Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes published on PC and PS4 is an unusual co-op logic game in which one player’s objective is to defuse a bomb according to the instructions given by other players called “Experts.” The title is developed by a small independent studio Steel Crate Games from Ottawa. The Canadian production earned loads of awards and publicity from the industry that mostly praised it for the innovative gameplay model.
During gameplay, one player assumes the role of a bomb defuser who sits in front of a computer and tries to defuse a ticking bomb composed of a variety of modules. The other players (or one player) need to make use of the bomb defusal manual (printed or digital) and provide the defuser with the instructions concerning the methods and the order of actions he needs to take. Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes really stands out, as there is only one player in front of a computer, the other players can only use the mentioned manual. To make gameplay coherent, the so-called “Experts” do not know what is happening on the computer screen – the success of the operation relies on the effective communication between the defuser and their assistants.
Each bomb is generated procedurally and the longer you play, the more difficult it gets, as the number and the complexity of particular bomb modules increase. In order to help the “Experts” identify the kind of the explosive, the defuser needs to pay attention to characteristic details like the number of batteries, the type of ports on the cover, or the serial number construction. With this information, the “Experts,” step by step, guide the defuser and help him solve different puzzles, which will eventually defuse the bomb. The puzzles may concern cutting correct wires, guessing the password, or finding a way out of a maze. There are actions designed only for the defuser, such as answering questions that postpone the detonation or draining steam from the valve in pre-determined intervals. Everything is accompanied by the ticking clock.
Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes is a peculiar cooperation game – even though there is only one person in front of a computer, at least one more player is necessary. Multiplayer requires just one copy of the game and the bomb defusal manual (printed or digital) available on http://www.bombmanual.com/. During gameplay both players do not have to, even are not supposed to, be in the same room – they can communicate via e.g. Skype.
Released on PC and PS4, Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes utilises simple visuals without amazing effects, which, however, is totally enough to have fun - during gameplay the player is focused only on the bomb he currently defuses. The production by Steel Crate Games supports VR devices which makes the game even more immersive.