Team Building Through Bomb Defusal


PlayStation VR is set to launch next week and it’s getting a way cool game that will test your ability to give and take directions when under pressure.

Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes puts one player in a room with a bomb that’s about to kaboom. The other player(s) have the manual, but can’t see the bomb. You’re going to have to work together, quickly and effectively communicating to disarm that thing.

“Cut the red wire.”

“This red wire? It’s really more of a burgundy.”


The trailer shows how it all works: the manual-people use the TV screen and PS controller to sift through the handbook’s pages. The player wearing the VR headset is the one tasked with actually defusing the bomb. Developer Steel Crate Games says “rounds are fast-paced, tense, occasionally silly, and almost always loud.”

It’s local multiplayer, which, great. It definitely sounds like a good party game. But it feels to me like something that would work online as well, with each player using PS VR. For that matter, this sounds like a good game even without VR.

Is there such a thing as a VR game that can only work in that format? Certainly a game can be more effective in VR –Keep Talking is probably a good example – but is there anything that doesn’t work at all unless it’s strapped to your face? I invite your input.

Speaking of me, asymmetric gameplay is my jam. There’s not enough of it in multiplayer games. Like, why is there still no D&D-style game for Wii U? Since day one I’ve been calling for a multiplayer game in which one person acts as dungeon master using the big, hulking Wii U controller, and the other players get to run the adventure on the TV.

Okay, back to the task at hand. I’ve never played Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes but I’ve heard about it, and it’s always struck me as a great idea. It looks both friendly and competitive, in a sense – like Charades — and it seems like a game that would easily hook people who’ve never seen it before.

Puzzles are procedurally generated, so the game shouldn’t get stale. I am a little confused by how this works with the defuse manual, which is available any time, for anyone, for free, since there only appears to be one version of it for now. But even if you memorize the (dense and complicated) manual, the changing bombs ought to keep the game pretty challenging.

Keep Talking has won several awards, including Excellence in Design at the 2016 Independent Games Festival, the Human Machine Award at A.MAZE Awards 2016, Proto Awards 2015’s Most Innovative and Best Social Experience, TechRaptor’s Best of PAX Prime 2015, and Destructoid’s Best of PAX: Editor’s Choice at PAX East 2015. It was also nominated this year for Best Debut at the BAFTAs.

It drops on the PlayStation Network in Canada, the US, and Europe on October 13th, the same day PS VR comes out. Its base price is $14.99 USD but PS Plus members will get a 10 per cent discount during launch week.

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