Try the free web version.


Vanitas was released on 4 February 2010.


Developed & published by Tale of Tales
in February 2010
originally created for for iPhone & iPod Touch.
as of June 2017 only availabe for Android.

Commissioned for the Art History of Games symposium and exhibition by the Savannah College of Art and Design and the Georgia Institute of Technology Program in Digital Media.

Auriea Harvey & Michaël Samyn

Modelling, texturing & animation:
Auriea Harvey

Programming, sound & effects:
Michaël Samyn

Zoë Keating

Thanks to Sansy Spreitz, Alex Mayhew, Marcel Samyn, Ian Bogost and David Lu for testing.

Sound effects based on sounds from freesound.org by adcbicycle, deathpie, Feegle, florian_reinke, FreqMan, fritzsound, gyzhor, HerbertBoland, kemitix, RHumphries, Robinhood76, sagetyrtle, Schalkalwis, shewbox, StarRock, SuGu14 and yawfle. Thank you for sharing!



VANITAS. A memento mori for your digital hands.
To lift you up when you're feeling down. And drag you down when you're up too high.

Everything flows, nothing remains.
Vanity of vanities, all is vanity!
Life is the farce we are all forced to endure.

Sometimes, when you're depressed, it's good to see something depressing.
A contemplation of the fleetingness of life. To help appreciate what you have.
A meditative experience. A spiritual toy. A reminder of the preciousness of life.

Referring to still life paintings from the 16th and 17th century, Vanitas presents you with a gorgeously rendered 3D box filled with intriguing objects. Close the box and open it again to see new objects. You can move the objects by tilting your phone or pushing and dragging the objects with your fingers. To create pleasant arrangements that inspire and enchant. Some objects decay. A flower blooms. A bubble pops. Life like an empty dream flits by.
  • Beautiful, tactile realtime 3D graphics.
  • Subtle sound effects.
  • Surprising musical punctuation by renowned avant cellist Zoe Keating.
  • Realistic physics.
  • 35 Different 3D objects with multiple states arranged over 12 stages.
  • Simple, intuitive and direct interaction through multi-touch and tilt.
  • Random combinations can generate over 40,000 different dynamic interactive pictures, each capable of inspiring contemplation.
  • 24 Quotes on the topics of life and vanity from The Bible and from famous authors such as Rimbaud, Nietzsche, Sappho and Kundera.
  • Win a gold star each time you get three identical objects.

Designed by Auriea Harvey & Michael Samyn.
With cello music by Zoe Keating.

Also installs on iPad and Android tablets.

More images, info, and request a review copy from our Press Kit.