Review: Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes (PSVR)

Formats:

  • PlayStation 4
  • PC, Mac
  • Gear VR
  • Oculus Rift
  • HTC Vive

Format/Hardware Used:

  • PSN Download
  • PS4
  • HDTV

Extras:

  • PlayStation VR Required
  • DualShock 4 Required (2)
  • PlayStation Move None
Title: Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes
Format: PSN (709.5 MB)
Release Date: October 13, 2016
Publisher: Steel Crate Games
Developer: Steel Crate Games
Original MSRP: $14.99
ESRB Rating: E10+
A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for review purposes.
PS Nation Review Policy

Gameplay:
Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes is the most basic PS VR game I have played to date. The player wearing the headset is looking at a bomb with multiple sections to it. Each section is a randomly generated puzzle that you’ll need to solve with the help of your friends. The problem is that they can’t see what you see.

You have to try to explain what you’re looking at and they need to use the provided manuals to help you figure out what to do with each component. One more major kicker is that there is a time limit you have to work with as well as a mistake counter. Make too many mistakes and the bomb blows up. Timer runs out? Bomb blows up.

The manuals are displayed on the social screen (the TV) as a bunch of pages with basic descriptions. Most have questions that need to be directed at the person in the VR headset defusing the bomb. This turns into a super fast process of elimination. “Does it have this many wires? Is the last wire blue? OK, cut the yellow wire”.

The manuals can be a little overwhelming at first but once you know what you need from each page I could see this becoming very easy. However, communication between the person defusing the bomb and the person or people reading the manual is very important. Each person has to listen to the other very carefully.

… a fun game to play in short bursts …
The manuals can also be viewed as a PDF and printed out from the game’s website at bombmanual.com. This way everyone can have their own copy of the manual. Unfortunately, the gameplay gets pretty shallow after the first few bombs. The only way I feel you could keep this game slightly fresh is for the person wearing the headset to be rotated in and out.

This is a game that could be very fun for a group of maybe five to eight people. If you only have two to three that can regularly play it could get very boring very quick.

Visuals:
There’s nothing major to talk about here. The player wearing the headset sees a grid that has selectable parts. Once selected, that area is enlarged and the manuals come into play. The manuals themselves are very basic, simply white pages with directions and a few images on them.

Audio:
You’ll get very basic audio cues. The timer is ticking making sure you know you’re on the clock. There’s a buzzer sound when you make a mistake and the satisfying sound of when you defuse a bomb. Beyond that, there’s really not much else going on.

Online/Multiplayer:
This is a local co-op game only with one player wearing the headset and as many people as you want reading the manuals.

Conclusion:
Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes is a fun game to play in short bursts. This could be a great game to play with non-gamer friends since the gameplay is very basic but it could still leave you laughing for hours with the right group. Getting new people to wear the headset and try to explain what they’re seeing could be entertaining for hours. However playing with the same people could make for a lot of redundancies.

Score:
7.0

* All screenshots used in this review were taken directly from the game using the Share functionality on the PlayStation 4.

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  • George Nash

    Keep talking and nobody explodes was one of my first VR experiences. I
    liked it so much it was one of the first that I picked up.

    I feel
    the game actually benefits a lot from playing with the same person(s)
    over and over. You quickly develop a language to describe the bombs and
    you figure out how to work the harder and harder bombs. The harder
    bombs just are not possible without developing a communication
    relationship.

    The easy bombs are perfect for a party situation or an introduction to VR type thing.

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