Ah, the days of being young, awkward, and looking for love. We all make dumb, awkward choices that will be fond memories—or haunt us for the rest of our lives. Monster Prom 2: Monster Camp is all about making those decisions. Except you’re monsters.
Monster Prom 2: Monster Camp is a dating sim where you play as a young monster trying to find love during a stay at camp. You have three weeks to explore the camp and woo your love. As you interact with the various spots around camp, you’ll have different encounters with many different situations and a variety of characters. Almost every encounter is laugh out loud funny, and they’re all absurd in hilariously creative and often unpredictable ways.
The gameplay of Monster Camp is simple, and mostly consists of text prompts. The outcomes of these text prompts are determined by a skill check—with your starting stats being determined by the items you pack on your way to camp. After an icebreaker, each camper is essentially assigned a romance option to pursue. And pursue them you do, in a series of absurd situations through the three weeks of camp.
Each of the weeks is divided into three sections: morning, evening, and night. Which is strange, but it makes sense in the context of a three week camp. During each of the morning and evening times you (and your friends, if you’re playing multiplayer) have a chance to visit one of the camp locations. You can only visit one and you revisit a location a friend has already visited. The location will give you a stat boost to a single stat—and then you’ll have an encounter with your crush. After a dialogue that sets up the situation, you’ll get a choice between two options—and this is where the stats come in. Choose the option that best fits your character’s abilities, because if you fail, you will actually be docked stats—making that run through that much harder. Monsters are fickle, but don’t let rejection get you down, since you have plenty of chances to win the love of your crush.
Night is where the gameplay changes the most, and even gets a bit strategic. In singleplayer it’s about sitting next to your crush, or even taking the opportunity to meet new people. In multiplayer, however, it’s like a game of campfire chess. Your goal, especially if you have a rival vying for the same romantic interest, is to try and sit next to your crush while your rival can’t. Your rival, however, can sometimes get the chance to spread gossip about you—lowering your stats. Following the campfire log jam, there’s a literal drinking game where you have to battle your friends for certain cocktails that lift or lower your stats—this is randomly determined if you’re using a controller, but it works a bit like musical chairs otherwise. You push your friends off of squares and hope to be on the square you want when the music ends.
Monster Prom 2: Monster Camp isn’t about winning or losing, but about the crazy adventures you’ll get in along the way. Its humor is irreverent yet respectful—something that is wholesome and admirable. And while it obviously has a very pro LGBTQ+ message, that message is part of its fiber rather than an accessory. You can be matched with romantic options of your character’s same sex or not—all is fair game in monster love. And whether male or female, each of the romance options is great. I found myself most often matching with Damien—someone has to tame that fiery jerk.
If you aren’t a fan of some of the humor used in Monster Camp, you can determine what types you’ll encounter in the settings. You can filter out undesired events like drugs, toilet humor, content that is too graphic, or can even filter out people acting horribly. Just because they’re monsters, doesn’t mean they have to act like monsters, though it can be more fun if they do. And while some of the humor is certainly skirting the line of “edgy” it never crosses into disrespectful, and even manages to be inclusive and poignant.
Monster Camp is also gorgeous. The art is vibrant and crisp—and there’s a glut of it. There are so many characters and situations that I haven’t even seen most of them through my half dozen or so playthroughs. Nothing is a throw-away either—if you make reference to a monstrous creature made of multiple Damiens, that’s exactly what you’ll end up seeing, drawn in horrible (but lovely) detail.
Rarely do games make me laugh out loud, but Monster Prom 2: Monster Camp did so effortlessly. I really had a hard time wanting to move on to other projects—each playthrough is short enough to entice you to just do one more playthrough quickly. It’s even more fun with friends as you awkwardly navigate the world of monster dating with them. Monster Camp is nearly perfect, and one of the best examples of its genre.
Monster Prom 2: Monster Camp is available now for PC via Steam.
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