Tom Bell (as Ludus)

Louise Ford (as the voice of The Herculaneum)


Boom Pictures and Cube Interactive for CBBC, 20 January 2014 to 20 January 2015 (20 episodes in 1 series)

Boom Pictures and Cube Interactive for S4C, 28 April 2014 to 27 June 2015 (20 episodes in 1 series)


The basic idea was explained by the BBC press office. "Ludus is a villain who has taken the friends and family of three children into space. Three children play the six levels of Ludus to win back their loved ones and, in the final game, they must try and win their own ticket back home!"

To win back friends and family, the children played games on a tabletop touchscreen. Recurring features were "bugs" (small monsters serving Ludus) and "ticks" (circular objects favouring the players), so one game might be to fire ticks at a target, avoiding the bugs.

A bit like this.

Some games were multi-player, some used a single player. Each was played for one of the friends or family who had been kidnapped by Ludus.

Ludus himself was an arrogant villain, swaggering at the children from the safety of a holoscreen. It quickly became clear that Ludus was exaggurating his abilities, covering his many inadequacies with a threatening demeanour. He'll be best remembered for an iconic hand gesture, that some of the "Earthtwerps" will be locked in his game...

For evah!

Commentary and filler material was set aboard The Herculaneum, a spaceship taking the children from level to level. It also held the holoboxes from winning a game, and would take the children back to Earth.

To get passage back to Earth, the voyagers needed to win their return ticket. This ticket was held by one of three ticks, which would scramble and revolve on the board at a great rate. Pick the right tick to fly away home; pick the wrong one to be left sweeping the levels of Ludus for evah!

Children were able to play along with the games on their computer or tablet, and the show made much more sense as a playalong programme.

See also

Ludus was effectively a remake of Y Lifft, a 2012 project from Boom Kids and Cube Interactive. Most of the games on Y Lifft were re-used here, with the welcome addition of a coherent backstory.

Weaver's Week review


"Lose, and your Earthtwerp will be uploaded into my game for evah!"

"Olivia, pass Ryan his sister."

Theme music

Mathieu Karsenti is credited as "Composer".


Bait Studio provided the graphic design and visual effects, Kanoti designed the games.

Web links

BBC programme page

BBC programme page (S4C version)


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