Review of "Till Death Makes a Monk-Fish Out of Me!"

Till Death Makes a Monk-Fish Out of Me! is a TADS 2 interactive fiction game and is © 2002 by Jon Ingold and Mike Sousa. At the 2002 XYZZY Awards, it was a finalist in the Best Game, Best Individual Puzzle, Best Story, and Best Writing categories.

Review by David Welbourn

This one starts out with a scientist (you) in a cylinder—didn't we just do that with Unraveling God?—and, of course, something goes wrong. You are definitely not where you're supposed to be, and your current circumstances are less than ideal, to say the least.

What's wonderful about this game is how skillfully the story leads you into participating in some unlikely series of actions. I was goggle-eyed at one sequence which had me zooming toward a locked door (that I couldn't open earlier) with danger racing at me close behind. The cool thing was, I now had the tool that could get me through the door, because that very same tool was responsible for getting me in danger in the first place! Wow.

It's a tricky game, too. Your inventory will contain a few unusual tools and you'll change bodies a few times before you're done. Sometimes it's too tricky. I had verb trouble for one of my tools. Even though I knew how to use it, I didn't know which verb the game expected for it. And there's a brilliant language puzzle that unfortunately requires you do to an unusual action to solve it, and as far as I can tell, the only clue for it was in a cutscene that happened much earlier.

Rating: 8.

✍️🏻 See my handwritten notes.