Top Critic Average
It steps on The Stanley Parable's toes a little too often, and doesn't have the chops to withstand that comparison – it would have been a lot more sensible to have avoided the seemingly deliberate comparisons altogether. But it remains wonderful just to look at, the rest a bonus treat.
Exploration through stylish worlds with a dash of subtle, paranoia-inducing surrealism makes this a strong—if somewhat tedious—walk-em-up, but for a game building off the memory of a literary legend, the actual narrative leaves a lot to be desired.
Californium is a labour of love that didn't even try to do a fine job at using the thing it loves the most. It makes promises of offering a plot-heavy adventure that is heavily inspired by Philip K. Dick, when it's just marginally influenced by it, and, even worse, gameplay-wise, it is a frustrating hidden object game, which becomes less so due to its gorgeous, wallpaper-worthy visuals.