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Just Grandma & Me was the very first Living Books PC CD-Rom Game from 1992 based on the 1983 book of the same name by Mercer Mayer. It was originally released on a Macintosh CD-ROM and the Memorex Tandy Video Information System (VIS) console port in February 1992 and then on a Windows CD-ROM two months later that year.

Just Grandma and Me
Living Books - Titles-Just Grandma and Me.
Title card

Released

February 5, 1992 (Tandy VIS/Macintosh)
April 1992 (Windows)

Characters

Little Critter,
Grandma,
Spider,
Grasshopper (Version 2 Only)

Language

English

Pages

12

Next

Arthur's Teacher Trouble

StoryEdit

One sunny day, Little Critter and his grandmother went to the beach. When they arrived, Little Critter tried to set up the beach umbrella, but was lifted up into the air by the strong winds. The lifeguard blew his whistle and motioned him to come back down, and Little Critter and the umbrella landed down onto the ground. He decided to fly his kite instead, but it accidentally landed onto the mother cow's head. After his kite was a disaster, Little Critter bought hot dogs for him and Grandma, but he unexpectedly tripped over a ball, and the hot dogs were sent flying. They landed into the sand, so Little Critter washed them off with the water, before eating them. When they were finished, Little Critter found a nice seashell for Grandma on the sand, but there was a crab inside. After escaping from the crab, Little Critter tried to blow up his seahorse, but didn't have enough air, so Grandma helped a little. Then, Grandma carried Little Critter out in the water, but not too far enough. After that, Little Critter puts on his mask and snorkel, and a snorkel and shows Grandma how he can swim. Later, Little Critter digs a hole for Grandma, and he covered her up and tickled her toes. That evening, Little Critter built a sand castle for Grandma, but a big wave came and washed away the castle. Little Critter became sad and disappointed that his castle was ruined, and there was nothing he could do about it. Grandma felt bad for her grandson, but she managed to comfort him and explained "that's what happens to sandcastles". She then suggested they build a new one next time. Later that night, Grandma took Little Critter to the bus, and Little Critter was very tired, so he fell fast asleep and told her he would watch for their stop. The bus dropped them off at home, and they realized they had a good time at the beach together and Grandma held Little Critter in her arms and they went to bed.

CharactersEdit

PagesEdit

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
  • 11
  • 12

TriviaEdit

  • This story is a launch title.
  • It is one of the few Living Books to be told by the protagonist, instead of having a narrator.
  • This is one of only two Living Books games (the other being Arthur's Birthday) to be updated in 640x480 resolution with activity games in 1997.
  • Version 2 added a running gag, which is a grasshopper.
  • While both versions do include Spanish as a language choice, V1 has Latino and V2 has Castellano, effectively making English the only language available in both versions.
  • In Version 3 of the Living Books Sampler, the book's UI language option is still intact; therefore making Just Grandma and Me V2 the only book in the demos to have a language other than English.
  • Front

    The original VIS release, which has now become extinct and very rare to find.

