Slap That Fish

by Peter Nepstad profile


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Number of Ratings: 29
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- Sobol (Russia), September 15, 2022

- Kinetic Mouse Car, August 17, 2022

- Edo, September 30, 2021

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful:
Slow start leading to surprisingly fun game; easy to beat, hard to master, February 3, 2016

In this game, you slap about 10 fish to death in order to survive and to avenge.

I thought Slap That Fish was boring at first, but by the fourth or fifth fight, the game started getting really fun. It turns out that just slapping is not optimal; it'll get you through the first few fights, but there are other methods that can sometimes even end a fight in one hit.

The later fights require inventive items and difficult items.

I had no shame using the walkthrough when I got stuck on the shark, because the puzzles were a little obscure, and the walkthrough will NOT give you the best score. You have to be creative to get a perfect score.

I managed to get a perfect score on the first 3 fish the second time around, but I don't know how to perfectly defeat the catfish or the tuna.

- Sdn (UK), April 13, 2014

- Floating Info, December 3, 2013

- Katrisa (Houston), September 14, 2013

- DJ (Olalla, Washington), May 9, 2013

- amciek (Opole), December 22, 2012

- Andrew Schultz (Chicago), May 14, 2012

- Sam Kabo Ashwell (Seattle), April 17, 2012

- Nusco (Bologna, Italy), September 11, 2010

- Justin Morgan, August 8, 2010

- omenofdoom, March 7, 2010

- Lea, January 16, 2010

- C.E.J. Pacian (England), November 11, 2009

Slap That Fish is a puzzle RPG. It can be played the brute-force way (and most players are likely to do this -- I know I did), but there is a challenge in defeating each fish quickly and with a minimum of combat. It requires figuring out a certain attack combo (necessary in several of the fights), optimizing your moves, using “extra” turns (some fish can still give a full 20 points even if you “waste” a couple of turns) to preemptively rest for the next battle, and more. What seemed haphazard and poorly conceived on the first play-through seems incredibly clever on a second.

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The Stack

The gameplay is actually deeper than it seems at first glance. You don’t just type “attack fish” over and over again. There are multiple attacks: punch, kick, slap, and backhand, all usually but not always equivalent. And the fish are more like videogame boss monsters than generic RPG mobs: with the exception of the first one, they all have gimmicks. Some of the fish require puzzle-solving. Even when puzzle-solving isn’t required, it’s often the key to trouncing the fish quickly.

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Jörgs Wort[be]reich
Rezension zum IF-Comp 2007 (German)

Du verprügelst Fische.

Zugegeben, ich habe es nicht durchgespielt, daher kann ich nicht mit Sicherheit sagen, ob das Spiel nicht genial und tiefgründig endet. Aber das, was sich während des fünfzehnminütigen Spielens darbot, hat mich nicht motiviert, mehr herauszufinden. ...

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- Shigosei, February 8, 2009

- lobespear, April 23, 2008

- Tom Hudson (Durham, North Carolina), April 23, 2008

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful:
Crazy game needs a bit more polish, March 19, 2008
by Victor Gijsbers (The Netherlands)
Related reviews: Combat, IF Comp 2007

If there ever was a game with an original premise, Slap that Fish is that game. You are standing in an alley, and have to defeat, one-by-one, a bunch of malicious fish. If you fail, the fish will take over the city! If you succeed, you can finally avenge the death of your father, who fell in the fight against the fish.

The mechanics of the game are a mix of (non-random) combat involving hit points and several combat actions, and classic IF-puzzles. It turns out, however, that the combat is only another puzzle: since the optimal strategy changes from encounter to encounter and cannot be predicted in advance, this is not a tactical game. It is partly trial and error, partly solving puzzles, as you attempt to get the highest possible score for each of the twelve fish.

It is in the puzzles themselves that Slap that Fish has not been sufficiently tested and polished. Some of the puzzles are badly clued and rather obscure; and there are some errors as well, including TADS-warnings. This detracts from the gameplay in an otherwise very smooth game. I personally used a walkthrough for those parts of the game that I could not quickly solve on my own, and this added to my enjoyment.

In conclusion, Slap that Fish is not a brilliant game. With a bit more polish, it could be a good game. In its current state, it is still a fun game, well worth playing, though you might want to consult the walkthrough when you get stuck.

