April 28, 2022

4 Min Read

Meet Adibou, the Alien Who Introduced Many French Speakers to Videogames

Three little cats break into a house at night. The rascals spill flour everywhere until they’re all white. They dress up as knights, practice their swordplay, poke holes in the pillows, and call the firefighters. One of them pees on the carpet on the way out.

Sound like a nightmare? Think again! For many French-speakers in France, Canada, and other countries who were born in the early 1990s, the nursery rhyme of the three little cats and the tricks they play is a nostalgic reminder of their first encounters with computers. The song was featured in the educational game Adibou (sometimes known in English as Adiboo), originally released in 1992 by the French developer Coktel Vision.

In the original Adibou game, made for players aged 4-7, children interacted with the titular character – a small alien with pointy ears and a red cap - and other friends like Plop the dog, a robot gardener, and a grumpy monster who eats the players’ failed attempts at baking cakes. Children could learn how to read and count through an array of activities and mini games that included solving puzzles, growing fruits and vegetables, and singing. The original Adibou spawned a series of educational games exploring the same themes until 2009, with over 10 million total players.

After a well-deserved rest, Adibou and his friends are making a comeback to entertain and educate a new generation of children, this time on mobile and tablets, with a new game developed by Wiloki in partnership with Ubisoft. Wiloki is a French company specialized in educational content for children, founded by the three children of the co-creator of Adibou, Roland Oskian. It launched a digital learning platform for kids aged 7-15. With over one million users in four years, the Wiloki platform has been a great success, but many parents asked its creators to offer tools for younger children.

In early 2020, Wiloki reached out to Ubisoft with a partnership proposal to create a new Adibou game, the IP having been acquired by Ubisoft ten years ago. Wiloki were the ideal partners for the project; in addition to their personal connection to the character, they had the same vision as Ubisoft and could leverage their expertise in educational technology for this new game.

“At Wiloki, we are convinced that each child is unique and that learning has to be personalized and motivating,” says Hugo Oskian, co-founder and CTO of Wiloki. “That’s why we use AI to recognize the strengths and growth areas of learners and adjust the content to their needs.”

For this partnership, Ubisoft contributed its expertise in the creation, production, and marketing of videogames. “We are delighted with our collaboration with Wiloki because it’s an opportunity to bring Adibou back, a character beloved by a generation of children,” says Cédric Royer, content director at Ubisoft. “The Wiloki team brings a real know-how in educational games with content that adapts to every child’s needs.”

In addition to activities from the original games like baking in the kitchen and planting vegetables and flowers in the garden, which have been totally refreshed for this new iteration, players will also be able to discover and learn even more thanks to the “Knowledge Tower.” This new learning space, created with the support of education professionals and Wiloki’s technology, adapts to each child and features over 1,500 activities that are both fun and educational.

Guided by Adibou, who acts like a caring older brother, players will also get access to new content added over the coming months, and they can share flowers and cakes they created with other young players in the community in a safe and secure way.

Adibou is available now in French on iOS and Android, with an English version planned for release by the end of the year.

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