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Monday, May 6, 2024

Indika Review: Whose This Nun Lady?

By Jonathan Bilski

Hello Darkness,

My old friend. Why are you in a nun outfit?

Indika might sound like a hard to find Crayola color or a Ukrainian model doing Verizon ads. She's actually the protagonist of her own game and kind of has the devil in her. In an alternate time-line Russia you'll be puzzle solving around Indika's bleak, but farcical adventure through what looks like a place that lost a war. The game captured our eye and hopefully yours through its multiple trailers showing old-school pixels in a modern looking game. Elements of 16-bit sync in when you pray, collect items and earn points. And, even Indika's memories are in 16-bit. So, let's ask some deeper damning questions about Christianity and get into the game.

Indika, does not start off fun, it's almost the same problem I had with Harold Halibut. In Indika's monastery, she is not liked but the other nuns. They treat her pretty bad and you'll feel that the second you start playing. However, you don't stay here for very long. After, a great opening title sequence, that has you being pushed out from the place, you'll meet your walking companion and captor/ friend Ilya. He's got an arm going gangrene and some different thoughts on Christianity and maybe a mission from G-d.
Too bad, you've got the devil in your ear. 

Indika has the problem of hearing possibly her own thoughts or possibly for real, the devil. The devil and Ilya allows for some great theology lessons and maybe some hard questions about the Christian faith in-between walking around devoid-of-zombies Resident Evil 4 villages.

You have some pretty depressing towns and factories to walk through and solve puzzles in. They look great and are the perfect place for some platforming or some head-scratching puzzles to solve.

Head-scratching might be in two-fold as a few times you need the devil in you for the world to split in two, which allows some interesting ways to platform. When the world splits, it opens other paths and therefore you can get somewhere you couldn't before.

It's one of many puzzles and gimmicks you'll have to figure out to complete the game.

Indika herself, as well as the devil are both great to listen too and ponder with as they try and make it through not the brightest of situations. Really superb voice-acting.
I didn't realize how short the game was till I got to the end, I beat it around seven and a half hours, but took some breaks in-between the tougher puzzles.
Along the way, I was always fascinated by the collecting of sacred artifacts, lighting candles to pray or earning points in a 16-bit style. That, with chip tune soundtracks that flow in the game, mash well-together and give the game it's own strange style.
Memories from our fair nun all take place in 16-bit, a fun sort of take on flashbacks from tv shows and anime. Instead of being in black-and-white or being fuzzy to denote a memory they're 16-bit like games to play. It's a novel concept and one I hope other games emulate.

Our time with Indika might be brief, but not forgettable. Be it the conversations she has, some of the surreal landscapes or puzzles or any of those 16-bit moments it was well worth it to play as a nun in alternate unfriendly 18th century Russia. I mean how many games can you say you were playing a nun who was also the devil?
The points don't matter, but that won't ever stop you from collecting them!

Get INDIKA on:
Steam | GOG | Epic | PlayStation | Xbox
Game provided by publisher for review purposes