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: Mixed (330 reviews)
Release Date: Sep 20, 2013
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“Quite absorbing, very atmospheric, interesting puzzles.”
4/5 –

“...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 –

“I've rarely played an adventure with such an oppressive atmosphere.”
80% –

Steam Greenlight

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?


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

System Requirements

    • 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
    • Hard Drive: 700 MB available space
    • Sound Card: DirectX® compatible soundcard
Helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
2.2 hrs on record
Posted: February 19
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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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
3.0 hrs on record
Posted: February 13
I tried this game without knowing much about it but after 2 hours (maybe 3) of playing it I can say that I enjoyed it. Yes the graphics are low (the resolution is... from the past), it loads very slow (no idea why) but the story is decent. Some small exploring, some puzzles and some reading and that's the whole game :P

Try it and see if you like it!
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
2.6 hrs on record
Posted: April 15
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.
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5 of 9 people (56%) found this review helpful
3.3 hrs on record
Posted: November 24, 2014
1953 - KGB Unleashed - This is the perfect example of a game with so much potential but is ultimately ruined due-to really poor execution. While this game has a deep atmosphere, a dark and intriguing back-story and somewhat realistic graphics, it is all downhill after the first room.

The basics are summed up on the store page so we don't need to go into those little details. The game itself is a Point-&-Click puzzle game, a genre that certainly isn't for everybody but can be very enjoyable if done correctly (see Monkey Island for example), 1953 - KGB Unleashed is not one of those games.
For starters, the interface and menu style feel really amateur when compared to the rest of the games art style. The puzzles that are presented to you almost instantly are either extremely difficult or make little to no sense, the examples I'm about to give may spoil the game for anybody interested in trying it out so read on at your own risk.

One or two of the tasks you have to overcome are relatively easy, such as the voltage puzzle in the first room (even though this involves the dreaded pixel-hunting at first) and there is another puzzle a little bit further in where you have to repair a cable, these are examples of the easier puzzles, and then there are those that make absolutely no sense such as tuning a radio very specifically to open a hidden passage... yes... seriously... these are the instances I'm talking about that make absolutely no sense.
You get vague instructions and hints from picking up documents and reading notices as you go through the game, plus you have to look very carefully at everything you come across to get hints and pay close attention to the little details of the rooms you are in to acquire certain objects that are important, or again, pixel-hunting, these aspects are interesting but equally annoying. If it wasn't for an online walkthrough I stumbled across, I don't think I could have ever figured out that the radio tuning opened the secret passage. There is also a part where you have to place a certain object in a certain room atop a certain crate, something that you could only figure out purely by chance / trial and error.

Finally, the game is short, very short, the hours of play people build up are purley based on the amount of time it takes you to figure out some of the absurd and extremely difficult puzzles, once you are all clued up and give it another play through, it can be completed in no less than 20 minutes.

So that's about it for this game I'm afraid. I don't like giving games negative reviews, really, but all good aspects of this game are hugely overshadowed by all of it's negatives. This could have been something much more, it's a shame. I would say buy it in a sale or a cheap bundle (like I did) if you're still interested in trying it, but it is highly likely that you'll have to consult a walkthrough more than once.
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6 of 12 people (50%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
1.7 hrs on record
Posted: November 25, 2014
Initially released as a promo for a Russian horror film, this myst clone suffers from a horribly dated engine and irrational puzzles
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3 of 6 people (50%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
0.5 hrs on record
Posted: December 7, 2014
Got this game for free which is why I'm not going to complain as much, but still wtf this game is awful. I'm not going to want to play a game where I have to read all these books and be an actual electrician. I couldn't even get past the first room. Funny thing is I tried to cheat by looking up a walkthrough on youtube and the walkthrough person doesn't even know how to get through this crap game. Anyways 1/5000 would play again. Wish I could delete the game from my library.
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51 of 65 people (78%) found this review helpful
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 65 people (72%) found this review helpful
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 32 people (84%) found this review helpful
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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18 of 20 people (90%) found this review helpful
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:

If you’re a fan of the genre and like creepy claustrophobic games check this out.
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39 of 59 people (66%) found this review helpful
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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21 of 27 people (78%) found this review helpful
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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20 of 28 people (71%) found this review helpful
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
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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14 of 21 people (67%) found this review helpful
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 22 people (64%) found this review helpful
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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12 of 19 people (63%) found this review helpful
1.4 hrs on record
Posted: April 23, 2014
1953 KGB Unleashed is a horror/scary point and click adventure game, the puzzles are hard to follow and the game doesn't show what to do or how to do anything. I ended up having to Youtube tutorials.

The game is quite short, 2-3 hours, the game is definitly not worth its full price of $10. The only time you should even consider getting this game is if it is very cheap, and you have nothing else to do. This game isn't recomended, especially with its high price of $10. 3/10
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5 of 6 people (83%) found this review helpful
0.1 hrs on record
Posted: March 26, 2014
1953 was so 2592
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5 of 6 people (83%) found this review helpful
2.3 hrs on record
Posted: July 9, 2014
After finding this game from some bundle I honestly don't remember I thought I'd give it a go. Right off the bat, it commits the cardinal sin of Point-and-Clicks: Pixel Hunting. The only way to start the generator is from one specific angle on one of the 3 screens in the 2nd room, at a tiny hitbox in the floor.

It's not that I don't know how to complete these puzzles, it's that they're unnecessarily complicated, awkward, unintuitive and frustrating to boot. I didn't encounter "use banana with telephone during rain on tuesday" at any point which is a point in it's favour, but the endless reams of text serving as "backstory" don't help either.

Yes, the game's setting and art can be atmospheric but that illusion is instantly ruined by the main character talking english in a very thick American accent, when this game is supposedly set in a soviet bunker.

The final nail in this game's coffin was the lack of subtitles and inability to change resolution.
I would certainly not recommend this game at full price, and unless you're willing to put up with a lot of irritating poor game design choices I can't recommend it in a sale either.
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6 of 8 people (75%) found this review helpful
5.1 hrs on record
Posted: August 28, 2014
This is a classic style point and click adventure game. I mean it is just like the old ones that used to be popular in the '90's, right down to a fixed aspect ratio of 4:3, and no High Resolution support, which is pretty inexcusable for a PC game that came out in 2012 (2013 US). It is also very short, easily able to be completed within 4-5 hours. It does feature some interesting atmosphere and story, dealing with a sealed and evacuated KGB bunker, many notes you find providing background, furnishings and propaganda posters you find are evocative of the 1950's. The story ultimately revolves around human experimentation, and features a twist near the end, along with a manufactured and unsatisfying ending that doesn't really come off as believable. The game also suffers from the kind of problem many adventure games have had since the original Myst, namely to advance, sometimes you have to do exactly what the game designers had in mind, using the precise tool on a specific piece of equipment, at the specific time the progression allows it, and not before. More than once I couldn't figure out why perfectly logical combinations didn't work, because only one specific one out of the multiple ones that would have worked was programmed to. Also at least one puzzle I couldn't solve because I was apparently trying to solve too early, the event refusing to work until I ran down other, incorrect leads. All in all, the game has zero replay value, and I would say it is worth playing through once, but only if it can be bought for very cheap, like say less than five dollars.
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