Indika
Screenshot by GameSkinny

Indika Review: A Unique Story for the Right Type of Gamer

Indika is a creative, thoughtful narrative game with puzzle and platforming elements. However, it's not a title for the average gamer.

Indika is a journey through the world of a conflicted nun by the same name. The game itself mixes a variety of mechanics and design types as it explores theology, relationships, and surrealism in an alternative Russia. With gorgeous attention to detail throughout the various environments, Indika is a narrative delicacy for those who enjoy heavier philosophical titles.

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A Mixed Media Take on Gaming

The main focus of Indika is the story that’s spun. Indika is a nun who’s sent on a journey to deliver a letter. It’s winter in an alternative version of pre-revolution Russia. To portray the various elements, different graphic design choices are made.

The game begins with a retro-inspired, pixelated stage. These stages are littered throughout the game and used to indicate a flashback scene. In the opening stage, we’re introduced to teen Indika, and the voice in her head, who’s actually the one narrating.

Teen Indika falling during the opening scene.
Screenshot by GameSkinny

From there, we’re whisked to a snow-covered area as Indika disrupts a ceremony. We learn more about her life as a nun as she interacts with the world around her. Finally, we leave, or rather we attempt to leave, on our letter delivery mission.

This is when the puzzles begin. Different puzzles, often involving getting from one place to another, are featured in every chapter of the story. They can be simple, such as crossing a river on a raft, or more complex. They each have their own way of being solved, with no two puzzles using the same method as the previous one.

As we get further into the game, the conflict within Indika’s mind rages. It often becomes an argument that she has between herself and the voice. These exchanges dictate the ways she interacts with the world, even causing her to see it through a surreal slant as if she wore glasses of the wrong prescription.

Indika sinning by reading the letter.
Screenshot by GameSkinny

Indika can be played in one solid gaming session, allowing you to experience the full narrative without significant breaks. The ending is a bit of a surprise, appearing abruptly and with wordless explanation. This is a good title for those who enjoy narrative-driven games but don’t usually have the time to devote to them.

Distinctly Deep Narrative Voyage

While the puzzles, platforming, and points system add to the game mechanics of Indika, the title really highlights philosophical themes, with theology as the crux. Questions are asked throughout that ruminate on good versus evil, fair versus unfair, etc.

Many times, it’s Indika’s second voice that poses these questions, much to the confusion of her companion, Ilya. Their banter lets us dig further into the philosophical subtext that’s woven into the core of the game. It’s not only religion that Indika explores, but theft, extreme violence, and death.

Indika and Ilya near the mill.
Screenshot by GameSkinny

I’m leaving this vague as each person will experience and interact with the story in different ways. Those looking for deep, thoughtful stories will find Indika refreshing, while those who focus on game mechanics and easily answered questions may find it less so. I also don’t want to spoil any of the adventure.

A Draft Left Incomplete

My main issue with Indika is that I went in thinking it was going to be a narrative title with horror elements accompanying it. I felt fear only once throughout my playthrough, and even then, it wasn’t the same fear you get when playing a horror game. There was no rattling of nerves, no musical cues that made my skin crawl, or disfigured enemies chasing me with a weapon.

Creepy doll lying on a bed.
Screenshot by GameSkinny

The horror of the game lies in its humanity. With this view, you can start Indika and experience it through a more appropriate lens.

In addition to that, the ending felt rushed. There was no explanation, no wrap-up. The only way I knew it was the end was the rolling of credits. I believe the story could’ve continued a bit longer to explore Indika’s mind and her outlook during the scene. This feels intentional, but the meaning was lost on me.

Indika Review – The Bottom Line

Indika reading the Kudets announcement poster.
Screenshot by GameSkinny

Pros

  • Short play time allows those with limited gaming hours to start and finish
  • Creative use of different design styles
  • All puzzles were distinct
  • Detailed environments and people

Cons

  • Narrative ended abruptly
  • Philosophical nature and questioning can be arduous to get through

Indika is a creative, thoughtful narrative game with puzzle and platforming elements. However, it’s not a title for the average gamer. For those looking to experience philosophy, theology, and a surreal world, this is one to check out. For someone who’s looking to be scared throughout, experience combat, or have all questions neatly answered, this should probably be a pass.

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Indika Review: A Unique Story for the Right Type of Gamer
Indika is a creative, thoughtful narrative game with puzzle and platforming elements. However, it's not a title for the average gamer.

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Author
Ashley Erickson
Ashley, otherwise known as Glitchiee, is an avid gamer of RPGs, TTRPGS, farming sims, and survival crafting games. Playing since she can remember, she started on the SNES, GameBoy Color, and collection 1st gen Pokemon cards. Using her passion for gaming, she's written about games for a combined total of 2 years.