Developed by Phantomery Interactive, 1953 – KGB Unleashed is a tense and atmospheric First Person Adventure set deep within the bowels of a Soviet bunker during the Cold War. Players must uncover the dark and horrifc secrets buried within, fighting their own paranoia along the way as well as the possibility of all-too-real terrors within...
User reviews:
Overall:
Mixed (395 reviews) - 60% of the 395 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Sep 20, 2013

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Reviews

“Quite absorbing, very atmospheric, interesting puzzles.”
4/5 – http://www.bigredbarrel.com/blog/2012/07/review-1953-kgb-unleashed/

“...definitely recommended to anyone that enjoys Point and Click Adventure games and anyone that's looking for a new atmospheric game to play.”
8/10 – http://calmdowntom.com/2012/07/1953-kgb-unleashed-review/

“I've rarely played an adventure with such an oppressive atmosphere.”
80% – http://www.nextgengamers.net/index.php/tests/845-1953-im-netz-des-kgb

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About This Game

Developed by Phantomery Interactive, 1953 – KGB Unleashed is a tense and atmospheric First Person Adventure set deep within the bowels of a Soviet bunker during the Cold War. Players must uncover the dark and horrifc secrets buried within, fighting their own paranoia along the way as well as the possibility of all-too-real terrors within the bunker. Are the voices emanating from all around you real, or just an hallucination resulting from your isolation? Will you manage to escape into the warm embrace of daylight, or will you be trapped within the foreboding menace of the bunker?

Only in 1953 – KGB Unleashed can the answers be found!

“1953 – KGB Unleashed” is based on real projects conducted by the Ministry of State Security of the USSR (the former KGB). During that time they pushed the limits of human endurance, testing for the possibility of telepathy, as well as researching the psychological impact of fear on the human brain. The photo-realistic visual style of “1953 – KGB Unleashed” recreates the USSR of the fifties: the underground shelter’s interior is constructed using real Soviet military plans, and the materials found there are based on historically valid documents.

Explore a hidden laboratory where such experiments were conducted in order to learn the truth behind the terrifying events that led to the closure of the project and the liquidation of its staff. An atmosphere of isolation and suspense pervades throughout, bringing you face to face with your own fears, while the voice of invisible “observer” broadcasts over the internal communications system. Is this observer a friend, or an enemy? Your exploration of this perfectly-preserved complex may uncover what these experiments unlocked deep within the human psyche — but will you survive these revelations intact?

Features

  • Secret underground areas with special KGB objects
  • Staggering puzzles and many challenging mind game
  • Realistically created 1950’s atmosphere

System Requirements

    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows: XP / Vista / 7 / 8
    • Processor: 2,0 Ghz - Pentium® or AMD®
    • Memory: 1024 MB RAM
    • Graphics: Geforce® 6800 / ATI® X1650 (min. MB 256 VRAM)
    • DirectX: Version 9.0c
    • Storage: 700 MB available space
    • Sound Card: DirectX® compatible soundcard
Customer reviews
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Overall:
Mixed (395 reviews)
Recently Posted
Question
( 3.9 hrs on record )
Posted: May 23
Pretty mediocre, ultra-linear point n click with some uninspired puzzles. To be fair, I'd actually disagree with a lot people saying this game is the ultimate pixel-hunting offender. I don't think the puzzles are good or interesting, but clickboxes for most objects are large enough that if you're just moving your mouse around the screen a couple times attempting to find interactive things, you'll find them.

The best thing it has going for it is the atmosphere it creates, undoubtedly. It is genuinely creepy, nervewracking, and just... it just feels wrong at times. Like you're investigating an unholy site that needs to be forgotten, and I suppose that's what the game tries to convey so it succeeds in that respect. The ending is complete and utter ♥♥♥♥ and makes 0 sense, and not in a good way where you're asking questions. In a completely anti-climactic way that makes you wonder why you wasted your 4 hours. Probably one of the worst, most "OK! Cut! We're outta money/ideas" endings I've ever seen in any piece of media--movie, video game, book, tv...anything. It's awful.

Sorta just not really worth the time.

________________________________________

Pros:

-Creepy, unnerving atmosphere.

Cons:

-The worst, most awful, dumb ending that shouldn't have made it into a product that leans on it's narrative and theme.
-Boring, dumb, occassionally unintuitve puzzles. Nothing hard enough to make you go insane in my opinion, at least in the general landscape of point n clicks. But just uninteresting, generally.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
itmejlee
( 4.5 hrs on record )
Posted: May 15
Very short, atmospheric, old-school point and click. The puzzles are intricate. The story seems interesting, but ends abruptly and disappointingly just when its seems to be hitting its stride.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
graventy
( 0.2 hrs on record )
Posted: May 15
First person adventure game with a cool style. Seems like it is probably ok.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
LostQuelana
( 1.6 hrs on record )
Posted: May 12
Short of it is the devs made game heavily based on story and then didn't finish the story, so I wouldn't recommend it.