- Michael Martin (Mountain View, California), January 27, 2008

0 of 4 people found the following review helpful:
Slap it Now, December 17, 2007
by Dr.Froth (Houston)
Related reviews: if comp 2007, frothology, if comp

If this had been called "Spank the Elderly" or "Slap the Crap Out of My Ex-Wife" I think I would have been able to get into it more.

I mean, this is the guy who took care of the H.P. Lovecraft commonplace book stuff and has written some really great games. In fact, if you have not played any of Mr. Nepstad's games than you really should not let this one keep you from doing so.

As for fish slapping, weird as it may be, it just is not for me.


Hmm...some fish are angry with you over...over...something. They have climbed out of the sea or lake or tank or whatever and are now heading down the boulevard with murderous intent. You duck into an ally and prepare to kick ass.

Well folks...that is about it. What we have next is a "Street Fighter" type of text fighting game. (Perhaps I would have like it better if it were more like "Mortal Kombat."


Slap that Fish is coded very well. I did not encounter a single problem (outside of almost getting bored and quiting before the third fish). To be fair, there are some really neat ideas in here. You have to rest to rebuild your stamina (though I think the fish should get in some free shots while you do that). There is astrategy to getting in the best combination of attacks to efficiently take out the enemy.

Later on, things vary up some. You find some inventory items and the fish get a little tougher. All in all, this felt way to linear for me. Of course, if what Peter wanted to make was a fighting game (which he did) than that is probably what he wanted.


You know...Tads looks good. Always looks good.

Did I have fun?

Not really. I was never able to get into it... but than again I hate fighting games (with rare...rare exceptions. I liked Mortal Kombat, but not for the fighting engine... I just liked killing people).

Let me stress again my point from above. Peter Nepstad writes some great IF and if you have only played Slap that Fish than you are really missing out. You can't blame a guy for trying a little experiment now and then. You just have to remember that some experiments do not work out very well.

- Tyrog, December 14, 2007

- Neale Grant (Hove, England), December 6, 2007

- Juhana, November 26, 2007

- Benjamin Sokal (Elysium pod planting enclosure on Mars), November 16, 2007

- Wesley (Iowa City, Iowa), November 11, 2007

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful:
Didn't draw me in, October 21, 2007
by Tracy Poff (Hamlin, West Virginia, United States)
Related reviews: IF Competition 2007

Slap That Fish is an odd game, and I typically like odd games, but it failed to draw me in. Perhaps there was just not enough time to introduce me to the PC and the situation. Whatever the cause, though, I never really connected with the PC--never felt any of his emotions.

The fighting system was an interesting choice of vehicle for the puzzles, but I'm not sure that it turned out to be much good, in the end. At first there are no puzzles to solve, and in the end the puzzles are all that really matter--no clever combination of slaps and kicks will save you without the puzzle being solved.

It seems that the author intended to make the game replayable by basing your score on how efficient you were at fighting the fish, but I don't feel any particular desire to revisit this game to improve my score; perhaps this reflects my personality more than the game, though.

Ultimately, the game just seemed to take too long. There were a couple of good puzzles, but for the most part the solutions were pretty obvious. The final puzzle wasn't so much a puzzle as an extended sequence of following instructions, which didn't much appeal to me. Slap That Fish isn't really a bad game; it just isn't really a good game, either.

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful:
Smack!, October 20, 2007

This is a combat game about fighting fish.

The opening of the game is probably its weakest point: there’s not much information to ground the absurd set-up, and it’s also possible at first not to realize that you can do anything but PUNCH, SLAP, KICK, and BACKHAND the various fish. I went through a few rounds of that and found myself wondering whether there was more to the game than randomized combat. (It’s not really randomized, either, but I didn’t recognize that at the very outset.) So I came close to quitting, before I realized that there were both puzzles and a (slight) story in there; I just hadn’t really gotten to them yet.

Things pick up in the midgame, as new props become available to fight with, we learn a little more about the premise, and the fish start to fight back. The final fight ends with a fanfare and flourish that make the earlier fights seem more significant.

It’s still not what you would call a great game -- the game-play is too repetitive, and there is not enough feedback on puzzle solutions -- but it has a certain quirky charm.

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