The Red Hot Chili Peppers, also known as the “Chi Peps,” released their 1999 album to an adoring public ready to welcome them back into their arms. It had been a few years since the Dave Navarro record, and the Peps were anxious to get back to their funky, California roots. Californication, the album that got them there, was a smash, and it offered several innovative music videos to boot (The “Otherside” video was undoubtedly a salve to Dr. Caligari’s patients around the globe). But only one took on the theme of a really cool-looking video game. Well, “cool-looking” for the time.
Directed by Little Miss Sunshine duo Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris, the “Californication” music video looked like several PS2 games crammed into one. There’s a little SSX, a little Gran Turismo, and, of course, that game where you fly on the back of a dragonfly as you avoid construction around a city. It looks like a proto Grand Theft Auto 3.
But if you saw the video in 1999, all you wanted to do was play that freaking game. Who doesn’t want to be John Frusciante and swim in the Pacific Ocean and run through a softcore porn set? Well, now you have the chance. Earlier this week, developer Miquel Camps Orteza released the holy grail of 90s funk-rock faux video games: A playable version of the “Californication” music video.
Available for Mac or PC, the game lets you play as one of the four Peps and choose from seven levels from the video. Each stage has the same basic controls (jump, move forward, and left to right). Players must collect the Chi Pep’s “Stars of Affinity”—those red asterisks—by avoiding farmers, snowboarding down a mountain, or driving across the Golden Gate bridge.
Sure, the graphics are a little choppy, and the game isn’t as quick as, say, Elden Ring. This game didn’t have Blood Sugar Sex Magik money. But this fun little time-waster is sure to scratch whatever lingering itch you had for playing the game.