Indika is one of the strangest games that I’ve ever played, but I mean that in the BEST way possible. I absolutely loved playing it and don’t think I’ll be forgetting my experience with the titular nun for a long, long time…

Check out some screenshots down below:

Taking place in Russia in the early 19th century, Indika puts players in the role of the young nun of the same name, though she’s a little bit… different to the other nuns at the Covent, so much so that they share a sense of disdain towards her. It’s something she is aware of, and as she completes the menial tasks given to her to keep her out of the way (but that somehow get her in peculiar situations), she’ll share her thoughts on everything that’s going on around her. The only thing is, her thoughts can be VERY dark, and with the devil himself always near, the world and her perception of it is never quite ‘normal’.

It’s hard to talk about the storytelling of Indika because I really don’t want to give anything away. This is very much a narrative-driven experience, with it even taking a ‘walking simulator’ approach at times with how it delivers each story beat. I will note that it explores multiple themes though, with religion being the most prevalent but also complemented by things such as free-will, the fear of isolation, the power of evil, and so forth. Honestly? I found myself completely absorbed in it all, with the reveal of even the smallest of details drawing me more and more into Indika’s surreal world. Again, I don’t want to reveal too much about the storytelling, but it’s undoubtedly the highlight of this very unique experience.

“There were definitely sequences throughout Indika’s roughly five-hour playtime that left my jaw dropped as I wondered what the hell was even going on, but, looking back, I think they were my favourite moments.”

When it comes to the gameplay, as mentioned, Indika can feel like a bit of walking simulator with its focus on following a linear path and seeing the story unfold. That’s not to say that there won’t be plenty of moments of interactivity along the way though, with players not only able to take a more detailed look around their surroundings but also finding themselves in puzzling moments where they’ll have to unravel a problem to progress. None are especially difficult, but in a game that takes a slower pace as it focuses on the narrative, it’s always refreshing when you find some sort of obstacle in your path. The puzzles often lean into the more unique aspects of the game too, especially when the devil gets involved, but that’s better for the player to discover themselves.

One of the greatest strengths of the experience lies with its unpredictability. Whilst this is most predominant with the storytelling and how Indika explores a plethora of themes in a uniquely dark manner, there were also moments across the gameplay that caught me off-guard. For example, given the slower pace of the game, I didn’t expect to find myself in a chase sequence with a monstrous dog, but there we go. The game also veers from its photo-realistic presentation to an old-school 2D platformer at times too, which is bizarre given the context of the adventure, but somehow fits in PERFECTLY. It delivers plenty of moments that’ll surprise the player, and whilst I won’t spoil anymore of them here, I’d definitely suggest keeping a close eye on everything that’s going on in order to pick up on every little detail in the world.

Check out some screenshots down below:

Oh, and the skill tree and points you seem to be earning in the game? They were expertly delivered to feel befitting of the oddities that Indika continually delivers. It’s so self-aware of the unique experience that it offers that it’s easy to simply get on-board with it and simply enjoy the ride. It reminded me of Alan Wake II in some ways, which was another game that did leave me feeling a little baffled at times, but did so in a suspenseful and clever way that left me all the more absorbed in the experience. There were definitely sequences throughout Indika’s roughly five-hour playtime that left my jaw dropped as I wondered what the hell was even going on, but, looking back, I think they were my favourite moments. It certainly left me with plenty of questions by the time I was finished, but more than anything, I’m excited to go through all over again just to try and pick up on anything I might have missed.

I can’t end this review without mentioning the visuals, which were simply outstanding. The character models are outright insane at times, with Indika featuring some of the best facial details that I’ve seen in ANY game. The environments looked fantastic too, with the snowy 19th century Russia setting bringing with it some marvellous architecture that is a treat to explore. And when the game takes you to one of its more… ‘unreal’ environments? It’s fantastic. It is worth noting that I did come across a few little visual issues here and there (mostly caused by some animations freezing and the camera glitching out), but Indika is otherwise a gorgeous game.

Indika Review

Indika is uniquely brilliant in its own peculiar way, with the bizarre yet enthralling narrative unlike any that I’ve seen in a game before. It’s suspenseful, thought-provoking, and bizarre in equal measure, yet it had me utterly enthralled from start to end. It looks absolutely gorgeous too, and whilst the slower pace of the gameplay won’t be for everyone, it has enough ideas on show with its interactivity and puzzling to keep players engaged.

It’s just a compelling experience that I adored being a part of. I don’t want to give too much about Indika away because its constant surprises are one of its greatest strengths, but believe me, you wouldn’t have played anything quite like this before.

Developer: Odd-Meter
Publisher: 11 bit studios
Platform(s): PC (Reviewed), PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S