Manikin Games
Based in Cape Town, South Africa

Founding date:
January 1, 2012


Press / Business Contact:


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Manikin Games is a South African game development studio founded by Jem Smith. Manikin strives to make games that are fun and thought provoking, but mostly just silly.


Early history

Manikin began as most indie game dev studios do: with one man pretending to be a bustling enterprise of game designing wizards. Founder Jem Smith started by developing games as hobby projects, game jams, and obscure prototypes. He continues to do so, but also partners up from time to time to work on bigger projects, and hopes to one day turn Manikin into a larger indie studio.


After a number of earlier projects, Manikin developed the co-op, turn-based slasher game Silhouette. Silhouette was initially created as part of the 48 hour Global Game Jam (2013), and was developed further after unearthing its interesting and thrilling turn-based mechanic. In June 2013, the game was selected as part of Rezzed's Leftfield Collection (UK), along with a number of other up and coming indie games. Following that, it exhibited at the Virgin Media Game Space(UK), as well as A MAZE festival (SA) and rAge (SA). Silhouette has received positive responses from gamers and critics, and has helped Manikin set a standard for innovative, emotive and enjoyable gaming experiences.

What's next?

Having developed several short-lived prototypes at the end of 2013, Jem is currently working on a new prototype which he hopes to develop into a full game. It has yet to be released to the local community for feedback, and is more or less about sneaking around and spying on people.


An entertaining let's play of Silhouette YouTube



There are far more images available for Manikin Games, but these are the ones we felt would be most useful to you. If you have specific requests, please do contact us!

Awards & Recognition

  • "Part of PC Gamer's 90 Best Horror Games on PC" - Silhouette, November 2013
  • "Rezzed 2013 Leftfield Collection" - Silhouette, June 2013
  • "Virgin Media Game Space 2013 Showcase" - Silhouette, September 2013
  • "A MAZE Johannesburg 2013 Exhibition" - Silhouette, September 2013
  • "NAG rAge 2013 Exhibition" - Silhouette, October 2013

Selected Articles

  • " Something rarely touched on in game criticism is that games have pacing, just like in film. It’s much harder to pull off good pacing in games – the creative process involves less editing-room hair-pulls and more painstaking code tweaks that can break the whole piece of work. But every good game has great pacing, and [Silhouette] is a mini-study in how, when your players press buttons, you can press their buttons back. "
    - Cara Ellison, PC Gamer
  • " [Silhouette] is comedy murder, and a game which pings wildly between terror and hilarity, strategy and chance, discomfort and farce. "
    - Alec Meer, Rock, Paper, Shotgun
  • " [Silhouette is] frantic stuff, especially as the game can be played by two people on one keyboard, the proximity between hunter and victim adding to the ghoulish fun. "
    - Keith Stuart, The Guardian

Team & Repeating

Jem Smith
Design, Programming, Art

William Francis
Design, Programming

Charl Mostert
Music, Audio production

presskit() by Rami Ismail (Vlambeer) - also thanks to these fine folks