I’m gonna die on a toilet, aren’t I?
The Playroom VR has shown us that being immersed in the virtual world need not be a solo experience; there’s fun to be had with your TV-watching chums too. Steel Crate Games know this and their party game Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes is a great way to experience virtual reality with all of your friends.
The aim of the game is to defuse a bomb. There’s a catch, though. Of course there’s a catch. There’s always a catch when it comes to defusing bombs. The bomb can only be seen by whoever is wearing the PSVR headset and they must relay every detail about it to the TV-watching “experts”. These experts, the non-headset wearing players, are armed with a 23 page bomb defusal manual which is viewable on the TV (or can be viewed online at bombmanual.com if you don’t have an extra controller handy) and it’s down to them to listen carefully, consult the manual and explain carefully to the PSVR wearer how to disarm the bomb. It’s like a virtual trust/fall exercise.
The bomb is procedurally generated and has one job: to explode! That’s what it was made for, that’s what it wants to do and it will do this if the timer reaches zero or if too many strikes are made. Strikes occur if you fudge up when trying to disable the “modules” that make up the bomb. There are two types of modules: ones that require disabling and ones that are recurrent and require closely monitored attention. The first modules range from the run-of-the-mill cut the wire type to the more devilish Morse Code type where you must identify a word and then select the correct frequency. The recurrent modules have their own individual timers, which cause a strike if they reach zero, and are a more simple affair like holding a level to discharge a capacitor before it overloads. The bomb has room for eleven modules which allows for a lot of different combinations
The graphics are basic for the TV player as they just get the look at the rather bland manual, but for the PSVR players things are different. They find themselves isolated in a room with only the bomb for company. The bomb can be turned and rotated so that every side, port and battery can be viewed, which is vital as minute detail needs to be described on some occasions.
Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes is a well made party game with plenty of fun to be had. It’s definitely a light-hearted way of handling bombs, more Lethal Weapon than Hurt Locker. How well you are at defusing the bombs will depend on how well you can communicate with each other. To begin with you’ll probably fail more than you succeed and it will almost put your friendship in jeopardy, but once you get to grips with the manual you and your friends will feel like Murtaugh and Riggs.
NelMaNo Rating – 7/10
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