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INDIKA Review | An Oscar-Worthy Game

88
Story
10
Gameplay
8
Visuals
9
Audio
8
Value for Money
9
Price:
$ 25
Clear Time:
6 Hours
INDIKA is an avant-garde indie film disguised as a puzzle adventure game. While it's sinfully short and has a few minor flaws here and there, its story is beautifully told for me to forgive its sins. The world and puzzles are meticulously crafted, and the characters are complex and layered. The devil himself steals the spotlight with his devilishly charming presence. Indika dances on the edge of darkness and light, blending dark humor with profound religious themes. Its stunningly realistic graphics, mingled with charming 8-bit elements, create a unique visual experience that might seem jarring at first. Yet, somehow, most of it comes together to form a cohesive whole that's both slightly disorienting and strangely mesmerizing. In the end, it's a beautiful tale with an Oscar-worthy story and Oscar-worthy performances.

INDIKA is a third-person narrative-driven adventure game developed by Odd Meter and published by 11 Bit Studios. Read our review to learn what it did well, what it didn't do well, and whether it's worth buying.

INDIKA Review Overview

What is INDIKA?

The plot of INDIKA centers on a young nun named Indika. At first glance, she appears to be an ordinary nun—humble and innocent—but don't be fooled—Indika is grieving over past wrongdoings that haunt her and her most unlikely friend—the devil—with whom she can somehow converse mentally. Furthermore, it appears that Indika's environment becomes warped and horrific when she gives in to the devil's temptations and listens to him. Her connection with the Evil One facilitates her voyage beyond the secure confines of the monastery and into the alternate Russia of the 19th century. She is on a self-discovery journey filled with tragedy and comedy.

INDIKA features:
 ⚫︎ Third-Person Puzzle Adventure Game and Dark Humour
 ⚫︎ Narrative Driven Game with Religious Themes
 ⚫︎ Realistic Graphics Mixed with 8-Bit Visuals
 ⚫︎ Set in an Alternative Version of Late XIX Century Russa

For more gameplay details, read everything we know about INDIKA's gameplay and story.


Digital Storefront
Steam IconSteam Epic IconEpic Games Epic IconGOG
Price $24.99


INDIKA Pros & Cons

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Pros Cons
Checkmark A Cinematic, Avant-Garde, and Beautifully Told Narrative
Checkmark Small but Compelling Cast
Checkmark Gorgeous Set Pieces
Checkmark Devilishly Designed Puzzles
Checkmark Sinfully Short
Checkmark Level and Point System is Pointless

INDIKA Overall Score - 88/100

INDIKA is an avant-garde indie film disguised as a puzzle adventure game. While it's sinfully short and has a few minor flaws here and there, its story is beautifully told for me to forgive its sins. The world and puzzles are meticulously crafted, and the characters are complex and layered. The devil himself steals the spotlight with his devilishly charming presence. Indika dances on the edge of darkness and light, blending dark humor with profound religious themes. Its stunningly realistic graphics, mingled with charming 8-bit elements, create a unique visual experience that might seem jarring at first. Yet, somehow, most of it comes together to form a cohesive whole that's both slightly disorienting and strangely mesmerizing. In the end, it's a beautiful tale with an Oscar-worthy story and Oscar-worthy performances.

INDIKA Story - 10/10

INDIKA is truly a cinematic masterpiece, drawing inspiration from visionary directors like Lanthimos, Ari Aster, and Darren Aronofsky. The characters are witty and well-written, and their journeys are perfectly aligned with the overarching themes of the story. It's a coming-of-age tale with a bizarre yet avant-garde tone, seamlessly incorporating elements of surrealism, philosophical depth, and satirical humor. By the time the credits roll, you'll be left speechless, pondering the profound layers of meaning woven throughout the narrative.

INDIKA Gameplay - 8/10

INDIKA offers a captivating linear adventure experience, featuring a blend of puzzles, platforming, and enjoyable segments throughout. Surprisingly, it also incorporates some 8-bit style gaming elements, which may seem out of place initially, but they add a unique charm and somehow seamlessly fit into the already weird game. However, one notable downside is the lack of purpose in the point and level-up system, leaving me questioning its relevance within the game.

INDIKA Visuals - 9/10

INDIKA is a visually stunning game, thanks to its cinematic camera angles, beautifully lit and colored environments, and masterfully crafted set pieces. The incorporation of 8-bit segments adds another layer of artistry that is also stunning. However, it's not without its flaws, as the game occasionally suffers from low-poly textures in both characters and backgrounds, as well as occasional stuttering.

INDIKA Audio - 8/10

INDIKA features an incredible English cast that truly brings the characters to life, particularly the devil himself, who steals the show with his somehow charming demeanor. However, while the soundtrack has its moments of thrill, it falls short of being truly special. I would have loved to see more variety in music styles, as the heavily inspired 8-bit soundtrack feels hit or miss at times.

