Epic adventures come in many forms these days, giving you an important choice to make. Do you go off to explore the Lands Between in Elden Ring? Perhaps embark upon a journey across the ravaged environments of Horizon Forbidden West? Or maybe a trip to Tux and Fanny’s garden to find a way to inflate a football? You might think the latter is a joke, but Tux and Fanny professes to be an epic point and click adventure. Seriously. Can it live up to its own hype?
Just one look is enough to convince you it probably doesn’t, but my advice is to not let the appearance of Tux and Fanny sway your judgement. I expected a mess of a game that must have slipped through the net, however I am glad to say I was wrong. So, so wrong.
Tux and Fanny started out life as a rather surreal animated web series created by Albert Birney, receiving a fair amount of praise. Then Ghost Time Games got involved to develop a point and click style game based on the titular characters partaking in their greatest quest to date. Controlling either Tux, Fanny, a cat, or a flea, you must do whatever is necessary to obtain the tools in order to inflate a football. Fortunately, there’s more to it than just that, otherwise Tux and Fanny would be the worst adventure since Indiana Jones’ last outing.
From the first moment you enter the pixelated world of Tux and Fanny, there’s a real sense of wonderment. Discovering what happens when you interact with regular household items has never been so enticing. That’s mainly due to the interesting nature of each interaction, which usually leads to either a silly bit of text dialogue or a new object for your inventory. The sheer volume of objects and things to interact with is impressive as well, especially as more of the surrounding area begins to open up.
Having a well stocked inventory is a tad overwhelming, but it cannot be avoided. There are tons of miniscule problems to overcome, with fairly logical solutions for the most part. This could be as simple as cutting a horse’s hair or fixing roof tiles back on a house. What’s interesting though are how many tasks are involved in a larger chain of events. For example, putting the kettle on to make a mug of camomile tea, which enables Tux or Fanny to have a nap. You’ll then be transported to this dreamworld, where the chosen character changes into what looks like a piece from the game Ludo, before then becoming a TV and eventually a shark. Seriously, it’s wild and this is all just to remember a single digit for a safe combination.
Despite seeming like a whole load of menial tasks, they’re just perfect in terms of always giving you something to get on with. Should you need a change of pace, then the varied mini-games that you can find and play at any point are ideal. Prepare yourself for a world of weirdness like no other though. Some of the standouts are Maggot Mayhem, which has you feasting on dead things and ensuring every fellow maggot gets fed; Agile Auto sees you avoiding bird droppings while in control of a car with legs; Reliable Robot – starring a protagonist you may recognise from Jettomero: Hero of the Universe – follows a very clumsy hero who does more harm than anything else; and Cool Cloud, about a cloud being super helpful with its precipitation.
I’m barely scratching the surface on the mini-games included, but rest assured there’s something for everyone thanks to also featuring such delights as a platformer, a match-3, and an alternative take on the classic Snake. Even without these, there’s still plenty to do as Tux and Fanny encourages you to explore, trying to spot creatures, flowers, and cloud shapes. If reading is of interest, a shelf full of bizarre short books – accompanied by a lengthy copy of Moby Dick – will be a great pastime. What you may experience as the quest nears its conclusion however, is that your next steps to make progress become less clear and it’s like hitting a brick wall at times, even with the in-game hints.
In terms of characterisation, it’s hard not to love the unorthodox main characters and those they come into contact with. The conversations and quips will surely bring a smile, if not a chuckle, for the pure randomness of them. But while I wish to give credit for the strangely endearing characters created in Tux and Fanny, I can’t say the same for the overall visuals and the universe itself. The almost child-like drawings that make up the world do the game no favours whatsoever in enticing potential suitors, and the mostly bland environments do nothing for those folks who do take the plunge.
Ultimately though, Tux and Fanny is an experience like no other; it’s utterly bizarre, completely bonkers, and genuinely funny. Best of all, behind the madness is a functional and well thought-out point and click adventure to hold things together for at least a few hours. It also helps to have a load of silly mini-games at its disposal which deliver interesting concepts; they seldom outstay their welcome. Aside from the visuals, the only obvious downside is how easy it is to miss something, get stuck and end up wandering aimlessly for a while.
The main takeaway here is that you shouldn’t judge Tux and Fanny as a terrible looking game that’s not worth your time. It actually deserves a chance, because only by playing it will you truly understand the wonderfully imaginative adventure it provides.
Go on an adventure with Tux and Fanny for Xbox Series X|S and Xbox One via the Xbox Store