This New Video Game Was Inspired By the Sci-Fi Writings of Philip K. Dick


Blade Runner

(1982), Total Recall (1990), and A Scanner Darkly (2006) are just a few big screen adaptations of the science fiction works of Philip K. Dick. Now, the tones and themes explored by the late author are serving to inspire in another medium: video games.

As reported by Hyperallergic, the creators of Californium—which was released on Steam last month—describe their game as a "love letter to Philip K. Dick." Neither Dick himself nor specific characters of his are mentioned by name, but players will find nods to the writer's work hidden around every corner.

Californium (for Mac and PC) jumps between several different realities—including 1960s-era Berkeley, California and a robot-ruled Mars of the future—in the style of his multiworld sci-fi novel VALIS. Its main character, a washed-up writer with a mind worn by years of drug and alcohol abuse, has been viewed as a possible parallel to the real-life author.

Video games and films aren't the only place where Dick's influence can still be seen today. A television series based on his 1962 novel The Man in the High Castle is currently being produced by Amazon, and a sequel to the 1982 classic Blade Runner (based on 1968's Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?) is currently in the works.

The gameplay of Californium lasts just a little over two hours, and if nothing else, the retrofuturistic visuals are worth checking out. You can download the game from Steam and watch the trailer above.

Images courtesy of Arte Creative.

[h/t Hyperallergic]