INDIKA Value for Money - 9/10

Despite some of its flaws, I highly recommend this game, especially if you're a fan of narrative-rich experiences or enjoy diving into thought-provoking games. Its storytelling is among the most captivating in gaming this year, making it a standout choice for those seeking immersive narratives. And don't overlook the engaging puzzles, particularly the devil's challenges, as they remain my favorite sequences in the game. It's perfectly priced at $24.99 and is currently on a 10% discount on Steam! Definitely a bang for your buck!

INDIKA Review: An Oscar Worthy Game

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If INDIKA were up for an Oscar, it would undoubtedly snag the award for Best Screenplay. This game delivers a narrative so masterfully crafted that it feels like something straight out of an Oscar-bait film or an indie arthouse gem. From its writing to its characters, themes, and ending, INDIKA is a truly spectacular and compelling story that defies the boundaries of traditional gaming.

Delving into the details of the story would spoil the magic, so let me just say this upfront: if you're a fan of rich storytelling in games, then you absolutely need to give this one a try. Now, let's approach this review like a confession in a priest's booth, starting with the game's sins before diving into its strengths as if the game is repenting for its shortcomings.

INDIKA's brevity is its Achilles' heel, clocking in at a mere 4-5 hours. While that might fly for a movie, as a game, it's a bit underwhelming. After completing the main story, there's not much left to sink your teeth into. The limited side activities don't do much to alleviate this, with collectibles offering little incentive beyond replaying levels or scavenger hunts. Unfortunately, both feel rather hollow.

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The linear nature of the levels means you'll be retracing your steps, while the collectibles don't offer much beyond a meaningless points system. The game itself even admits to this futility during loading screens. While it's refreshing to see such honesty, it left me yearning for more meaningful content. It would've been nice to see additional side content, like extra puzzles or a challenging mode to prolong this otherwise amazing game.

The soundtrack of INDIKA is a mixed bag, to say the least. While some tracks manage to hit the mark, many others fade into the background, easily forgotten. There are moments, like when you're fleeing from a feral dog, where the music adds a thrilling edge to the game. However, I can't help but feel that the game could benefit from more intense, heart-pounding tracks to match its tone. Additionally, I would have loved to hear some Catholic hymns and choir songs woven into the soundtrack, as they would have added a perfect touch to the game's overall atmosphere and religious undertones.

The clashing tones, which initially seemed discordant, now feel purposeful and artfully executed. The 8-bit elements, such as the point system and segments, are revealed to be integral to the narrative, particularly in relation to the protagonist, Indika. They serve as a representation of her enduring childlike nature, a means of preserving her sanity amidst the trials of her world. This thematic depth adds a layer of emotional resonance that is both poignant and thought-provoking.

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Furthermore, the game's themes and characters are richly layered and complex, inviting players to explore the game deeply. The blend of realism with fantastical elements, set against the backdrop of an alternative Russia, creates a captivating and immersive setting. It's a testament to the game's soft fantasy storytelling, which masterfully keeps players engaged while leaving much to be uncovered and interpreted.

If you're familiar with the distinctive style of A24 films, then playing INDIKA will feel like stepping into that same realm of avant-garde storytelling and cinematography. It's not just the unconventional narrative and visuals that draw parallels; the game also boasts a cast of nuanced and complex characters that wouldn't be out of place in an A24 production. Among them are Indika, Ilya, and the devil, each deeply troubled and flawed in their own right.

Without delving into spoilers, I can say that the dynamic between these characters is both captivating and unconventional. However, it's the devil who truly steals the show. Voiced with remarkable skill, he serves as a biased narrator, constantly taunting and challenging Indika while also revealing surprising layers of emotional care. His presence imbues the game with dark humor reminiscent of films like Saved! and Calvary.

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While the gameplay of INDIKA is basically a very linear adventure with its in-world puzzles and platforming, it's a journey that's truly worth exploring from beginning to end. Despite the underlying sense of dread that permeates the world, there's an undeniable beauty in the way reality and fiction intertwine. I often found myself mesmerized by the stunning set pieces and layouts, even in the midst of desolate snowscapes and industrial landscapes.

The puzzles themselves are quite enjoyable, ranging from simple brain teasers to thought-provoking challenges that demand keen environmental awareness. However, it's the puzzles presented by The Evil One that truly stand out. These unique trials arise when Indika succumbs to temptation, transforming her surroundings into a nightmarish hellscape as the devil taunts her with the promise of escape.

To break free from this hellish prison, Indika must rely on prayers to dispel the devil's illusions and restore reality. Toggling between realms, you must guide Indika through obstacles and challenges, aiming to reach safety amidst the chaos. This mechanic, introduced in the demo, remains a highlight of the full game, with even more of these gripping segments scattered throughout unexpected locations. It's an aspect of the gameplay that's not only engaging but also profoundly memorable.

