INDIKA Magazine – A debate on religion that strikes a chord


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

    Visual design

    Screenshot of pro game guides

    INDIKA’s visual design is absolutely stunning. From the beginning, I enjoyed the beautifully created landscape of the Russian countryside and its snowy trails. It’s all in the little details, like leaving footprints in the snow as 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 sometimes had creepy vibes, like someone was watching me. It was like a tribute to the visual design team and the effort they put into creating the world of INDIKA.

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

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    Images also tell a story. I especially enjoyed the contrast between the normal 3D art in most of the game (which uses muted colors, blacks, whites, grays and browns) and the 2D pixel world of Indika’s flashbacks before becoming a nun (which is colorful and nice). even for some of the scariest memories).

    Score: 5/5

    How to Play

    Screenshot of pro game guides

    Indika starts the game with a score counter in the corner of the screen and she already has a lot of points. Collecting items made me level up and have to choose between pain, regret, regret, etc., just like one would in other video game skill trees. This was such a strange, but strangely appropriate, feature of the game. Unfortunately, I didn’t make it to the last level on my first playthrough, but I’ll be back to see if collecting everything will affect the end of the game in any way.

    As you navigate the world of INDIKA, you’ll encounter many different puzzles, some of which stumped me for quite some time. Once you figure them out (and stop thinking too much), they tend to have pretty simple solutions, which I really like. It seems complicated until you realize that it is not.

    One mechanic I really enjoyed but wasn’t expecting was Indika driving and operating machinery. Riding a bike through a snowy trail and frozen lakes was definitely one of my favorite parts of the game (until I crashed).

    INDIKA does one thing extremely well and that is switching between styles and points of view. You would think that a transition between the normal art and the pixel art of the flashbacks would be more jarring, but it wasn’t. And I enjoyed that each of those levels had its own minigame 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 dialogue and character scenes, instantly turning the screen black. The quotes were a nice addition, but could have been made a little more fluid. For example, once a dog was chasing me for the first time and I ran towards a house for safety. Even before the door closes, the screen goes black to proceed to the next level.

    Score: 4.5/5


    Screenshot of pro game guides

    At the beginning of the story, Indika receives the backs of almost all the other nuns, even when she is simply trying to do her chores. The fact that she had to fill five buckets of water in the slowest way possible for that nun to spill it all was very annoying, but it made sense when you realized that Indika could hear the voice of the Devil himself. That’s probably why the other nuns rejected her.

    Indika goes out to deliver a letter with her constant companion, the Devil, and encounters an escaped train prisoner named Ilya, who is apparently talking to God. As you progress through the game, a nun talking to the devil and a prisoner talking 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 they’re both really hearing (and seeing, in Indika’s case) what they think they are or if they’re just imagining it. The vague way otherworldliness is portrayed reflects the real world and religious skepticism.

    This questioning culminates in the final scenes of INDIKA, which really resonated with me. I am not someone who normally engages in religion and religious debates, but the Russian Orthodox Church is similar to the Orthodox religion of my own country, so it is more familiar to me. The game really handled this topic respectfully while pointing out the flaws and gray areas that our religion generally doesn’t discuss.

    Score: 4.5/5

    Sound design

    Screenshot of MyFullGames

    Most of the game is not accompanied by background music, instead opting to foreground ambient sounds and character dialogue. However, this changes when the world turns devilish red and you can hear alarm-like (i.e. urgent) music. It made me anxious and I wanted to get out of this as soon as possible.

    There is music in the arcade-style flashbacks where there is no dialogue. The upbeat music fits the style very well. Some of this leaks into the normal world, like when Indika rides her bike and escapes with Ilya. You can hear the same music, just silently, like when she runs against his father in a flashback.

    While I enjoyed listening to all the voice actors, as they all gave incredible performances, the voice of the Devil (Silas Carson) surpassed them all. His voice while narrating some of the stories was calming and conversational, but he could become cruel and threatening when he teased Indika about his (truly diabolical) life.

    Score: 4.5/5

    Verdict: A moving story of a nun that will resonate with many

    INDIKA is the perfect representation of a religious struggle, made even more attractive by being set in an alternative Russia. I loved exploring the world and hearing the story, and I found that 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 great 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 explore the game further, check out the 10 Best Indie Games of All Time on Pro Gaming Guides.

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