One of my favourite things to do is play a short indie game on a whim without knowing anything about it. I did this for Indika and boy did it pay off.

Indika takes a fascinating approach to making a cinematic narrative game feel fresh and exciting. It's quite unlike most other narrative "walking-sim" style games I've played. Indika uses the medium of video games to tell it's story better. It's hard for me to say how it achieves that without outright spoiling it, but it's doing some pretty cool stuff. That also extends to the game's general tone. Indika feels like it's going back and forth between being a serious commentary on religion to presenting itself as outright goofy and more of a satire. Sometimes this works. But other times, it can feel jarring. And I imagine this to be the intent as it's often effective. I just can't help but feel the absurdist elements of the game could have been pushed even further.

I enjoyed the story that's being told here. There are some pretty interesting discussions about religion and morality throughout the game that stuck with me. This is helped by strong VA from the leads. I'll also add that this game has some cool alt-history lore stuff (massive fish!!) that add a unique flavour to the game's world. Fun stuff.

Indika isn't without the mundane though. For all the cool and unique stuff the game brings to the table, you're still pushing boxes and solving sometimes outright mediocre puzzles. There's also a few of the standard walking sections where, as a player, all you have to do is push up on the analog stick. Stuff like that still feels archaic here, but I didn't mind it too much considering how strong the rest of the game is.

I enjoyed Indika a lot for what it was. And even more than that, I appreciate it for doing things differently. This is an extremely unique entry in the pantheon of Walking Sims out there. Definitely worth a look.

Reviewed on May 20, 2024