Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes (PC) Review

By Thom Compton 05.02.2017

Review for Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes on PC

With the indie scene at its peak, there have been a plethora of developers creating "real world" games. These require interacting in a real world setting with a piece of software. Titles like Spaceteam, Pokémon Go and Johann Sebastian Joust are all traditional video games that require the participants to do something in real life, encouraging teamwork and being more active. Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes is another one of these, and it's the tensest so far.

Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes tasks one player with diffusing a bomb, while the other players guide him or her through how to diffuse the bomb. Because each is procedurally generated, it means that the game is constantly changing how the bomb is set up. The amount of knowledge needed ranges from how many wires and what colour they are, to the bomb's serial number, and how many batteries it uses. Eventually the bombs have multiple parts that need to be diffused, and too many failures or letting time run out lead to the bomb exploding in the players face.

Graphically, although it doesn't really matter that much, it's quite well-polished. While there's no effort to make anything look ridiculously realistic, the cartoon style graphics juxtaposed with the incredible tension that comes with disarming the bomb makes for a lovely setting. The world at your desk still manages to feel real, despite that aesthetic. So, while the player is sitting there, working with the bomb, teammates will use a guide, either printed or on their own electronic devices, to ask questions and give instructions. This guide is surprisingly deep, yet is very hard to grasp at first. Thanks to the time limit, flipping through the manual gets confusing as you try to get through each page and work through each different module.

Screenshot for Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes on PC

Some of the confusion comes with trying to determine exactly what you should be reading. One module, requiring different words and pressing the correct one, is incredibly confusing, and the guide could be a bit clearer. Some modules also seem fairly similar, adding to the confusion. All of this can lead to the bomb exploding when you have no idea what you've done wrong. It's easy to figure out the problem, but with such a big manual, it could be explained a bit better.

Fortunately, the player is left with excellent tools. While the abundance of gameplay is selecting modules and interacting with them, it can't be stressed how simple the process is. Left click selects, right click deselects, and right click and move adjusts the bomb. Everything is responsive, and while it might seem minor, with a five-minute time limit flipping through a manual, it's definitely nice that hiccups seem to be non-existent. The modules, or the components you need to adjust to stop the bomb, vary from really interesting to downright confusing. Some, like having to determine which wire to cut based on number and colour, aren't very interesting at all, though one of the best is a series of cryptic symbols you have to navigate through.

Some of the later ones are much more interesting, but really the issue is keeping your attention through the earlier bombs, which the game manages to do without much issue. With a big group of friends, or even a few, there's so much here that it's astounding how much variety you'll end up having. For a party game, or even just something to do with one other person, Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes is probably one of the best local multiplayer titles available right now. In fact, it's easily one of the best local multiplayer ones ever made, as long as you stick around through how confusing the manual tends to be.

Screenshot for Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes on PC

Cubed3 Rating

8/10
Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

Rated 8 out of 10

Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes is not only a fully functional party game, but one of the best anyone could pick up. Its rules are very confusing at first, and since new modules get introduced fairly frequently, it can be a bit daunting to try and keep up. Don't be deterred, though, because this is a tense, exciting party title that should never be overlooked, and has plenty of content to fall in love with.

Developer

Steel Crate Games

Publisher

Steel Crate Games

Genre

Puzzle

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

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