KGB Unleashed is a horror point and click adventure game, so I'm gonna break this review down by story, puzzles, art direction, and sound design. For those on the fence about buying it, please note that I tried to keep spoilers at a minimum.

The story that's there is fun but incomplete. The story is you're a soviet electrician that wakes up stuck in a bunker. Alarms are going off, so either something really bad happened or it's time for a regulated soviet union smoke break. Either way, you probably want out, so that becomes your drive to rifle through everyone's office supplies to try and figure out what your comrades were up to (not your drive to figure out how to exit the bunker somehow.) 90% of the story is presented through documents just lying around, and the other 10% presents itself through glorious C-tier voice acting. What I could make of the overarching story was good fun, but again, by the end I really felt it wasn't finished and that's really hard to look past. It's unreasonable to expect the game to follow up on every little game world detail, but KGB Unleashed introduced concepts that could have had huge ramifications for soviet electric man, then did nothing with them. The ending doesn't acknowledge or talk about anything in the bunker at all, which soured most of experience for me.

I didn't care too much about the puzzles. They're very cryptic in the "I didn't even realize I could do that with the camera" sort of way. I got stuck in the very first puzzle room for like 30 minutes, so I ended up using a steam guide from then on for the rest of game. That might discredit me quite a lot in talking about this, but having beat it, I can safely guess that I would have given up otherwise. It's a mixed bag of hard puzzles that require ingenuity and puzzles that just require you to figure out what background object isn't just part of the background. The store description for KGB lists "Staggering puzzles and many challenging mind game" as a feature, which is accurate, but I would argue that's not really a good selling point in the way it's executed.

Art in this game is mostly okay with some sparse highs and lows. Before go on, I feel obligated to point out that there are no resolution options or meaningful graphical settings to change. I'm not sure how average that is for these kinds of indie point and clicks, but I thought that was weird. That being said, stylistically it does achieve it's goal of making you feel like you're wandering around a 1950s soviet bunker. It especially excels when it starts getting into some of the later stages of the game because of how much it contributes to accentuating the fact that you're alone and vulnerable. Moments like that where the art lends itself to a greater purpose are few and far between though. As for the lows, I'm just gonna say all in-engine cutscenes.

Sound design is bad. It's really bad in the beginning with the alarm that goes on until you finish the first puzzle. It's nothing I feel that needs in-depth discussion though. Most of the time I didn't think anything of it. In what I felt was this game's highest moment, it opted for no sound.

All that being said, I would not recommend this game. If you're looking for a good point and click or a good horror game, this is not what you're looking for.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Mr. Bisou Bisou
( 1.4 hrs on record )
Posted: April 24
Not a great game, not a bad game. Finished it in about 1,5 hours and has no replay value as you don't have any choices in the game, just a linear story with one outcome. Graphics are decent enough and the puzzles are moderately entertaining. I would however not recommend paying the full price, if you can get it in a sale for 50% off it's worth it but not really at full price
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Roots
( 2.8 hrs on record )
Posted: April 10
One of the hardest game i ever played and i played the whole dark souls series.
i took me 20mins to leave the ♥♥♥♥ing starting area . 5/5
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Alisae
( 1.1 hrs on record )
Posted: April 2
10/10
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Pump-Action Pete
( 5.4 hrs on record )
Posted: March 25
I'm generally not a big fan of point-and-click type games, and this experience won't change that. However, I did have a thoroughly enjoyable experience thanks to this game immersing me into a largely suspenseful and paranoia-ridden environment.
__________________________________________________________________________________________


Setting the scene: I wake up in a small room with no memory of how I came to be where I am or any clues as to what my purpose ever was. The only objective being, to escape and find out what happened along the way.
Immediately you'll have to dust off your thinking caps and slam those bad boys on, because puzzle-solving is key here. Observe your surroundings, be perceptive, and try to build up the story behind the place. I honestly went in with no expectations and got a fun 4-5 hours out of it. It might seem a little dull at first, but it gets far more interesting in the second half of the game.

Some puzzles are easy while others require a little more thought put into how they are solved. A couple times I almost gave up because it didn't seem at all logical. But persevere and you'll get your money's worth. I admit, this game could have been made better in regards to finding certain objects that require you to progress further. It just shouldn't be that hard at some points. But it is and can get quite frustrating finding some small object or knowing how to use it. Another thing that I found this game lacked is a little more closure once you neared the end. Some questions were left unanswered and I really wish they hadn't done that, seeing as how I was so drawn in by the atmosphere and dark story-telling.

