Backlog Burndown: Sprint #3 – 1953: KGB Unleashed

Backlog Burndown: Sprint #3 – 1953: KGB Unleashed

Various research show that it takes between three weeks and six months to fully develop a new habit. Six weeks into this backlog challenge may not be enough to say I’ve got a new pattern fully realized, but it’s definitely a good start.

After a Visual Novel and a console classic in my first two sprints, I really felt that a good FPS was in order. The first game, alphabetically, in my Steam list appeared to fit the bill nicely.

1953: KGB Unleashed. It’s a game about shooting stuff in an old Soviet-era bunker of horrors, right? Wrong! It’s actually a moody, atmospheric, pixel hunting, first-person adventure game.

In for a penny, in for a pound, right? Since the How Long To Beat time was right, I dove in regardless. What I found was a game filled with very pretty scenes, and excellent sound and music design, but hampered with uneven puzzle difficulty and an utterly incoherent plot.

I love classic adventure games. There’s nothing like the “Aha!” moment of figuring out some crazy puzzle like combining pancake syrup

Comrade? Comrade?

You can almost smell the musty air

and an ipecac flower to make Syrup of Ipecac that you can feed to a snake to make it vomit up an item that you need. All the same, pixel hunts and obscure moon logic drive me crazy. Add some frustrating controls to the mix and you get a recipe that involves multiple walk through lookups just to get through a three hour game.

Unfortunately,¬†KGB Unleashed largely took the latter approach. The plot wasn’t well paced either, leading up to an incredibly abrupt ending that answered precisely none of the questions raised during the game.

I do give huge credit to the sound designer though. Most reviews note the “atmospheric” quality of the game, and the sound design is a huge part of that. Dripping water, warning alarms, music that enhances the mood without being distracting, all contributed to be the best part of the game.

Oh Comrade...

Something bad awaits

Recommendations: If this is in your backlog, and you enjoy pixel hunting puzzle games, give it a shot. It won’t take more than a few hours to get through. On the other hand, there’s no achievements, and a half-hour on youtube for the plot summary will save you three hours of head scratching aggravation.

The first and only goal for this sprint was to finish a game, goal complete!

Now for Sprint #4, school has been back in session for about a month, so maybe something school related. Looks like it’ll be back to the Visual Novels with¬†Cherry Tree High I! My! Girls! Do! The Unnecessary! Exclamation! Marks! Continue in the game? Find! Out!

Happy gaming!

Aaron is proof that while you can take a developer out of the game industry, it’s much harder to take the game industry out of a developer. When not at his day job, Aaron enjoys teaching Axis & Allies to his kids, writing sci-fi stories, playing classic space sims on Twitch, and riding around the American Midwest on his Harley.

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