In short, Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes presents a ticking time bomb of panic, suspense, and dread. As the clock counts down to zero, you’ll be frantically discerning clues to disarm the bomb. A real test of nerve, this pulse-racing puzzler puts both the bomb handler and the bomb experts on the other end, under extreme duress.
In truth, everyone has a role to play. Meaning, friendships can be tested and tempers often flair. All the while, a heightened sense of anticipation lingers in the air. To summarize, fans of high stakes, co-cooperative puzzle games owe it to themselves to give this game a shot.
Ever been to a job interview which involved team building exercises? The stakes are high, and a position among the corporate elite is just a stone’s throw away. Well, add to that, a life and death scenario, and a tense countdown. Now, switch those fierce rivals for friends. Then, you have Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes, a win-at-all-costs, do-or-die, pressure cooker of pain, developed by Steel Crate Games.
At its core, lies a simple concept. One player isolated in a room with a bomb (how romantic) must diffuse it before the time expires. The poor folks on the other end of the line, the so-called “experts” must relay the information from the bomb disposal manual. There’s one small caveat though. Players with the guide do not have the luxury of seeing the bomb.
That said, the onus on clear and concise speech becomes crucial. Establishing active grounds of communication is the only thing stopping detonation. What follows is a tense race against time, as players work in unison to prevent the place from going up in smoke.
Furthermore, the procedurally generated algorithms, which produce a different bomb each time, make the next round as dramatic and nail-biting as the last. In theory, the task is straight-forward, but the consequences are severe. All in all, it’s this catch-22 that generates tension and suspense. The pressure is firmly on, and your metal tested to the utmost degree. That’s what makes Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes so fun to play.
The player in the room must first rotate the object, to locate the serial number. Once discovered, it’s time to decipher a set of modules — these range from hieroglyphs and wire combinations to random number sequences. Wires vary in color, from red, and blue to yellow and black, each of which play a different role. Naturally, this makes cutting each wire an exhilarating task.
Each stage on the difficulty scale increases the number of modules to decode and raises the challenge of each randomized puzzle. As the problems intensify so too does the complexity of each task. Thrown into the mix, later down the line are complex mazes and word associations.
Although the puzzles get harder with each hike in difficulty, the game becomes slightly repetitive once you become familiar with the pre-set rules and regulations. Other ways of ensuring the longevity of this game, would be to extend the manual, reduce the time on the stop-clock and introduce a higher volume of modules. Just a few ways in which Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes can keep things fresh, in the months and year ahead.
When playing on the Oculus Go, a streamlined UI Interface and simple button config empower the player. Thus, placing the enthesis on communicational skills. Salty Truth ranks the game as one of the best VR games on Oculus Go to play in 2019.
All in all, Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes makes clever use of an original concept, that instils emotional depth into puzzle solving solutions. In truth, the anxiety, panic, and confusion that this game conjures, creates some hilarious, high stakes moments. Those of which are made even more memorable with friends. That’s if you can still look each other in the eye. Finally, this is a must play for fans of intense, Enigma-cracking puzzle games.