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26 May 2024

REVIEW: Indika (2024 Video Game) for Xbox


Review by Jon Donnis

"Indika" is a remarkable 2024 third-person, story-driven adventure game developed by Odd Meter and published by 11 Bit Studios, an independent studio originally from Moscow and now based in Kazakhstan. The game immerses players in a surreal and darkly humorous world where religious visions clash with harsh realities. It tells the story of Indika, a young nun who embarks on a life-altering odyssey with an unexpected, horn-headed companion, the devil himself.

From the outset, the narrative of Indika captivates with its intriguing and thought-provoking premise. The story begins in the confines of a monastery, where Indika's mundane life takes a dramatic turn when she starts communicating with the devil. This unlikely relationship sets the stage for a journey beyond the monastery's walls, thrusting her into a series of comedic and tragic events reminiscent of Dostoyevski and Bulhakov's novels. The game delves into profound themes of religion and authority, prompting players to reflect on these subjects as they guide Indika through her journey. The narrative is rich with striking imagery and dark humor, making the experience memorable and engaging. The balance of heavy themes with a peculiar sense of wit ensures that players remain engrossed from start to finish.

As a third-person adventure, Indika places a strong emphasis on its narrative, resulting in a somewhat linear progression. While this might limit the sense of exploration for some players, it ensures that the story remains tight and impactful. The gameplay features a mix of environmental puzzles and 2D pixel art mini-games, which provide a refreshing juxtaposition to the primary 3D gameplay. However, the puzzles are generally easy and might not satisfy players seeking a more challenging experience. The game starts off slowly, with the first level feeling somewhat tedious, but it improves significantly as the story progresses.

Visually, Indika is a feast for the eyes. The graphics during dream sequences, in particular, shine with engaging 2D pixel art mini-games that offer visual variety and delve deeper into Indika's troubled past. The main 3D environments are equally well-crafted, filled with hauntingly beautiful and bizarre landscapes that enhance the game's unique atmosphere. The audio complements the visuals perfectly, with a soundtrack that underscores the dark and whimsical tones of the narrative. The voice acting, especially for Indika and the devil, adds depth to the characters and makes their interactions more engaging.

Despite its linearity and relatively easy puzzles, Indika stands out for its compelling story, which is strong enough to keep players hooked. The game's unique blend of surreal, psychedelic elements and bleak humor, combined with high-quality graphics and a thought-provoking narrative, makes it a standout title. Indika invites multiple playthroughs, not just to uncover secrets and complete achievements but to savour the depth of its story. 11 bit studios and Odd Meter has crafted a truly unique experience that will linger in players' minds long after the journey ends. "Indika" scores a solid 8 out of 10, and is a must-play for those who appreciate story-driven games with a dark, humorous twist..

Out Now on Xbox

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