I love dating sims. There is something about creating a persona, learning characters, and trying your hardest to progress towards the character you care about most. This game-type takes on new meaning in 2020 where COVID-19 lockdowns have limited social interaction. While RPGs allow you the space to learn to interact in an artificial environment there is something in romance-focused games that cause a different level of connection to the characters. That’s what makes Monster Prom 2: Monster Camp, developed and published by Beautiful Glitch, a special game to play right now. While part of the equation is thirst for hot monsters, the other is the ability to play through a story where you make decisions and learn to interact with a host of characters embodying different personalities.
Monster Camp is described as a “maturely immature dating sim.” With both multiplayer and single-player modes, you can play solo or competitively with up to four players in online and local multiplayer, as well as Steam Remote Play Together. In the game, you choose where to spend your time around the camp by day, meet new characters, take part in wholesome camp activities, settle childish arguments and rivalries, and more. But, the ultimate goal is to land yourself a date for the meteor shower. When the day is done you get to gather around the new campfire system, where everyone comes together to decide who to sit with and who to gossip about.
Now, if you never played the first game, Monster Prom, there is no need to worry. While this is a direct sequel that takes into account story elements from the past game, there is an option in the “customize game” section to turn off references to Monster Prom. If you choose this, you don’t miss out on anything! In fact, the story runs just as smoothly, and if you leave it on as a former player, it just improves an already fun narrative.
Additionally, Monster Camp allows you to turn off various kinds of elements in the game. In the “customize game” section, there is a listed “trigger warning” section. There you can choose to allow or block: Drugs, Toilet Humor (which has events that go “a bit too hard on bodily fluids”), Too Graphic (depictions of sex or violence), and Horrible People (hateful people or those who ignore boundaries). As an added bonus, you get the chance to decide if you want the Damien Bee Costume to be “sexy” or “super sexy.”
This allows you to tailor your monster-wooing experience to something that you are completely comfortable with instead of putting players in situations that may make them cringe or wince a bit. This isn’t to say that the game has any problematic concepts, but it does show an understanding from the development team that different people have different humor tastes or even the ages of the players themselves.
Now, while the mechanics of the game are fun, they’re pretty standard for dating sims. That said, Monster Camp’s art is what sets it apart. With creative “monsters” that are demons, reapers, sentient robots, witches, and more, the team at Beautiful Glitch has a done a great job of being creative with fantasy while also providing players with a diversity of romance options. This ranges from different kinds of pairings, to the fact that there is a wide range of body types represented in the romance options. Additionally, as a player, you get to choose from four characters to play and at the same time, you also get to choose the pronouns that each playable character uses as well.
My only complaint is that there isn’t much variation on masculine body-types, with each of the presenting characters having a standard lean figure. Since there is much variation for femme presenting monsters, it would have been nice to see the same body diversity for the masculine ones.
That said, the humor and situations you find yourself in throughout Monster Camp are also worthy of note. With the ability to choose between a 30-minute or 60-minute game, you work through different situations and encounters that are informed by horror tropes, rom-com archetypes, and ultimately deliver a level of immersion and humor that is sure to land with any player. While I don’t want to give away any spoilers, the ability to replay the story multiple times with some randomly generated moments, each playthrough will be different. This allows you to romance everyone you want while also being surprised along the way as you make different choices of who to sit next to or even what you put in your backpack at the start of the game.
Overall, Monster Camp is an accessible and fun dating sim that allows each player to create an experience that works for them while also providing a story and cast of characters that will pull anyone in. Monster Prom was a phenomenal dating adventure and Monster Camp hits that high benchmark as well. With games lasting 30 – 60 minutes, this is the perfect game to jump into and out of as your time permits.
Monster Prom 2: Monster Camp is available now on PC.
Monster Prom 2: Monster Camp
Monster Camp is an accessible and fun dating sim that allows each player to create an experience that works for them while also providing a story and cast of characters that will pull anyone in. Monster Prom was a phenomenal dating adventure and Monster Camp hits that high benchmark as well.