Overall, I would recommend this to people who enjoy adventure games in general, and to those who love a bit of 1950s Soviet-themed (fake) history with legit themes thrown in. I especially enjoyed reading the patient files and information files on the poisonous gases (they turned out to play a part in the game). The radio puzzle was a nice touch, though I'm not sure if the speeches/songs featured on the device are actual recordings or just created specifically for this game.

Now, for some inexplicable reason, I seem to have a craving for some creepypasta...
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Judassem
( 2.3 hrs on record )
Posted: January 30
My recommendation for you is buying this game when it's heavily discounted, and then finish it by using a walkthrough in your Steam Browser (I used this excellent guide: https://joen1blog.wordpress.com/2012/07/06/1953-kgb-unleashed-walkthrough/). I'm saying this because the puzzles are way, way too hard for a casual gamer or a gamer who doesn't usually play these kind of games (like me). By using a walkthrough, I was able to enjoy the atmosphere and the story to he full extent without beating myself over the puzzles.

The atmosphere is terrific. You can feel the desolation, desperation and hopelessness in the claustophobic environments. The graphics are nice, the sound effects are superb, and the soundtrack fits the game like a glove.

The story is very intriguing, and it has a very big potential but the lackluster (though the word lackluster is a massive understatement here) ending ruins the gravity of the setting. It feels like they had to rush the game at the 90% mark.

Do I recommend this game? Yes, but only if you're willing to play it like I did. If you're going to solve the puzzles yourself, don't bother with buying this game.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
One Man and his Droid
( 0.6 hrs on record )
Posted: January 17
...firstly there's the appalling resolution... then the fact that even when you have the right item for the job, there's no visible sign it's correct - you just need to click everywhere... then there's the loading between the poorly-drawn areas... an adventure game in the vein of Myst (no actual movement just still pictures you can 'look' at by moving the mouse around the screen... very poor indeed - avoid!
Helpful? Yes No Funny
red flare graf
( 5.3 hrs on record )
Posted: January 9
The most grabbing and atmospheric static scenes I've ever scene in a game.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
xDeProfundis
( 2.0 hrs on record )
Posted: January 7
7/10

Pretty short for my taste, the graphics aint the best but the atmosphere is awesome. I enjoyed the riddles, they are not overly challenging but you have to sit down on some and think, which unlikely on some other games isnt the case anymore.

It is worth a play for sure.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
self is nomadic
( 2.6 hrs on record )
Posted: January 2
I've played through it thrice, and while a lot about it was annoying the first time around, I strangely find myself coming back to it every now and then. The atmosphere and the story definitely stick with you for a while, especially if you're into the Soviet engineering aesthetic, and can forgive some of the UX bugs for it. )
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Ident141
( 1.3 hrs on record )
Posted: December 29, 2015
I was pleasantly surprised with how good this game was, especially after seeing some bad reviews. The graphics are detailed and interesting. The audio is fantastic. The sequence with the exploding plane, exotic dancers and Donald Trump is just the best!

I recommend you buy this game for all your friends right now!
Helpful? Yes No Funny
long life #f1sk
( 2.5 hrs on record )
Posted: December 25, 2015
great point and click game

very atmospheric

no jumpscares
Helpful? Yes No Funny
RedQueenBelia - Anya.
( 2.7 hrs on record )
Posted: December 22, 2015
1953 KGB Unleashed is a point and click game. The title by itself doesn't fully make sense, the story is only halfway explained, and some of the puzzles are a bit of a stretch.

However, the ambience is awesome in every sense of the word. The feel of the game has you on edge - you're always expecting the worst to happen. a great deal of work has been put into making the enviroment a thrilling and suspenseful experience. It's a shame however, that the game is so short. a Maximum of 3-4 hours if oblivious to clues. But definitely worth buying if on sale.

Also I might be the only one who feels like this is almost a prelude to Outcast? The theme is... a bit of the same.

6/10 means I'll reccommend it if on sale, and if you like this sort of thing. If not. You WILL be wasting your money and time.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Vic=HKC=
( 9.5 hrs on record )
Posted: December 16, 2015
While I know about the problem around who should receive the money now, I wasn't aware of it when I activated the game. Anyway, the story is about a Soviet waking up in a strange place, just at the moment when Staline dies. Your goal is to solve puzzles to escape this weird bunker.

I don't know why KGB Unleashed but it's clear that the game wants to show secret experiments and that as you lost your memories, you don't even remember how come you've arrived. Besides, you will have many many questions, that will be still unanswered at the end of the game.

Anyway, it's a point-&-click game, where you're solving puzzles thanks to clues around - some are easy, others are harder to understand. You're travelling from a room to another room and several times. You're also guided by a mysterious voice.