Pros of INDIKA

Things INDIKA Got Right
Checkmark A Cinematic, Avant-Garde, and Beautifully Told Narrative
Checkmark Small but Compelling Cast
Checkmark Gorgeous Set Pieces
Checkmark Devilishly Designed Puzzles

A Cinematic, Avant-Garde, and Beautifully Told Narrative

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INDIKA's narrative is so rich and immersive that it wouldn't surprise me if it ever made its way to the big screen. From the opening scenes to the final credits, I was completely captivated by its cinematic storytelling. Every aspect, from its cinematography to the delivery of dialogue, feels meticulously crafted for the silver screen.

What's truly remarkable is how seamlessly the story is woven into the gameplay. Unlike other games that rely heavily on cutscenes, INDIKA integrates its narrative into every aspect of the player's journey. As a Catholic myself, I appreciated how the game handled its religious themes with sensitivity and depth. Rather than seeking to offend or provoke, it presents thought-provoking scenarios that challenge our understanding of faith and belief. It's a testament to the game's ability to spark meaningful conversations and engage players on a profound level.

Though shall not kill is the sixth commandment, but Indika KILLED it and knocked it out of the park in terms of storytelling.

Small but Compelling Cast

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You only have a small cast in this game but each of them has depth, nuance, and most importantly memorable. I was pleasantly surprised by how complex and flawed each character was, making them all the more compelling to follow. Indika, in particular, defied my expectations. As a nun, I expected her to be a bland, saintly figure, but she turned out to be anything but. Her sharp wit, philosophical ponderings, and constant grappling with her faith made her a truly intriguing protagonist. And then there's the Devil himself, who steals the show with his charismatic presence and morally ambiguous nature. It's rare to see a villain so well-developed and multifaceted, and it's a testament to the game's storytelling prowess.

Gorgeous Set Pieces

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The puzzles in this game offer a diverse range of challenges, from simple tasks like finding keys to more complex objectives like reaching distant areas. Even the simpler puzzles are engaging, thanks to the intriguing landscapes and clever design. However, the real highlight is the puzzles presented by the Evil One, where you must escape from eerie landscapes born from Indika's temptations.

Devilishly Designed Puzzle

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The puzzles in this game vary from finding keys to reaching an area and even the simpler ones are engaging and interesting because of the landscape and how they are put together. But what really truly shines is the puzzles the Evil One sends you in where you have to escape a certain area to escape the evilish landscape brought upon by Indika’s temptations.

Cons of INDIKA

Things That INDIKA Can Improve
Checkmark Sinfully Short
Checkmark Level and Point System is Pointless

Sinfully Short

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The game is on the shorter side and I couldn't help but wish for a few more chapters or some extra activities to keep me immersed in this captivating world. However, despite its brevity, the game manages to make the most out of every gameplay hour, packed with intricate details and engaging moments.

Level and Point System is Pointless

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While I get why the developers went for that approach, I would have appreciated having more incentives to make finding and collecting items more rewarding. It could have really boosted the gameplay hours and replayability of the game, which I think many players would have enjoyed.

Is INDIKA Worth It?

Yes, Especially for Cinephiles

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This game is priced at $24.99 and I wholeheartedly believe it is worth every penny. The story will keep you hooked and leave you pondering about deep conversations you might not have considered otherwise. The puzzles are a blast and quite thought-provoking. The world created here is also rich and immersive, instantly drawing you in from the get-go. It's altogether an experience too unique to miss out on, even if it IS a bit shorter than some others out there. Now's the perfect time to purchase it because the game's got a 10% discount going on Steam.

Learn about what others have had to say about INDIKA in our review round-up linked below!


Digital Storefront
Steam IconSteam Epic IconEpic Games Epic IconGOG
Price $24.99


INDIKA FAQ

Where is the Setting of INDIKA?

The game set in alternative Russia at the turn of the XIX century.

Can INDIKA be Played on the Steam Deck?

At the moment, INDIKA is not playable on Steam Deck, however, the developers have stated they are creating a dedicated handheld version that is currently in progress.

Who are the Voice Actors in INDIKA?

Indika is played by Anastassia Dyachuk in Russian and Isabella Inchbald in the English dub. Below are the rest of the cast for the game INDIKA:
Russian Voice Actors

Role Russian Voice Actors
Indika Anastassia Dyachuk
Devil Efim Shifrin
Ilya Sergey Gabrielyan

English Voice Actors

Role English Voice Actors
Indika Isabella Inchbald
Devil Silas Carson
Ilya Louis Boyer

What Engine does the Game INDIKA Use?

INDIKA uses Unreal Engine 4.

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INDIKA Product Information

INDIKA Cover
Title INDIKA
Release Date May 2, 2024
Developer Odd Meter
Publisher 11 bit studios
Supported Platforms PC
Genre Puzzle, Adventure
Number of Players 1
ESRB Rating Not Rated
Official Website INDIKA Website

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