Wednesday, 17 February 2016

James' Take: Californium

Californium is a small indie adventure game developed by Darjeeling and Nova Production. I really liked this game, mainly because it had a very good story and setting, which you can tell the developers have put a lot of effort into.

The game starts as you, Elvin Green, an author crippled by writers' block whose career is about as stable as his emotional life, struggle to publish your new piece of writing. As you get up from your chair, you start to walk around your apartment and expose yourself to the unique art style. As your head pounds, you get a call from your editor who calls you "a writer who does not write".

Your mental health fails as you learn of your acid and alcohol addiction, when a mysterious voice from the television informs you that your world is unstable, and you might just have an oppurtunity to leave...

I ended up really liking the story as it drew from multiple realistic and troubling aspects of life that many people can relate to, including struggling with mental health issues, escapism through drugs and alcohol and unstable relationships. The game also has great character development which makes you want to continue playing, just to see what happens next.


The game is built around you changing parts of your current reality into other realities. You do this by looking for abnormalities in the world, such as a glass on a table that might turn into a book. On a nearby TV, you will find the number of abnormalities you need to find to progress.

Due to it's nature of being an adventure game, you are thrust into the world on your own without much of an explanation of the game's mechanics or what you have to do, which could be improved on. However, this is quite a nice thing in some places, as you are encouraged to walk around, talk to the characters and make most of the discoveries on your own.

There are a total of four worlds to discover, each offering a unique version of Berkeley to explore. Without spoilers, each of these are fun to wander around in, with the ended in my opinion being quite satisfying for the effort that you put into the game.

In conclusion, I very much enjoyed playing this game, finding the story inventive and original. The gameplay was great, with fresh mechanics and a beautiful art style. I'd like to see more games like this coming from indie developers and I look forward to seeing what will come next from the dev team.

'I would recommend this game to anyone who likes adventure games or anyone who is looking for some new indie content'

1 comment:

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