INDIKA Review — A Nun-Conventional Journey

A perfect blend of thought-provoking and parody.

INDIKA Review
Overall
4
  • Story And Setting
  • Gameplay
  • Visuals And Performance

Verdict

INDIKA presents an intriguing narrative that features complex ideas and critical thinking complimented with amazing visuals.

Pros

  • Complex Characters.
  • Intriguing Narrative.
  • Unique Puzzle-Solving Mechanics.
  • Stunning Visuals.

Cons

  • Weak Gameplay.
  • Slow Progression.

When I first saw the reveal of INDIKA, I was fully convinced I would be playing a horror game. After all, the game’s atmosphere looked like such, and nuns in video games are often associated with horror and creepypasta. However, my expectations couldn’t be further from the truth.

Key Takeaways
  • Developer: Odd Meter
  • Publisher: 11 bit studios
  • Release Date: May 2, 2024
  • Platforms: Windows, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S
  • Game Length: N/A
  • Time Played: 15 hours
  • Editors Note: We thoroughly tested INDIKA on PC, putting roughly 15 hours into fully understanding the mechanics.

While I believe that the developers successfully delivered the vision and message they were hoping for, it’s tough not to feel as though INDIKA should’ve belonged to a different genre or at least incorporated more elements of it.

Story And Setting

indika story
Beginning the story with Indika (Image Captured by eXputer)

You start off the game as Indika, a nun constantly intruded by a voice in her head, making her frowned upon by her sisters at the church. When tasked to visit a nearby town, Indika encounters Ilya, a crippled man who claims he’s chosen by God. To aid him in finding a cure for his infected arm, you take it upon yourself to help Ilya reach Spasov, home of the Kudets, who might heal him and even get rid of the voice invading Indika’s mind.

Marketed as a story-driven game, INDIKA doesn’t shy away from sharing and even harmonizing conflicting ideas like innocence and sin, control and temptation, God and lust, pride and humility, and many more. The title regularly focuses on these moral-testing themes as you progress through the story, creating several intriguing moments between the characters.

Marketed as a story-driven game, INDIKA doesn’t shy away from sharing and even harmonizing conflicting ideas like innocence and sin, control and temptation, God and lust, pride and humility, and many more.

The characters themselves are dynamic and ever-developing, becoming more interesting with each level. You always see the conflict between Indika’s actions and her true ambitions since the outgoing voice in her head exposes her thoughts.

On the other hand, Ilya’s backstory, which is revealed over time, gives him a layer of complexity, adding a reason to his occasional violent actions. And we can’t forget the Devil himself that’s inside Indika’s mind, who extends comedic relief with his satirical and sometimes suggestive undertones.

Ilya indika
Meeting Ilya in INDIKA (Image Credit Copyright: eXputer)

However, I noticed that INDIKA tried a bit too hard to deliver thought-provoking messages and themes rather than portray a cohesive story. Some of the story bits weren’t answered properly or didn’t make any sense outright.

In other cases, there were several pacing issues where the actual interesting segments felt rushed while others felt too drawn out. Overall, I recommend being patient with the story because everything takes its sweet time to settle in.

A Journey Of Self-Discovering In An Uncanny Setting

INDIKA’s world is set in early 20th-century Russia, where the Industrial Revolution was just starting to bloom. In every stage, you’re surrounded by heaps of snow and the aftershocks of a war. The howling winds, piles of rubble, and abandoned and broken houses give the environment its eerie and unsettling vibe.

The setting is perfect for a horror game, and believe me, the sections where you encounter something supernatural stick with you for a while.

The setting is perfect for a horror game, and believe me, the sections where you encounter something supernatural stick with you for a while. Of course, this isn’t a horror game, but the world around you has incredible immersion and detail, seamlessly setting up the events that come later on.

Gameplay

indika gameplay
Riding a bike with Ilya (Screenshot by eXputer)

INDIKA makes it abundantly clear that it prioritizes a compelling narrative over a gameplay loop, yet the latter takes a big portion of your playtime, and most of it is unbearably slow. Unlike the story, the gameplay seems directionless at times except for certain mechanics and sections that offer some appeal.

Let’s start with the good; the puzzle-solving in this game is incredibly unique. In a couple traversal-based sections, the voice in Indika’s mind becomes stronger and takes over, creating hallucinations where the world around you feels like it’s crumbling apart.

INDIKA makes it abundantly clear that it prioritizes a compelling narrative over a gameplay loop, yet the latter takes a big portion of your playtime, and most of it is unbearably slow.