The graphics are correct, though you're into a bunker or an underground facility, meaning that the ambiance is kinda cold as you're alone. Everything is set to make you feel like anything can happen, as if there was a mysterious entity. Anyway, as you're stuck into a KGB secret location, you bet that you'll find an ambiance of "WTF happened there?".

The voice acting was correct too, like was the soundtrack.

1953 is an average adventure game, one that will not mark your memories so much, yet still enjoyable - though some puzzles will require some work. Anyway, while I recommend it, don't forget the controversy surrounding it before making a choice: buying it on Steam or try to find a key elsewhere for a little price.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
SuperNappa
( 0.9 hrs on record )
Posted: December 5, 2015
Poorly designed
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Lighty
( 2.5 hrs on record )
Posted: November 15, 2015
Many people say this russian masterpiece is crap, because its too cryptic.

I crypt their mothers! bunch of ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ don't want to face real challenge.

GRab your vodka, and your notebook, and sit your ♥♥♥ down for some quality, and chilling experience in the point 'n click genre, mixed with a horrifying enviorment.

Oh, did I mention notebook?

Step up comerads, this game is a real +1!
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Not Recommended
1.6 hrs on record
Posted: May 12
Short of it is the devs made game heavily based on story and then didn't finish the story, so I wouldn't recommend it.

KGB Unleashed is a horror point and click adventure game, so I'm gonna break this review down by story, puzzles, art direction, and sound design. For those on the fence about buying it, please note that I tried to keep spoilers at a minimum.

The story that's there is fun but incomplete. The story is you're a soviet electrician that wakes up stuck in a bunker. Alarms are going off, so either something really bad happened or it's time for a regulated soviet union smoke break. Either way, you probably want out, so that becomes your drive to rifle through everyone's office supplies to try and figure out what your comrades were up to (not your drive to figure out how to exit the bunker somehow.) 90% of the story is presented through documents just lying around, and the other 10% presents itself through glorious C-tier voice acting. What I could make of the overarching story was good fun, but again, by the end I really felt it wasn't finished and that's really hard to look past. It's unreasonable to expect the game to follow up on every little game world detail, but KGB Unleashed introduced concepts that could have had huge ramifications for soviet electric man, then did nothing with them. The ending doesn't acknowledge or talk about anything in the bunker at all, which soured most of experience for me.

I didn't care too much about the puzzles. They're very cryptic in the "I didn't even realize I could do that with the camera" sort of way. I got stuck in the very first puzzle room for like 30 minutes, so I ended up using a steam guide from then on for the rest of game. That might discredit me quite a lot in talking about this, but having beat it, I can safely guess that I would have given up otherwise. It's a mixed bag of hard puzzles that require ingenuity and puzzles that just require you to figure out what background object isn't just part of the background. The store description for KGB lists "Staggering puzzles and many challenging mind game" as a feature, which is accurate, but I would argue that's not really a good selling point in the way it's executed.

Art in this game is mostly okay with some sparse highs and lows. Before go on, I feel obligated to point out that there are no resolution options or meaningful graphical settings to change. I'm not sure how average that is for these kinds of indie point and clicks, but I thought that was weird. That being said, stylistically it does achieve it's goal of making you feel like you're wandering around a 1950s soviet bunker. It especially excels when it starts getting into some of the later stages of the game because of how much it contributes to accentuating the fact that you're alone and vulnerable. Moments like that where the art lends itself to a greater purpose are few and far between though. As for the lows, I'm just gonna say all in-engine cutscenes.

Sound design is bad. It's really bad in the beginning with the alarm that goes on until you finish the first puzzle. It's nothing I feel that needs in-depth discussion though. Most of the time I didn't think anything of it. In what I felt was this game's highest moment, it opted for no sound.

All that being said, I would not recommend this game. If you're looking for a good point and click or a good horror game, this is not what you're looking for.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 90 days
2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
5.4 hrs on record
Posted: March 25
I'm generally not a big fan of point-and-click type games, and this experience won't change that. However, I did have a thoroughly enjoyable experience thanks to this game immersing me into a largely suspenseful and paranoia-ridden environment.
__________________________________________________________________________________________


Setting the scene: I wake up in a small room with no memory of how I came to be where I am or any clues as to what my purpose ever was. The only objective being, to escape and find out what happened along the way.
Immediately you'll have to dust off your thinking caps and slam those bad boys on, because puzzle-solving is key here. Observe your surroundings, be perceptive, and try to build up the story behind the place. I honestly went in with no expectations and got a fun 4-5 hours out of it. It might seem a little dull at first, but it gets far more interesting in the second half of the game.

