Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes is a Blast
A few weeks ago I stumbled across an archived YouTube stream of Easy Allies playing the game Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes and after just a few minutes I was hooked.
The Allies do a fantastic job of showing off just how fun this game can be and I needed to get my hands on this thing, but I had one problem. I don't have a VR. Luckily Steel Crate Games made the game playable on Nintendo Switch without the need for a VR headset and while probably not the ideal way to play it is still a whole lot of fun.
For those of you who don't know what this game is, it is fairly easy to explain. To play you need at least 2 players. One player holds "the bomb", which is displayed on your VR, computer screen, Switch or even phone, and the other has a manual with the instructions to disarm said bomb. The 23 page manual can be printed out off of their website, you can just view it as a PDF file but printing out the pages adds to immersion of the game.
The person defusing the bomb and the person (or once you get to the higher difficulties people) giving the instructions must work together using only communication to solve the different "modules" until all of the puzzles are solved and the bomb is defused. The person with the bomb is not allowed to look at the instructions and vice versa.
The modules are a variety of different classic movie bomb puzzles such as a set of wires of which one, depending on it's color and placement has to be cut or a giant button that can have a certain color or word on it that will reveal how quickly to press and release it. Modules can be further complicated by having a separate set of rules depending on the serial number listed on the bomb or how many batteries are attached.
At first glance the process may seem a bit complicated, but after a few practice runs things will start to become more natural. You will find yourself instinctively searching the bomb for batteries and serial numbers as soon as you get your hands on it to save time, and each bomb has randomized modules, accessories and serial numbers, giving each experience a fresh take.
As you progress through the game you will be introduced to even more complicated modules featuring deciphering words in Morse code, a more complicated set of wires to cut and "needy modules" that require attention throughout the bomb. There is even a module involving a list of words intended to confuse the less communicative player featuring different spellings of words such as leed and lead, read and reed and you are and UR.
All bombs have timers on them giving players anywhere from 3-10(There may be longer I just have not gotten that far in the game yet) and a certain amount of "strikes" from 1-3 or incorrect inputs before the bomb explodes. The amount of modules on the bomb also varies, adding to the mayhem.
All of this makes for a game that is infinitely fun to play and increasingly difficult. There are few feelings in video games that can match the feeling of cutting the correct wire based solely on the instructions of your partner. The feeling of an incorrect answer or the timer reaching that last 30 seconds with a few modules left to go is equally visceral.
Now some of you may be asking why I am just now doing an article about a game that was originally released in 2015. Well I figured that if it took me this long to hear about a game that is so clearly up my alley then there must be a few of you out there that also have not heard of it. This game does such a great job of giving the player the exact emotion and response you would expect out of a bomb defusing game and if you have any interest in something like this you owe it to yourself to try it out.
Some may balk at the price tag, 10-15 bucks depending on what platform you choose to play on, for a game that essentially takes place in one room and involves doing the same tasks over and over again. If you end up enjoying the game it will give you far more entertainment than the initial price tag and can be a fantastic game to play with a small group of trusted friends.
I am already excited for the next time I can get a group together and test ourselves with the best, and to my knowledge only viable bomb defusing game on the market. So pop quiz hotshot, you have a bomb with 5 modules, a serial number ending in a vowel and 3 batteries, what do you do?