INDIKA Review – A debate on religion that strikes a chord

INDIKA is a story-driven game that focuses on religion—or better yet, on doubts about religion, morality, and choices. It's a perfect picture of an imperfect aspect of society, and I've enjoyed going on that journey of self-discovery with Indika.

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Visual design

Indika standing in the doorway in INDIKA
Screenshot by Pro Game Guides

The visual design of INDIKA is absolutely stunning. From the get-go, I've enjoyed the beautifully created scenery of the Russian countryside and its snowed-in paths. It's all in the little details, like leaving footsteps in the snow while I walk through it.

I also appreciated being able to sit on a bench and see snapshots of the environment around me, even if it had creepy vibes sometimes as if someone was staring at me. It felt like an homage to the visual design team and the effort they put into crafting the world of INDIKA.

Cutscenes in games are usually like watching a movie, but the cinematic and artistic quality of some of the shots in INDIKA had me gasping. For example, the opening credits were set up in such a unique way, with the nun and Indika walking through hallways and lighting up the walls with the names of people who worked on the game.

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The visuals also tell a story. I especially enjoyed the contrast between the regular 3D art in most of the game (which uses muted colors, blacks, whites, grays, and browns), and the pixel 2D world of Indika's flashbacks before she became a nun (which is colorful and cute even for some of the more gruesome memories).

Score: 5/5


Indika racing her dad in a flashback in INDIKA
Screenshot by Pro Game Guides

Indika starts the game with a points counter in the corner of the screen and a lot of points already. Collecting items had me leveling up and having to choose between grief, repentance, regret, etc., just like one would in other video game skill trees. This was such an odd, yet strangely fitting feature of the game. Sadly, I didn't get to the last level on my first playthrough, but I will be going back in to see if collecting everything will affect the ending of the game in any way.

As you navigate the world of INDIKA, you'll encounter many different puzzles, some of which had me stumped for quite a while. Once you figure them out (and stop overthinking), they tend to have quite simple solutions, which I like very much. It seems complicated until you realize it's not.

One mechanic I really enjoyed but did not expect was Indika driving and operating machinery. Riding the bike across a snowy path and frozen lakes was definitely one of my favorite parts of the game (until I crashed it).

INDIKA does one thing extremely well, and that is to switch between styles and POVs. You would think that a transition between the regular art and the pixel art of flashbacks would be more jarring but it wasn't. And I enjoyed that those levels each had its own mini-game that you had to play, like racing Indika's dad on a bike, etc.

One thing that bothered me was the transition between levels. It would cut off the characters' dialogue and scenes, turning the screen instantly black. The quotes were a nice addition, but it could have been done a bit smoother. For example, once I was being chased by a dog for the first time and ran into a house for safety. Even before the door is closed, the screen goes black to transition to the next level.

Score: 4.5/5


Indika in the flipped rooms seeing the devil in INDIKA
Screenshot by Pro Game Guides

At the start of the story, Indika gets a cold shoulder from almost every other nun even while she just tries to do her tasks. The fact that I had to fill five buckets of water in the slowest way possible for that one nun to then spill it all was annoying as hell, but it made sense when you realized that Indika could hear the voice of the Devil himself. That's probably why the other nuns shunned her.

Indika sets off to deliver a letter with her constant companion, the Devil, and encounters a prisoner who has escaped from a train called Ilya, who is apparently talking to God. As you make your way through the game, a nun who talks to the Devil and a prisoner who talks to God engage in many religious debates, with the Devil adding his own stories and opinions.

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It's never really certain if both of them are actually hearing (and seeing, in Indika's case) what they think they are or if they are just imagining it. The vague way that the otherworldly is portrayed reflects the real world and religious skepticism.

This questioning culminates in the ending scenes of INDIKA, which really resonated with me. I'm not someone who typically engages in religion and religious debates, but the Russian Orthodox Church is similar to the Orthodox religion in my own country, so it hit closer to home. The game really handled this topic respectfully while pointing out the flaws and gray areas that our religion usually does not discuss.

Score: 4.5/5

Sound Design

Indika riding a bike and escaping with Ilya in INDIKA
Screenshot by Pro Game guides

Most of the game isn't accompanied by background music, instead opting to put environmental sounds and the dialogue of characters at the forefront. However, this switches when the world turns devilish red and you can hear music similar to an alarm (i.e. urgent). It made me anxious, and I wished to be out of it as soon as possible.

There is music in the arcade-style flashbacks where there are no dialogues. The cheery music fits the style really well. Some of it does leak into the regular world, like when Indika is riding the bike and escaping with Ilya. You can hear the same music, just muted, like when she races against her father in a flashback.

While I did enjoy listening to all of the voice actors as they all had amazing performances, the voice of the Devil (Silas Carson), outperformed everyone. His voice while narrating some of the stories was soothing and conversational, but it could turn cruel and menacing as he mocked Indika about her life (really devil-like).

Score: 4.5/5

Verdict - A touching story of one nun that will resonate with many

INDIKA is the perfect representation of a religious struggle, made all the more alluring by being set in an alternate Russia. I loved exploring the world and listening to the story, and found many of my own opinions were reflected in Indika and her doubts. The decision to make her the devil's advocate while Ilya is the one who believes in God cements this game as a genius work of art for me.

[Disclosure: A free copy of the game was provided to PGG by the publisher for review purposes.]

If you want to keep exploring the game, check out 10 Best Indie Games of All Time on Pro Game Guides.

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About the Author

Hristina has been a full-time Staff Writer at Pro Game Guides since October 2023. She has a Master's degree in English Language, Literature and Culture from the University of Belgrade. She's used her love of English to write blogs, anime quizzes, books as well as work as a Content Editor before starting at PGG. She lives for the horror genre and you'll often find her playing Dead by Daylight, Lethal Company, and Phasmophobia. Hristina's comfort games are Outlast, Last of Us, and Until Dawn, which she has played or watched other people play more than 10 times each.

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INDIKA Review – A debate on religion that strikes a chord

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