Some puzzles are easy while others require a little more thought put into how they are solved. A couple times I almost gave up because it didn't seem at all logical. But persevere and you'll get your money's worth. I admit, this game could have been made better in regards to finding certain objects that require you to progress further. It just shouldn't be that hard at some points. But it is and can get quite frustrating finding some small object or knowing how to use it. Another thing that I found this game lacked is a little more closure once you neared the end. Some questions were left unanswered and I really wish they hadn't done that, seeing as how I was so drawn in by the atmosphere and dark story-telling.

Overall, I would recommend this to people who enjoy adventure games in general, and to those who love a bit of 1950s Soviet-themed (fake) history with legit themes thrown in. I especially enjoyed reading the patient files and information files on the poisonous gases (they turned out to play a part in the game). The radio puzzle was a nice touch, though I'm not sure if the speeches/songs featured on the device are actual recordings or just created specifically for this game.

Now, for some inexplicable reason, I seem to have a craving for some creepypasta...
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
1.4 hrs on record
Posted: April 24
Not a great game, not a bad game. Finished it in about 1,5 hours and has no replay value as you don't have any choices in the game, just a linear story with one outcome. Graphics are decent enough and the puzzles are moderately entertaining. I would however not recommend paying the full price, if you can get it in a sale for 50% off it's worth it but not really at full price
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 180 days
7 of 8 people (88%) found this review helpful
Recommended
9.5 hrs on record
Posted: December 16, 2015
While I know about the problem around who should receive the money now, I wasn't aware of it when I activated the game. Anyway, the story is about a Soviet waking up in a strange place, just at the moment when Staline dies. Your goal is to solve puzzles to escape this weird bunker.

I don't know why KGB Unleashed but it's clear that the game wants to show secret experiments and that as you lost your memories, you don't even remember how come you've arrived. Besides, you will have many many questions, that will be still unanswered at the end of the game.

Anyway, it's a point-&-click game, where you're solving puzzles thanks to clues around - some are easy, others are harder to understand. You're travelling from a room to another room and several times. You're also guided by a mysterious voice.

The graphics are correct, though you're into a bunker or an underground facility, meaning that the ambiance is kinda cold as you're alone. Everything is set to make you feel like anything can happen, as if there was a mysterious entity. Anyway, as you're stuck into a KGB secret location, you bet that you'll find an ambiance of "WTF happened there?".

The voice acting was correct too, like was the soundtrack.

1953 is an average adventure game, one that will not mark your memories so much, yet still enjoyable - though some puzzles will require some work. Anyway, while I recommend it, don't forget the controversy surrounding it before making a choice: buying it on Steam or try to find a key elsewhere for a little price.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
5.3 hrs on record
Posted: January 9
The most grabbing and atmospheric static scenes I've ever scene in a game.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
56 of 72 people (78%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
2.3 hrs on record
Posted: February 12, 2014
I’m treading the line with this one. Is 1953 a terrible game? No it does have some redeeming features. But it has some little problems punctuated by one MASSIVE issue and I’m left thinking I should dissuade you from making the purchase.

There are plenty of adventure games, many right here on Steam, that deserve your attention more. Even when you narrow it down to the “horror”-niche of point-and-click adventure gaming there are other games like Scratches and Dark Falls (or hell, even Amnesia and Penumbra to an extent as long as you are willing to toss the point-and-click out) that are infinitely more enjoyable. But, if you’ve exhausted your options then this game might be worth your time, it’s the bottom of the barrel but it does manage to do a couple things right.

Its greatest sin is committing the point-and-click taboo: pixel hunting. That line is probably enough to send plenty of adventure veterans running for the hills. Pixel hunting is perhaps the biggest factor separating a good game from a sub-par or downright bad one. A good game cleverly takes your eyes to certain things while still being subtle, a bad one requires you to find the exact hit-box on the screen the developers arbitrarily decided to make a key point. Often with little or no sign that you need to interact with that area. And even once you do find it if you haven’t already collected the necessary shiny mcguffin (more pixel hunting) needed to interact with that area, then god help you.

1953 starts off down this road instantly when I found myself trapped for about 20-minutes in the first two rooms. Eventually I found a floor panel that you have to pull up. The issue is not only was the panel in complete darkness, with little to suggest anything of note, but the hit-box for selecting it was painfully small. A rather simple puzzle was thus rendered an exercise in frustration based not on my ability to understand what needed to be done, but on the games inability to show me where I needed to go. You don’t need to shepherd your player like a 2-year-old and force their hand, but you do need to give some sort of indication that an area might be important. Rather than expecting me to find the one tiny pixel in an un-notable black floor that forwards the plot.

