster Prom know that it can be scary enough to navigate the horrors of social cliques in a normal high school, but when that high school is home to actual horrors? That's when things can get downright bloody; then again, these monsters wouldn't have it any other way. The game is more of a visual novel than anything, so you're basically just picking where the next chapter of the story will take place to boost some stats, choosing dialogue options, and hoping for the best. While there are many branching paths, things get repetitive quickly. There's encouragement to find special events and secret endings, but it's hard not to feel like you've done almost everything after a few sessions.
Monster Prom gets a bit more interesting if you play with others either online or offline. What makes this more fun is that you never know who other players are trying to court for the prom. You could wind up with everyone scoring a prom date, no one having a date, or having your date swiped out from under you. The only difference between the single and multiplayer games is the occasional party game challenge to determine who gets to make the first choice in that round. While that doesn't impact the main gameplay much, it does add an extra layer of competition. One of the major make-or-break features in Monster Prom is its sense of humor. The game has a self-aware, mature, almost vulgar tongue-in-cheek tone. Sex, drugs, murder, and more are just as normal to talk about here as pop quizzes, studies, and other high school drama. Despite the game's look, its content is definitely not suited for kids ... a point Monster Prom even randomly references more than once. It's a warped and twisted bit of fun comedy, but it's also not going to be everyone's cup of tea (or cocaine-powdered doughnut).
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about drug use. Monster Prom features both the use and purchasing of drugs for illegal means. Does this glorify crime or drug use?
Talk about dating. What would be the right way to go about trying to build a relationship? Do you think it should involve embarrassing the person you're interested in or drugging them to get what you want?
Talk about social activities and relationships in school. What are some of the positive and negative things that kids can encounter in schools? How should kids handle some of the negative issues?
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