The Escape Game Unlocked – Rogue Scientist 1990 [Hivemind Review]

Update 11/22/22: If you enjoy The Escape Game Unlocked, we hope you’ll check out our interview with The Escape Game CEO and Co-Founder Mark Flint on The Reality Escape Pod.

Rogue Scientist 1990 is a digital point-and-click adventure game created by The Escape Game, based in Nashville, TN. It is part of their Unlocked brand of online escape rooms.

An old looking black and white digital interface with photos and names of professors.


Style of Play: digital point-and-click adventure game

Required Equipment: computer with an internet connection, mobile device (or other method of calling a toll free USA phone number)

The printer is not required, but it might make things easier.

Recommended Team Size: 1-3

Play Time: no timer, takes anywhere from 45-90 minutes

Price: $10

Booking: purchase and play at any time


Some professors at a university are involved in dubious human experiments and you need to find out who they are and stop them.

This is a point-and-click game designed to look like you’re playing on an old computer. The game provides files for you to access and as you solve one level, new files are added. The gameplay is linear and straightforward. Several videos from the agency director are layered in between the levels.

A bald man looking into the camera, briefing the team.

Hivemind Review Scale

REA's hivemind review scale - 3 is recommended anytime, 2 recommended in quarantine, 1 is not recommended.

Read more about our Hivemind Review format.

Fro’s Reaction

Rating: 2 out of 3.

This game was fast and fun, and it fit perfectly into my lunch break. I recommend it for beginners or for experienced players looking for a quick play. I enjoyed the multimedia approach to the content, and the cliffhanger ending sufficiently piqued my interest in the second half of the game (which has not yet launched). I had a couple of issues with the system glitching and not allowing me to input the correct answer, but was able to fix the problems by refreshing the screen. I’m a big fan of games I can play solo on my own time, so the format of this game worked well for me and I plan to purchase the other two games currently offered by The Escape Game Unlocked.

Joel Smileypeacefun Reaction

Rating: 2 out of 3.

If you’re looking for a quick and entertaining puzzle sequence, this is it.

At its best, the story is not too complicated and you don’t need to have played the previous two installments to get into it. The look and feel of the website design is amazing. I especially appreciated the overview of the puzzles showing your progress.

At its worst, the game had a bad onramp. I can see newer players being quickly overwhelmed or turned off by the first puzzle. Later tasks were smaller and would have been an easier beginning. I also experienced some bugs where suddenly I couldn’t click certain objects. Refreshing the page solved the problem though.

It’s a nice little story, but the gameplay felt a bit too short to make an impact.

The Lone Puzzler’s Reaction

Rating: 3 out of 3.

Well done online video puzzle game – play at your own speed – can play at any time – great production value – medium difficulty puzzles – a couple that could have used better hints, but overall worth playing – easy to play solo or with a small group.

Tammy McLeod’s Reaction

Rating: 2 out of 3.

The interface of this game is pretty nice looking, but suffers from technical difficulties. Twice in the course of normal gameplay, my game got into a state where my correct answers were rejected, and I wasted a lot of time being frustrated and stuck. It turned out that I had to refresh the game to fix it. The puzzles are generally not complex. There is a hint system that is well structured, which I used on a couple of puzzles that stymied me. For the price point, it’s a reasonable introductory-level escape experience.

Matthew Stein’s Reaction

Rating: 2 out of 3.

Similar to The Escape Game’s previous Unlocked games, Rogue Scientist 1990 has a highly polished digital interface which is diegetically presented for the theme. Mission briefing videos are interspersed between light puzzle challenges, and your progress/ location is visually clear throughout the game. While I encountered a couple of technical glitches with answer input early on, they were easily fixed with a page refresh and the tech was otherwise impressively seamless. As this game is targeted towards a very general audience, the puzzles are quite simple and straightforward. For an enthusiast, the challenges are a fun sequence of easy wins, but the game flies by so quickly and feels like just about every other game you’ve played. With The Escape Game’s creativity, resources, and technical know-how, I’d love to see them break away from this formulaic, play-it-safe model, add a bit more variation to their puzzle design, and strive to make something truly memorable.

Disclosure: The Escape Game provided the Hivemind reviewers with a complimentary play.

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