Things open up a bit from there and you get to do a little exploration. But you still find a lot of this happening where you missed that one container from 30-minutes ago. And so now you have to revisit every room and scan it in slow-motion as not to miss the cue that you’re over something important.

After that little rant you’d think I’d be hard pressed to say anything good, and don’t get me wrong this is a huge negative that detracts from the enjoyment considerably. But as I said it does some good things.

The atmosphere is oppressive and though it’s never frightening it does manage to make you uneasy, despite knowing nothing would happen I still found myself nervous in dark areas. The story (as far as I’ve got) is decent, it’s pretty rote and predictable, but it’s done with enough care that you at least feel invested. Though your surroundings are bland, gun-gray concrete rooms and other traditional industrial clichés they’re all rendered carefully. Machinery is caked in grime, walls have been carefully rendered to have unique pitting instead of repeat textures, and various odds and ends lying about give the impression that the area was lived in at one point. This is backed up by some excellent sound design that throws all sorts of eerie clanks, hums, and hisses at you. Additionally the game occasionally hits a stride where you don’t run into too much of the dreaded pixel hunting and for those brief periods is quite enjoyable.

I will mention that most of the puzzles so far have been rather easy, but I also haven’t reached the end-game. So far the challenge has been less about solving the puzzles, and more about finding the necessary items to get the puzzle moving.

And in the end that’s what’s running me off. I may never finish 1953 because while I love what they’re trying to do here, every time the atmosphere and story try to soak me in that’s all shot out the window the moment I then have to comb my surroundings with a hawk-eye for 30-minutes to proceed. I want to like the game, it got so much right but when you solve a problem in an adventure game you’re supposed to feel gratified. Part of adventure games is your own wit, but the other part is the cunning developers making you THINK it’s your own wit. Crafting things in such a way as to mentally test you, but not to the point of frustration. And that’s the issue, when I finally solve a problem in 1953 I don’t feel like I’d accomplished anything, I just felt grateful I finally stumbled across the latest key item and can get this over with.

And that’s a death sentence for an adventure game, at least for me.
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47 of 66 people (71%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
3.2 hrs on record
Posted: November 25, 2013
At first glance you might be mistaken to believe this is an RPG or Shooter with the subject matter. However what we have here is a typical point and click adventure game. Its short clocking in at about 1-3 hours to complete, which is nice as a mini game or proof of concept but not really a full game. At least in the short time that KGB is with you its fun. It has decent puzzles with straight foward elements that will be solved easily by adventure vets. The story is a decent one until the last 80% when it goes off the rails in a roswell aliens sort of way. I really think a more serious attempt at a plot and about 3x the length would have made this a classic. There is so much history and cool themes they COULD have used with this story yet for some reason they decided to go silly. Its poor ending and microsopic length hold back what could have been a very deep and rich adventure game. My score = 68/100 Poor to fair
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27 of 33 people (82%) found this review helpful
Recommended
2.4 hrs on record
Posted: February 21, 2014
Puzzles are not my favorite type of game, but this game has such a great dark and mysterious atmosphere that i really enjoyed every single one i got through. Game is short (2-3 hours), obviously not worth the full price, but if you get it in a bundle you'll wont regret it.
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21 of 27 people (78%) found this review helpful
Recommended
5.6 hrs on record
Posted: March 10, 2014
Since adventure games are my favorite genre, I was looking forward to playing this game as it looked really interesting when I first saw it. The game is set in a WW2 Soviet bunker or some kind of an underground facility where the player finds himself trapped in. He knows nothing about how he got there, but we learn throughout the game more and more about him and the world around us. The game is played in first person view.

The best thing about this game is the atmosphere, at times I'll admit I had a chill feeling going down my spine, yet there is no real threat in this game. Extremely well done on that part, and the gameplay is what you'd expect of this kind of game. All the puzzles make sense and you have to find clues in the environment to solve them and are never out of context.
The game itself is not very long 4-5 hours to finish and it kind of ends leaving you wanting for more, at least that's how I felt. Too bad, because a proper ending would add more to the overall score.

So, to sum everything up:

+ great atmosphere
+ interesting puzzles
+ good story

- but ends abruptly
- short

I recommend it to all adventure fans looking for a nice, atmospheric game to activate their grey matter. 7 / 10
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14 of 15 people (93%) found this review helpful
Recommended
2.6 hrs on record
Posted: April 15, 2015
A decent, enjoyable point and click with an occasionally good, creepy atmosphere. A couple books worth of mediocre quality text and some difficult puzzles do spoil the experience somewhat.
6/10
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39 of 60 people (65%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
4.9 hrs on record
Posted: November 30, 2013
1953 - KGB Unleashed is a point-and-click adventure that tries to be suspenseful and scary, but the execution comes off weak. I'm still a little confused with the story, especially the ending. I also had a difficult time figuring out several of the puzzles. Many of the clues were overly cryptic. The game is quite short and most of the play time will be spent figuring out these cryptic puzzles and reading random documents. For me, the atmospheric music was the highlight of the game--setting a very eerie mood.