To temporarily regain control and escape the hallucinations, you can Pray and proceed through the puzzle as you normally would. However, you can only access certain platforms and areas while you’re hallucinating, so you need to regularly transition between both states if you want to succeed. These segments were easily my favorite part of INDIKA because they encouraged critical thinking and observing the shifts.

indika hallucinations
Hallucinations (Image Credit Copyright: eXputer)

There are also a few fun pixelated minigames that link back to the story, and these minigames introduce freshness because they divert from the game’s regular theme. You can race someone, do platforming, collect points, and much more, and while there’s no reward for them except story progression, their scarcity is what makes you excited when you enter one.

Simple Approaches That Often Didn’t Pay Off

minigames indika
One of the pixelated minigames (Picture Credit: eXputer)

Beyond the puzzle-solving and traversal, the game begins to tire out the player with incredibly slow progression. Most of INDIKA’s gameplay is simply walking or riding your bike from A to B with expository dialogue alongside it, but these parts are needlessly stretched out and tedious.

Beyond the puzzle-solving and traversal, the game begins to tire out the player with incredibly slow progression.

In most cases, you’re not given a clear-cut objective besides a vague description of what you need to do to progress. As you progress, you’ll encounter more levels where you get stuck for several minutes or even hours because the game doesn’t properly convey its goal.

There are also the points that you can collect, which, quite literally, are useless. Collecting items or interacting with certain things, like praying in front of a holy picture, gives you points to level up. The thing is the points or the leveling system don’t affect anything, and even the game tells you that. I understand these points don’t take anything away from the game, but implementing a mechanic that does nothing just seems bizarre.

leveling up indika
The Leveling System (Picture Credit: eXputer)

I feel like INDIKA would’ve been much better off if the gameplay segments had been either significantly reduced or at least more fast-paced. As of now, they’re extremely boring and a chore to go through, which is why I believe that if Odd Meter leaned more into the horror aspect, it would’ve created some tension, suspense, and adrenaline that could hide the simplicity.

Visuals And Performance

indika graphics
The immersive visuals of INDIKA (Screenshot by eXputer)

Thanks to its crisp visuals, detailed environments, and superb lighting, INDIKA is a treat to look at—both in its retro-themed and realistic styles. The minigames showcase Odd Meter’s creativity with a vibrant art style, while the rest of the game keeps its realistic graphics that stay true to the overall tone and setting.

Thanks to its crisp visuals, detailed environments, and superb lighting, INDIKA is a treat to look at—both in its retro-themed and realistic styles.

Fortunately, despite having triple-A visual fidelity, INDIKA doesn’t suffer from any major visual bugs, stutters, glitches, or any other performance-related issues. I was surprised by how well-optimized the title was, and even in open environments or during resource-intensive scenes, there weren’t any noticeable FPS drops.

I did notice a minor bug where setting the V-Sync to anything above 60 caused occasional stutters, but the developers have taken notice of this issue and might patch it on full release. I ran the title on an Intel Core i7-10750H with a GTX 1660Ti Mobile and was easily touching 60 FPS throughout the experience. As such, even on mid-end hardware, you can expect stable performance when playing INDIKA.

Verdict

INDIKA presents an intriguing narrative that features complex ideas and critical thinking complimented with amazing visuals. There’s not much to offer in the gameplay department except the puzzle-solving segments, but that’s not the core focus of this game. Instead, it’s designed to invoke philosophical discussion and make you question and rethink the line between your religious and personal self.

This game gives a unique experience that you can only appreciate if you’re a fan of environmental storytelling and open to hearing different religious viewpoints. Once you go in with those expectations, I can guarantee you’ll understand the underlying moral dilemmas when you see the credits roll.

This has been my INDIKA review. While you’re here, consider checking out some of our other articles:

This is box title
Get This Game
If you enjoy narrative-driven games that test the waters of morality.
Dont Get This Game
If you prioritize gameplay over storytelling.
Buy / Wait For Sale / Don't Buy
I would definitely recommend buying this game if you’re going in with the right expectations, which is anticipating a wide array of provocative themes.
Alternative Games
  • A Plague Tale: Innocence
  • Oxenfree
  • Inside
  • The Walking Dead
  • Life is Strange
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Daniyal is a Guides Writer and Editor at eXputer with over one year of experience in content writing. He's had a passion for tech and gaming for more than 15 years. Ever since his first console, the PS2, he's constantly branching off to different genres, and his go-to at the moment is the Souls experience pioneered by FromSoftware, which is evident by his 1,500+ hours of game time on Elden Ring. You can learn some more about Daniyal's gaming journey on his Steam & Xbox profiles.

Experience: 1+ Years || Mainly Covers Guides || Education: Bachelors in Computer Sciences.

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