Hit the Road in Beautiful Glitch’s Monster Prom 3: Monster Roadtrip
On October 21st, 2022, Barcelona-based developer and publisher Beautiful Glitch released the long-awaited third game in their Monster Prom franchise, Monster Prom 3: Monster Roadtrip. Monster Roadtrip is classified as a survival strategy visual novel, with elements of comedy and romance. This survival strategy angle is a first-time for the series, with Monster Prom and Monster Prom 2: Monster Camp focusing more on the dating sim aspect. As a big fan of the Monster Prom games, I’ve been very excited to play Monster Roadtrip and check out for myself how Beautiful Glitch has decided to continue the series with this third installment.
I would equate the play style of this game to a party board game kind of vibe, with the player being given two options for every stop along the way, and a rest stop (for opportunities to build conversations with characters or trade resources) every four turns. The goal of this game is to collect 25 of any resource to unlock one of six special destinations.
There are three types of play styles to choose from (not including Friend Hugger if you’re only playing a single-player run), which are Friend Hugger: “Play with your friends without anyone ending up with a Failure or an MVP ending. No pressure!”, Road Tripper: “The true survival co-op experience, including a player performance ranking at the end!”, and Prank Master: “Add some cutthroat mechanics to decide who’s the MVP! (Beautiful Glitch declines responsibility for broken relationships.)”
There are also Easy, Normal, or Hard difficulty settings, which determine how generous your initial resources will start off as, and overall make the road trip experience more or less challenging. This game supports up to four players for a multiplayer experience, or you can play with friends remotely using Online mode (if you and one or more friends own a copy of Monster Roadtrip).
You have the option of playing as one of four default playable characters (with customizable names and pronouns as well): Vicky Schmidt (a Frankenstein’s monster), Brian Yu (a zombie and my preferred character during my playthroughs), Amira Rashid (a fire djinn), and Oz (the personification of fear). There are also four more DLC playable characters at the moment, with the potential of more to be released later on.
One of the best parts about this game (and this series) is the LGBT representation, with the ability to choose between she/her, he/him, or they/them pronouns for your playable character. As a member of the LGBT community and an indie gamer, there are few video games that offer so much freedom in terms of how you can identify your playable character, and I often feel disappointed when I’m playing a dating sim and I can’t choose they/them pronouns or pursue a queer romance. In this way, the Monster Prom series has raised my expectations.
I went into Monster Roadtrip not knowing too much about it, and I was surprised by the new mechanics they introduced in this game, but I was certainly not disappointed at all. In fact, I think it was the best decision that Beautiful Glitch could have made. Having the same set-up for this game as the previous two would have been pretty boring. I love the direction that Beautiful Glitch has chosen, and so do other fans. On Steam, Monster Roadtrip currently has 1,653 reviews, with 99% of those reviews being rated as ‘Overwhelmingly Positive’. The reviews are pretty funny, so I suggest giving them a read!
If you’re looking for a game with a cohesive plot, Monster Roadtrip is not the game for you. This game is purely about having fun, whether it be in single-player or multiplayer mode. While it’s not required to play the first two games to understand Monster Roadtrip, I do recommend playing them to at least get an idea of the characters that you’ll meet along the way in this new installment. The Monster Prom games are known for their whimsical and nonsensical content, with scenarios ranging from getting a post-apocalyptic makeover in a Mad Max: Fury Road parody, to a choice of which puppet show to perform for Scott to dissuade him from cult-like activities.
Monster Roadtrip is bright, whacky, and tons of fun. I found myself smiling and laughing at every insane scene that I played through, and as someone that checks every nook and cranny when playing video games, Monster Roadtrip was way more relaxing. While playing the previous games, my roommate and I would agonize over every decision that needed to be made and hunker over wiki pages to find the right walkthrough to get the best or secret ending with our chosen romantic interests. It was stressful. Monster Roadtrip is more about the experience and the journey than the end goal of romance or the choices you make to please other characters.
Beautiful Glitch has stated that the Monster Prom games use “mature language in a humorous way,” which is a pretty good explanation of the game’s humor. Although Monster Roadtrip has the option for the player to receive trigger warnings should the dialogue veer in the extreme (the previous games have the option for you to turn off mature dialogue completely), I would definitely not recommend this game (or this series) to anyone under 18 and anyone that may be averse to topics such as drugs and sexual themes (though nothing explicit is ever shown). Despite the franchise name ‘Monster Prom’, all characters are canonically adults and range from ages 19 and up. These games, including Monster Roadtrip, are all rated M for Mature.
Monster Prom 3: Monster Roadtrip is available now on Steam for Windows, macOS, and SteamOS + Linux as either a free demo, the full game for $11.99, or two bundles of either the complete Monster Prom series or Monster Roadtrip the game and the DLC playable characters.
Beautiful Glitch is also currently developing the fourth Monster Prom game at the moment, but as of yet no details have been released regarding it.