11/2 – The Book of Lulu

Hello and welcome! My name is Katosepe and I’ll be your host for today’s Video Game of the Day.

Today’s game is an unusual one. Many games start as passion projects for developers. Something lights up in a person’s soul and they just have to get their thoughts out to the world. Anyone with a creative spirit can understand and appreciate this drive. Today’s game is one of these projects. Today’s game is The Book of Lulu, the only game made by Dada Media and released in Europe and Japan in 1995.

The Book of Lulu is an interactive storybook made for children. Unlike other children’s games like the Humongous Entertainment adventure games, The Book of Lulu is literally a book on the screen. As the pages turn, animations occur depicting the events of the story. Kids can click on the pictures to trigger other animations or to progress the story. Meanwhile, they can read the text on the side.

The story follows a princess, Lulu, who lives in a book. Her world is fairy tale perfect and while she loves her home, she dreams of adventure. When a UFO crashes into her world, she begs the robot piloting the UFO to take her on a tour of the universe. The story follows her adventures travelling to other books. The story is simple but one that celebrates reading and literature.

The Book of Lulu received rave reviews across Europe and Japan and won several awards. The game was ported to Windows 95 and Mac as well as Playstation and Sega Saturn in Japan. Despite the praise, the story was not translated to English until 2001, six years after the game’s original release, and it was never brought to North America. While researching The Book of Lulu, I found a number of reviews from adults talking about how The Book of Lulu was a large part of their childhood. Several stated that this was what introduced them to reading in the first place while others talked about the experiences it created with family. It’s clear that The Book of Lulu, while it may be obscure now, has left a lasting impact on many around the world.

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