    Despite being initially released on Macintosh computers, the very first edition of this game was also released on the Memorex Tandy Video Information System (VIS) around the same time, and is one of the only two games in the entire series (the other being Little Monster at School, which also was originally released on a Philips CD-i console) to receive a console port. The Tandy VIS version has differences in the sound and graphics as follows:
    • It has a smaller 320x200 resolution.
    • The Living Books intro has immediately cuts to "PRESENTS" after the Living Book's face winks its eye (this version was later carried into the Philips CD-i version of Little Monster at School but with different quality to the music).
    • The Options page lacks the Previews button (the preview for Arthur's Teacher Trouble is only found in the files in this case) and Critter's "And then click OK!" line was absent.
    • In the credits, the dragon's mouth doesn't move when he clears his throat while tapping the wizard's sleeve, and the music animation also plays in the same length as if it were in the Macintosh format of the game (this is where you can now hear the entire trombone song that played like the music in the Programmer animation) and the double bass player's tongue was visible while he says, "Alright!"
  • You leave the book when Little Critter says, "Okay!" and waves goodbye. He is also the only main protagonist who asks you "Do you want to quit?" instead of "Are you sure you want to quit?".
  • The very first edition/demo of the game (the one with Broderbund's on the top right corner of the intro logo) had a preview for the next Living Book Arthur's Teacher Trouble.
  • The Macintosh platform for v1.0 also had demos of three Broderbund games, including "The Playroom", "Kid-Pix", and "Spelunx and the Caves of Mr. Seudo".
  • Version 1 has 3 languages: English, Spanish and Japanese. Version 2 has 4 languages: English, [Castilian] Spanish, French and German.
  • For some reason, Version 2 dropped Japanese as a language option and replaced it with French and German, possibly to conserve disc space.
  • The first two jazz sequences to be used in the credits are Wizard and Music. As this is the first Living Books game in the series, the two credits sequences have several animation and sound differences.
    • In the Wizard animation in the credits, the music was composed at a different session, so the main piano track was lower in volume amplification, faded into the background and barely able to be heard. This was corrected back in the credits for the game The Tortoise and the Hare (and even for the UK release of Just Grandma and Me).
      • The original version of the wizard animation is still on Just Grandma and Me V2 and the Hebrew dub of the game.
    • The Music animation had trombone music composed with similar sheet music to the credits animation with the guy who types on his computer, but this was only used in the very first edition and demo of this game. In further Living Books games and also in Just Grandma and Me V2, the musicians animation utilized the main tune of the Living Books credits song.
      • On the PC version of V1.0 of the game, some portions of the Music animation were oddly cut during the middle of any music piece (cutting off the music before you could hear it finish), causing some of the scrolling/fading credits text to jerk in abruptly.
  • The wizard animation also appears in the credits of four other Living Books games: The Tortoise and the Hare, Arthur's Birthday, Sheila Rae, the Brave, and The Berenstain Bears in the Dark.
    • If Green Eggs and Ham had the actual credits animations on the screen instead of the storyboards and concepts, the wizard animation would have appeared in the credits for that game, also.
    • The wizard animation didn't make it into The Cat in the Hat, which was the last Living Books game to use all the Living Books credits animations.
  • In Version 2, the Computer credits sequence was added into the credits, making the same order of credits animations as Arthur's Birthday.
  • The credits animation with the men playing instruments is the only credits animation appearing in the credits in almost every Living Books game, except Arthur's Teacher Trouble and The Tortoise and the Hare, as well as the four games that had custom credits sequences (although Green Eggs and Ham had the audio music for the wizard, the artists, and the music).
  • In Version 2, in the French language, Little Critter's line "Nous nous sommes drôlement bien amusés à la plage, Grand-Mère et moi" was heard in high quality.
  • In Version 2, the byline "A Random House/Brøderbund Company" was shortened to "A Brøderbund Company".
  • The demo version of V1.0 bizarrely included the preview and credits. The V1.1 demo removed this.
  • Originally, v1.0 for the full game and demo had slower fading screens, and sounds would get cut off if they ran longer than the animation.
    • ScummVM allows the sounds to play through without being cut off, therefore getting them overlapped with other sound effects barging in.
    • As the V1.1 PC demo got an engine upgrade to enable faster fading between screens, the running man cursor, and waiting for sounds to finish before continuing animation, the full programs for this game and Arthur's Teacher Trouble oddly didn't for their re-releases (despite the former getting an upgrade for V2). This is possibly due to budget constraints, or Living Books has never bothered to give both titles an engine upgrade.
      • The Macintosh platform has faster fading and the running man cursor like all the other games, but still has sounds being cutoff if they ran longer than the animation.
    • For the PC version of the full game, it's possible you could take the game data files + outline file from the V1.0 version of the full game and inject them into the V1.1 demo (though in the files, you would have to switch filenames with the Options and Quit IBM files) to try to give the full game an engine upgrade, but still you cannot make it to where the game will wait for sounds to finish before continuing animation.
  • V1.0 predates the hybrid format, so the Macintosh and PC versions were shipped on separate discs. V1.1 put them on the same disc.
  • This game was not planned to be re-released by Wanderful, as Oceanhouse Media already made their own version of the book– which doesn't use the Living Books version. Copies of the CD-Rom for the Living Books version (both V1 and V2) can still be found on some auction sites including eBay.
  • Along with The New Kid on the Block, The Tortoise and the Hare, and Harry and the Haunted House, it was featured in a Czech magazine advertisement for Living Books, but none of the Living Books games have been released in the Czech Republic.

QuotesEdit

  • (US Version)
  • Grandma: (a bumblebee flies from a flower and lands on Little Critter's hat) Oh, there's a bee on your head.
  • Little Critter: (jumps up and down; thinking that the bumblebee is going to sting him on the forehead) YEOW! Get it off! Get it off!
  • Grandma: Stop jumping and hold still. You'll scare the bee.
  • Little Critter: Is it going? Is it going? (the bee flies away)
  • Grandma: Yes, dear. It just flew off. (Little Critter breathes a sigh of relief)
  • (UK Version)
  • Grandma: (a bumblebee flies from a flower and lands on Little Critter's hat) Oh, there's a bee on your head.
  • Little Critter: (jumps up and down; thinking that the bumblebee is going to sting him on the forehead) UGH! Get it off! Get it off!
  • Grandma: Stop jumping about and hold still. You'll scare the bee.
  • Little Critter: Is it going? Is it going? (the bee flies away)
  • Grandma: Yes, dear. It's just flown away. (Little Critter breathes a sigh of relief)

ReleasesEdit

  • 1992: Tandy VIS release (Original release). Extremely scarce to find.
  • 1993: MPC-Windows release. This one, like the Tandy VIS release, is also a challenge to find.
  • 1994: Random House release. This one's exceptionally easy to find.
    • It also includes demo versions of the other first three games in the series.
  • 1997: Version 2 is released with Version 1.
    • Page 1-11 was in low audio quality, and Page 12 in French was in high audio quality.
  • 1998: UK dub. Hard to find due to the Soft Key re-release.
  • 2000: Soft Key release: Easiest one to find.
    • Uses Version 2.
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