Monster Prom: XXL review for Nintendo Switch, PS4, Xbox One

Platform: Nintendo Switch
Also on: PS4, Xbox One
Publisher: Those Awesome Guys
Developer: Beautiful Glitch
Medium: Digital
Players: 1-4
Online: Yes

I think your enjoyment of Monster Prom: XXL will depend entirely on the context in which you?re playing it. I mean, that?s obviously true for most games, but it seems especially appropriate in this case.

If you play Monster Prom: XXL as a party game with a couple of friends, it?s probably a blast. It?s kind of like what I imagine a dating sim filtered through Cards Against Humanity might look, with every single interaction you have trying to both shock you and make you laugh with an overabundance of sex, swearing, violence and drugs. Obviously, that?s not for everyone, but if you — and more importantly, the group of friends with whom you?re playing the game — are a fan of the outrageous, this should do the trick.

Unfortunately, as you can probably tell by the way that last paragraph was phrased, I didn?t play Monster Prom: XXL with anyone. I played it solo, where the game?s charms get old much, much faster. It?s still kind of funny the first couple of times you play it, but by your third or fourth playthrough you quickly realize that even if the endings change depending on which monster you play as and which monster you?re trying to woo, the path doesn?t vary all that much. There?s always a rave in the field, and a dodgeball game in the gym, and studying in the classroom, and debates at the cafeteria tables. Given that you can?t skip through most of the game beyond the first couple of scenes, that inevitably means seeing the same scenes over, and over, and over again. None of it gets funnier the more you see it.

Mind you, it?s worth noting that Monster Prom: XXL includes both a base game and the Second Term DLC, and the DLC pack is much more enjoyable than the base game. It?s more or less the same game — you?re still playing as one of four monsters, and you?re still playing through three weeks of classes and extracurricular activities as you try and woo one special monster to be your prom date — but with a few key differences. There are more monsters to woo, for starters, and the game seems a little more predictable in how choices will play out.

That latter change makes a massive difference. The core Monster Prom game seems to be built on randomness. One time I had a monster telling my character how much it loved me in one scene, only for them to completely reject my prom invite in literally the very next turn. By contrast, in the DLC, it felt like the game makes more of an effort to tell you which monsters are into you, which makes the game flow much more smoothly and logically.

Not that this game is all that logical. We?re not talking about your standard dating sim, but rather one where you have to settle debates monsters who?ve locked a fairy in a cage and need to know what to do (I picked kidnap another fairy to give the first one a friend), or who need suggestions on where to get more pudding (rob the pudding factory, duh), or who want to tell a robot how to woo a vending machine (be forward, obviously). The difference between the base game and the DLC is that none of what you do seems to matter in the former, but in the DLC other monsters seem to remember your decisions, which makes a world of difference.

That said, I wouldn?t say it?s enough to make Monster Prom: XXL worthwhile if you?re going to play solo — it?s still a party game through and through. But if you?ve got a group of not-easily-offended friends together and you?re looking for something a little different, it?ll definitely do the trick.

Those Awesome Guys provided us with a Monster Prom: XXL Switch code for review purposes.

Grade: B-