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Till Death Makes a Monk-Fish Out Of Me!

From the Database of Home of the Underdogs

GAME DESIGNER:Mike Sousa & Jon Ingold

GAME DEVELOPER:Freeware

GAME PUBLISHER:Freeware

Copyright 2002, Mike Sousa & Jon Ingold

Second place winner in the 2002 Interactive Fiction competition, Till Death Makes a Monk-Fish Out of Me is a fun but confusing “black comedy” whose votes were perhaps inflated by the “star power” – Jon Ingold and Mike Sousa, two quite well-known authors in the IF community. As one might expect from these authors, the plot is original to say the least: waking up in a small drawer, you find yourself a presumed dead, left in a cold body room with plenty of other corpses to keep you company. Your goal, naturally, is to find out what the hell is going on.

Playing TDMAMFOOM is akin to reading a book written by your favorite author that is not as good as his/her previous works. You don’t find it very good, yet you reluctantly read on, because you suspect the author has something up his/her sleeve that will make the experience all worthwhile in the end. Fortunately, the authors of this game do have something up their sleeves – mostly by throwing one unique plot twist after another at you, some fairly challenging timed puzzles, and cracking black humor jokes. Unfortunately, unlike previous year’s entry No Time to Squeal, the ending is quite abrupt and leaves you no wiser at the end than you were at the beginning. To make matters worse, the characters are a far cry from the usually memorable characters in the authors’ previous works, and some puzzles’ clues are quite obscure.

Overall, I find TDMAMFOOM to be an interesting, well-coded, and quite entertaining game that starts out promisingly, but fizzles out in the end. The authors’ credentials kept me playing to the end, expecting some sort of a ‘big bang’ kind of ending that would provide full explanation of the weird plot – but that never arrives. So on the merit of the game itself, I don’t think TDMAMFOOM deserves the second place in the final results. But it is still an entertaining game that you will have fun with, especially if you enjoy black comedies or weird games in general. Just don’t expect a well-polished, ambitious game that Ingold’s My Angel was.



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