"It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to."
Tux and Fanny would have done well to heed these words. When they go to play, this duo are disappointed to find their football has deflated and their search for a pump soon spirals off into increasingly surprising and diverting adventures.
You can switch between Tux and Fanny at any time as well as a cat and a flea who are having their own adventure. The cat is prowling around at nighttime in contrast to Tux and Fanny's daytime antics. There's a protracted quest to uncover evidence of the cat's existence which of course you go out of your way to create that evidence while playing as the cat.
The flea's location remains a mystery for some time and has a surprisingly moving storyline. There are many moments of unexpected depth of feeling from quite ludicrous situations throughout the game. For all its outward appearance of silliness there is real emotional maturity underpinning much of Tux and Fanny.
While I can understand people might be initially put off by the BBC Micro style graphics, they do hold quite a lot of charm and they are far from the only style. There's claymation, live-action, watercolours, all sorts of art styles. In their house Tux and Fanny have a large collection of books that vary dramatically from each other, there's even a complete edition of Moby Dick if you want to read through that.
As you go along you'll also pick up various games on disks. Again, variety is the spice of life with these and getting high scores will often result in getting important items for your adventure. On top of that you'll get badges commemorating your achievements which all appear on a corkboard in your house. On top of this, there are birds, plants, insects and even cloud shapes to find and catalogue.
Tux and Fanny made me laugh out loud on several occasions, what happens immediately after giving a horse a worm in particular. Some parts of the game reminded me of 'Everything' where you'd find a tree thinking existential thoughts. It's that joy of discovering unexpected depth in the most unlikely of places.
Even after inflating the ball and finishing the game I have a lot more I can do. The game keeps a running total of your achievements in the corner as a score. There are things I've yet to do in the dark woods, there's a snowy slope I've not been up yet. But I am eager to dive back in. To spend more time with Tux and Fanny's friendship and their delightfully weird world that revels in the simple things and finds meaning in the ridiculous.