Although it wasn't a bad game, I really can't say it's something I enjoyed.

"Live your life so that people remember you with a kind word." Sound advice, but if you can figure out how this fits into what I played, let me know.
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17 of 21 people (81%) found this review helpful
Recommended
3.3 hrs on record
Posted: November 16, 2014
This is a fun point and click game that creates really amazing atmosphere and knows how to show its story rather than bluntly shove it in the players face.

I can't understand all the negative reviews for this game, it is overpriced (get it in a bundle or on sale), its short and it is def very frustrating at times (use a walkthrough) but it is fun and creates amazing atmosphere; it lets you inspect and read all kinds of things that explain the setting and flesh out the story, and let you interact with cool things (the radio was my favorite), the music and sound effects build the mood of confusion and isolation, and the graphics are really good. The controls are what you'd expect, you can do everything with the mouse and the game lets you know when you can pick up or interact with something - so no pixel hunting. And speaking of walkthroughs, they should have included one like they did on the disc but you can translate this one: http://www.adventurespel.nl/walk/1953kgb.htm

If you’re a fan of the genre and like creepy claustrophobic games check this out.
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22 of 31 people (71%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
3.3 hrs on record
Posted: November 13, 2014
I'm a fan of Point and Clicks, I'm a fan of crazy Russian stuff, I'm also a fan of The X-Files. You'd think KGB 1953 would be really fun to play with all those things considered, but it strangely wasn't. It was actually pretty frustrating.

I'm left wondering just where the story started and at what point it ends. There are plenty of documents and files to read as you progress through the game to flesh out the situation and provide hints and clues to puzzles (and why you're in the bunker) but you never really get any resolve. It's just one big 'what' moment.

One big 'what' moment dotted with lots of smaller 'what' moments in the form of some of the most mind numbingly frantically click and hope puzzles I've experienced in a point and click. Some of them are pretty clever, while the majority rely on you being able to distinguish collectible items from the backgrounds they're hiding in. So you'll find most of time just clicking and hoping and wondering where the logic/reason was behind the solution.

In the end KGB 1953 is a game that should only be experienced by people who want to experience just how odd this game is. Point and click fans might be disappointed by it, and those new to the genre should avoid this completely.
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14 of 18 people (78%) found this review helpful
Recommended
7.2 hrs on record
Posted: June 28, 2014
Status: completed (effectively 100% as linear single narrative)

The completion of this game marks the beginning of a new epoch for me. I have had a bit of a magpie instinct over the last couple of years, and have bought almost every bundle and stockpiled my games. Now my library is quite big with the vast majority of games untouched. I have decided to play through all these games and write a review for each, in order to make sure I do not miss any I will be playing them in alphabetical order. I am likely to keep adding bundles and I don't know if I will ever catch up, but it's going to be a lot of fun!

So 1953 - KGB Unleashed, do I recommend it?

It's only just a yes but with a big asterisk which we will now go into.

I personally really enjoyed this game, but I can imagine that it will not be for everyone. This was a game that I wasn't particularly looking forward to when purchasing the bundle. I was expecting it to be a run of the mill great war first person shooter, but initial impressions and cynicism of the gaming industry can be deceiving! Much to my pleasant surprise. The game is actually a lot more like Myst, a modern first person point and click adventure game.

This game reminds me a lot of Myst 5 I think it was. It has the same pre rendered backdrops and the same “spherical” looking system. Your character will walk forward and stop in certain spots and you can look all around him with the mouse including up and down and a full 360 rotation. If you hold down the mouse button it rotates faster which I found myself doing a lot. It's a single click to interact with the world, move or pick things up. Right click opens your inventory which shows all the items your character is holding and gives you access to all the documents you have read.

The puzzles in this game are very strong. I enjoyed them a lot. Most of the puzzles have quite a cryptic solution, but the documents you read contain clues, and they are just the right balance, the puzzles really are some of the very best I've ever seen in an adventure game as the difficulty to satisfaction ration is spot on. This is a game that will make you think. Which I very much enjoy. There is only one puzzle that relies on trial and error which is kinda a negative however the documents make you aware of this.

