Double Fine decide to have Kids


Their own output might be spottier than a ladybird farm, but Double Fine most certainly have an eye for a great concept, both in their self-made games and the select few they publish. Gang Beasts, Mountain, Everything, Thoth and the upcoming Ooblets and Knights and Bikes all came up through the Double Fine Presents programme, and joining that number is the cute-but-haunting Kids. It’s an extremely striking game about manipulating huge crowds of faceless people. Including chucking ’em all down a bloody great hole.

Kids is developed by Swiss outfit Playables, previously responsible for the similarly-styled, surreal Plug & Play. If you’ve heard of Kids before, it’ll likely be because it was nominated for the Nuvo prize at this year’s Independent Games Festival awards. Which, you would be correct to intuit, means that it is far from conventional. It’s pretty spectacular to behold, however:

Double Fine describe it as “experimental” and an “interactive animation”, which implies they’re not planning to remix Kids into something more pedestrian. You can get some sense of how it’s going to shake out in the above video, but official blurb stops short at “Kids allows you to move with and against crowds until everyone is gone.” I imagine there may be a metaphor or two in here, eh?

Kids the game is part of a multi-media triumvurate, also including a film and a Zurich-based art exhibition, which you can see some of here:

The game’s due out later this year, and a session with it will apparently last between 15 and 30 minutes. I don’t fully understand what it involves yet, but all those marching, colliding and plummeting bodies look danged impressive if you ask me. It’s got itself a Steam page, if you want to do that whole wishlisting thing.


  1. eric_the_zookeeper says:

    I love the bit where they’re all running into a hole but, yeah, I have no idea how you’ll actually be interacting with whatever it is…

    • death_au says:

      At 0:27 in that second trailer, it looks like they’re moving a mouse cursor to manipulate the crowds. Like the people are programmed to try and shy away from the cursor, which ends up pushing other people down the hole.
      Looks like a fun interactive toy, but can’t really see much of a game in it yet.

      • Turkey says:

        I’m guessing it’s some sort of simple puzzle game based around short scenarios where you have to do the thing the level promt tells you to.

        • eric_the_zookeeper says:

          I can imagine that being pretty fun tbh, particularly if it’s really satisfying to manipulate the crowds and make them move around

  2. Premium User Badge

    particlese says:

    Ah, yes, Plug & Play immediately came to mind with that first screenshot. Unforgettably strange and enjoyable couple o’ bucks, that one. Thanks for pointing this out!

    Looks like the MuDA exhibit is over, sadly. I’m not much for Modern Artsy Sorts Of Things most of the time, but I’d totally have checked this one out had I known of it, given the likeable weirdness of P&P and liking the notion of supporting semi-local devs and stuff.

  3. Jernau Gurgeh says:

    I wish I could manipulate huge crowds of people (faceless or otherwise) into a bloody great hole in real life. For starters, someone needs to do something about the British electorate before they do anything else that is incredibly stupid based on tabloid propaganda…

  4. wraithgr says:

    Double Fine’s record is worse than “spotty” when it comes to games that look like they’ve got potential but are currently just a couple of cute mechanisms. DF9 comes immediately to mind…

    • ourbeneveolentrobotoverlords says:

      I don’t think their record is that spotty. DF9 was a high-profile failure, exacerbated by its Early Access status, but they haven’t had a string of DF9’s.

Comment on this story

HTML: Allowed code: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>