Last updated: 2021-05-28

KIDS Press Kit



KIDS is a game of crowds. The project consists of a short film, an interactive animation and an art installation.



KIDS is the second collaboration of filmmaker Michael Frei and game designer Mario von Rickenbach after their project Plug & Play. The project is co-produced by Playables, SRG SSR and Arte. The game was published in collaboration with Double Fine Presents for mobile devices and computers.


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  • Film Sales:







  • Release Date: 2019-05-28
  • Developer, Publisher: Playables
  • Play time: 15-30 minutes
  • Price: $ 2.99

Game Trailer

Game Screenshots


Awards & Recognition

Day Of The Devs

«Official Selection»
Day Of The Devs 2018

IGF Finalist

«Nuovo Award Finalist»
IGF 2018

Now Play This

«Official Selection»
Now Play This 2018

IMGA Nominee

IMGA 2020



  • World Premiere: 2019-02-10 (Berlinale)
  • Duration Film: 9 minutes
  • Film Festival Distribution: Playables, Square Eyes
  • Film Sales: Interfilm


An animated short exploring group dynamics. How do we define ourselves when we are all equal? Who is steering the crowd? What if it is heading in the wrong direction? Where does the individual end and the group begin? What is done by choice, and what under duress?


Film Stills

150+ Festival Selections



The installation is divided into three parts: interactive scenarios, an installation of up to 50 puppets and a presentation of the production process. The setup is easily adaptable to different settings in museums, galleries or at events.

Exhibition Trailer MuDA


The installation premiered at the Museum of Digital Arts (MuDA) in Zürich, Switzerland in February 2018.

Exhibition Photos

@ MuDA Zurich

@ MuDA Zurich

@ MuDA Zurich

@ ICC Tokyo

@ Flatpack Birmingham

@ Kein Museum Zurich

@ Fantoche Baden

@ Shed Frauenfeld

@ Somerset House London

Reviews (German)

Ein aufwändiger Beta-Test
Hochparterre Magazine


  • Macao International Art Biennale, Main Exhibition, Macao MO, 16. July - 17. October 2021
  • Shenzhen Bay STArts Festival, Shenzhen CN, 25. December 2020 - 27. January 2021
  • Electroni[k], Maintenant Fesival, Rennes FR, 2. October - 11. October 2020
  • Solothurner Filmtage, Futurelab, Solothurn CH, 23. January - 29. January 2020
  • Game On, Buenos Aires AR, 22. November - 30. November 2019
  • Refresh, Digital Festival, Zürich CH, 26. September - 28. September 2019
  • 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa JP, 14. September - 19. December 2019
  • Cyberarts, Ars Electronica, Linz AT, 5. September - 15. September 2019
  • Design Biennale, Zürich CH, 29. August - 1. September 2019
  • Bit Bash at The Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago US, 17. August - 18. August 2019
  • 3daysofdesign, Copenhagen DK, 23. May - 25. May 2019
  • Kein Museum, Zürich CH, 10. May - 12. May 2019
  • Flatpack Festival, Birmingham GB, 30. April - 5. May 2019
  • NTT InterCommunication Center ICC, Tokyo JP, 15. December 2018 - 10. March 2019
  • Museum of Contemporary Art Metelkova, Ljubljana SI, 27. November – 9. December 2018
  • Fantoche, Baden CH, 5. September - 9. September 2018
  • Museum of Digital Art, Zürich CH, 3. February - 4. March 2018 (Debut)

Behind the Scenes


The characters in a crowd behave much like matter: They attract and repel, lead and follow, grow and shrink, align and separate. KIDS are purely defined by how they relate to one other - without showing any distinguishable features.


KIDS was made using traditional 2D hand-drawn line animation in black and white. The animation was assembled, composited and choreographed using a game engine with a custom-made animation system in conjunction with physics simulations.

KIDS Developer's Cut (Excerpt)

This page documents the development of the project chronologically:


Michael Frei

Michael Frei is a swiss filmmaker and artist. His Films Not About Us and Plug & Play received numerous awards all over the world.

Mario von Rickenbach

Mario von Rickenbach is a swiss game designer and developer. His award-winning works include the games Mirage, Krautscape, Drei and Rakete.


Playables is a production company based in Zurich, Switzerland. Playables was founded by Michael Frei and Mario von Rickenbach.


KIDS is the second collaboration of director and animator Michael Frei and game designer Mario von Rickenbach after their award-winning animated short film and short game Plug & Play.


Production & Publishing

Schweizer Fernsehen


Pro Helvetia
Kulturstiftung Thurgau
Kanton Schwyz
Migros Kulturprozent
Japanese Image Forum
Agency for Cultural Affairs