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 Tandy Video Information System (VIS) console port in 1992 and then on a PC/Mac CD-ROM later that year.
|Just Grandma and Me|
February 5, 1992
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. Little Critter finds a beautiful seashell for Grandma on the sand, but there was a crab inside. After escaping from the crab, Little Critter was trying to blow up his seahorse, but he 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, until a big wave came and it washed away the sand castle he just built. Little Critter becomes sad and disappointed when the sand castle that he built was washed away by a big wave, but Grandma said to him, "That's what happens to sand castles, and we can 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. Then, they realized they had a good time at the beach together in which Grandma held Little Critter in her arms and they went back home to bed.
- 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.
- 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.
- The very first edition of this game was originally released for the Tandy Video Information System (VIS) 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.
- It has a smaller 320x200 resolution like many other older MS-DOS games and also had a few different graphics. In this version, the Options page didn't have any previews at all and also removed the "And then click OK!" part, and 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.
- 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.
- In the credits of this game, The wizard animation and the musicians animation were the very first Living Books Credits animations produced.
- In this Living Book, the musicians animation had trombone music whose music sequence was similar 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 now used the main sequence of the Living Books credits song.
- 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 this game, in the wizard animation in the credits, the piano music in the background was too quiet, 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), and now you can hear the piano music better.
- The original version of the wizard animation is still on Just Grandma and Me V2 and the Hebrew dub of the game.
- In Version 2, the Computer credits sequence was added into the credits, causing the same order of credits animations to be similar to that of 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 cutoff 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.
- Even though 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 game didn't. 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.
- 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.