Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Keep Talking And Nobody Explodes

"Right. I'm in a dark room. There's a clock reading 18:43, and a timer reading five minutes."

"Ignore the clock. That's the actual time. What's on the-"

"Cool! It uses the PC clock to have the real time in the game? Cool. That's-"

"We don't have time for this! What's on the bomb?"

"The timer reads 4:46. There's a space with wires, a button marked "Hold" and a thing with four buttons with weird symbols on them."

"Right, how many wires?"

"Er... Six vertical wires. Red, red, yellow, bl-"



"They're horizontal. Vertical goes up and- we don't have time for this. Go on."


"The bar is white."

"Okay. Release the button when there's a 1 in any position on the countdown timer."


"I said 1!"

"I know! I did that. Wait. This time it's blue."

"Release on a 4."


"WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!? I... Oh. Oh. You said a red button marked Hold... Just tap the button. Don't hold it at all."

"Okay. Done."

"Yeah... my bad."

"Last panel. Four buttons. Top left is a backwards C with a dot in the middle, beside that is a kind of balloon thing, below the C is a mountain with a road on it, and then Ha-"

"Wait. Stop. I've only gotten the C one so far. I have no idea what else you're talking about. What's the balloon?"

"It's like a circle on a pole. A quidditch goal."

"Oh. Got it. Next."

"The mountain... er... it looks like... um..."

"Does it look like an A and a T stuck together?"

"Yes! That's it!"

"Okay. And the last one?"

"HalfLife 3 confirmed."

"Got it. Balloon, mountain, HalfLife 3, C."

"Done!! We did it. 43 seconds left on the clock! Easy peesy. Lets do the next one."

And everyone died because no one could read Morse Code.

The story you just read is mostly true, although it's various beats occured over a few seperate games, with a variety of clueless bomb disposal teams, rather than one entirely incompetent one.

Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes has been the cause of the most laughing I've done while playing a game with my friends in months, if not years. It's simply a laugh a minute, chaos simulator that will often end with the bomb exploding, but will always end with smiles.

One player can see the bomb and has to describe the various components to the other player or players, who can't see the bomb, but who have the manual and can talk the first player through disarming each component.

Keep Talking is so simple and fun that anyone can play with a minimum of explaination. In fact, I've had great fun just handing someone the controller, explaining the four controls (Left stick to move between highlighted components, right stick to rotate, A to select, B to cancel) and letting them go with little to no further instruction. It's fun listening to them come up with their own way of describing the various elements, especially if you get what their talking about but can resist the urge to suggest your own "better" desciption.

Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes is available on Steam and developed by Steel Crate Games, a Canadian indy developer, and I just cannot recommend it highly enough. It's for two to as many people as you can fit in a room, and is hilarious from opening tutorial to the final explosion and beyond.



Bob said...

I imagine this could be played with someone who is not in the room, over Skype or suchlike. Also, someone very familiar with the manual may be too good at describing the elements or knowing the procedures, therefore sucking all the fun out of it.
I'm looking forward to trying it, somehow.

Denis said...

Well, the manual is a free PDF available at I printed it out, because I like that tactile element of frantically flicking pages, but you can easily play from a tablet. We should Skype some weekend and you can guide me through a few bomb defusals! It's fun on either side, and I don't think it's easy. Besides, the developers have said that easy extra content would be to simply offer alternative manuals, making it hard to simply learn the patterns or layouts.