So why is this game only getting a slight recommendation? Well there are a few reasons. The graphics are fit for purpose but they're not really anything that special, considering they are pre rendered too, although I don't see this as a bad thing. The game has a very eerie and oppressive nature to it, and as such there is a lot of dark rooms with low lighting which makes finding items annoying. Some rooms I had to enter and leave many many times before finding what was actually quite a big item. This is helped somewhat by a cursor that changes when it is moused over something intractable but you do feel that you are back in the old fashioned pixel hunting days. Although this may not be a bad thing, adventure games need a little bit of frustration otherwise they end up far too easy.
Also the amount of reading you have to do is likely to annoy some gamers, but that kind of gamer probably doesn't like adventure games. I am someone who likes flavour text, I read all the books I found on skyrim and I read mmo quests so this didn't phase me.

Is this game art?
The philosophy behind art is a hard one to pin down on, I used to think that if a game makes you think after you have played it then it qualifies. Something mindless and instant gratification doesn't count using this rule, but can you really say space invaders isn't art? Hmm....well this is a discussion for another time. I do think it is an arty game though! It has a very tense atmosphere and it treats you with respect with its puzzle design. The shadowy operations of the bunker and the more philosophical aspects of this game will give you pause for thought and I expect to take the memories of this game with me for quite some time as I reflect on what was quite a detailed storyline.

I can imagine the people who like this game feel the same way as me and the people who dislike it will really hate it. It was a positive experience.

6/10 Slightly above average - It's certainly worth a play if you already have it like I do.
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10 of 11 people (91%) found this review helpful
5 people found this review funny
Recommended
2.5 hrs on record
Posted: November 15, 2015
Many people say this russian masterpiece is crap, because its too cryptic.

I crypt their mothers! bunch of ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ don't want to face real challenge.

GRab your vodka, and your notebook, and sit your ♥♥♥ down for some quality, and chilling experience in the point 'n click genre, mixed with a horrifying enviorment.

Oh, did I mention notebook?

Step up comerads, this game is a real +1!
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13 of 17 people (76%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
Recommended
2.2 hrs on record
Posted: February 19, 2015
Definitely an interesting game.
The gameplay is as simple as it gets and the story is interesting but did leave me with questions.

There is not much I can say except that this game requires some serious thinking, the puzzles left me confused for a long time until I went back to my documents to re-read everything or until I decided to look around more and see if there was anything I missed. The enviorment is very atomospheric and immersive, it made me feel a bit paranoid and cautious of everything I did.

I recommend this to anyone who enjoys some good old point & click gaming.
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14 of 21 people (67%) found this review helpful
Recommended
3.0 hrs on record
Posted: December 9, 2013
It is really hard and a little bit intense. You would think that nothing would scare you in an adventure game, but after playing Scratches... Sometimes english voice acting is shorter than russian one was, so you have to wait looking at something for no reason in silence. But despite that, it's a great game. Adventure lovers should try it.
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14 of 21 people (67%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Not Recommended
0.5 hrs on record
Posted: September 12, 2015
I actually had high hopes for this one. I'm pretty forgiving of point-and-click games, and honestly more things should make use of the brutal, almost alien Soviet aesthetic. It started well enough, with my character waking up in the bowels of some Cold War bunker with only emergency lighting to guide him. The rooms are pre-rendered and you can pan your view around to examine them, but movement is solely clicking through different static scenes. There is shockingly little to interact with in each scene, and your character will only comment on things that block his progress, and infrequently at that. The atmosphere starts out plenty oppressive and mysterious, but the puzzles and the terrible voice acting quickly do away with that.

And my God, the puzzles. It took me over 10 minutes to solve the very first one in the game because you have to find a loose panel under your feet in the dark, and then solve a math problem based on a number you might not have paid any attention to. I quit in the area after that after finding a punch card, a pencil, a key that did not unlock any of the three locked doors nearby, and a radio that you could tune that might be a puzzle. I can't see anyone but the most meticulous puzzling grognards having fun with this.

If your dream game is boring, obtuse Soviet MYST, then you might like it. Otherwise don't bother.
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7 of 9 people (78%) found this review helpful
Recommended
3.9 hrs on record
Posted: July 12, 2015
traded it from another guy, this is a short game,but good in everyway, like the story and the way it showed, very short though, but a interesting experience.btw i think this static fullview demonstration is way better then actual 3D models(such as SUNSET) for point and click' game.
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14 of 23 people (61%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
2.1 hrs on record
Posted: May 26, 2014
This is a very short (2-3 hours) point-and-click adventure set in a Soviet bunker. You wake up not knowing how you got there and you try to find your way out through a series of annoying puzzles.

I felt the story had potential although the end was stupid; It felt like they were building up to something cool, something that would've made the game worth it, but they just dropped the ball. It's also pretty annoying how after every cutscene there's about 5-10 seconds of silence where you can't do anything.

There's no way this is worth $10, or even the historical low of $2.50, but if you get it in a bundle and have nothing better to play, then whatever.
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