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"One player is trapped in a virtual room with a ticking time bomb they must defuse. The other players are the “Experts” who must give the instructions to defuse the bomb by deciphering the information found in the bomb defusal manual. But there’s a catch: the experts can’t see the bomb, so everyone will need to talk it out – fast!"
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Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes is a co-operative party game where one player is trapped in a room with a bomb, with no idea how to disarm it. The other player or players have a manual that explains how to dispose of the bomb, but cannot see the bomb itself. Players must communicate in order to figure out how to disarm the bomb in time.

The game was originally designed for the Oculus Rift, but also supports monitors. It was released on Steam on October 8th 2015 and on Nintendo Switch on August 16, 2018.


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This game provides examples of:

  • Action Hero: The name of the achievement for disarming your first bomb, suggesting the defuser is one.
  • All There in the Manual: The whole point of the game, actually. There is a literal bomb defusal manual that you can print out that includes instructions on how to disarm everything; all of its information is accurate, although it's definitely not simple the first time you read it. For example, in the "Simon Says"-esque module, if the yellow light is flashing twice, you can be pretty sure that the yellow button is the one you DON'T press. The color button you DO press depends on whether the bomb's serial number contains a vowel and the number of strikes you currently have against you (if any). To make things even trickier, depending on the color that is flashing and the previous two conditions mentioned, you might actually have to press the same color button as the flashing light.
  • Bilingual Bonus:
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    • Integrated into gameplay. While it is not required, knowing the language of some of the symbols in the Keypad module (like Cyrillic script or Greek) saves you the trouble of trying to describe weird-looking characters. The bomb-defuser knowing Morse code can make that module MUCH easier.
    • Both the expert and the defuser knowing any second language (as long as it is the same) can be very useful when dealing with the "Who's On First" module, as homophones can be referred to by their translation in the other language. This can save a lot of time that is usually needed to clarify just which of the same-sounding words they are referring to.
  • Cat Scare: For some reason, there's an alarm clock next to the bomb, which beeps at random until the disarmer hits its snooze button. When it goes off, even the calmest of communicators are sure to be thrown into a panic.
  • Continuing Is Painful: If you fail the memory module, you have to start it over from the beginning. On harder bombs, you might as well just restart, because the time loss is too big to overcome.
  • Damn You, Muscle Memory!: Happens easily with the Needy Vent Module.
    "Vent Gas?"
    >Yes
    "Vent Gas?"
    >Yes
    "Detonate?"
  • Exact Time to Failure: The timer tells you this, although strikes speed up the timer a bit.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Want no one to explode? Keep talking. Averted with the giant buttons, while what they say matters for figuring out how to solve them, you have to press the button, even if it says "Detonate".
  • Game Mod: There are hundreds of additional modules and missions available via the Steam Workshop, as well as such craziness as double-decker bombs (allowing for up to 23 modules on one bomb, not including the timer). Some custom modules on their own send the game straight into Harder Than Hard territory (for instance, the Morsematics module. Have fun performing complex addition and subtraction using letters in Morse code!).
    • Even more ridiculous: The Centurion, a bomb casing for 101 modules. In case that still wasn't enough, here's Twitch handling two of them at the same time!
    • Oh, you think THAT was ridiculous, you've seen nothing, boy! Presenting, THE PRAETORIAN. You thought the Centurion's 101 modules was insane? The Praetorian has 161 MODULES, SON!
  • Guide Dang It!: By design. There's no way to disarm the bomb without the information in the manual, so you better be able to communicate with your bomb defusal experts!
  • Informal Eulogy: The game has a tendency to become a vehicle for roleplaying scenarios when all seems lost or a failure at defusal ends up particularly egregious.
    Totalbiscuit: We have twenty seconds, we're gonna die. Everyone's gonna die. This bomb's in a school. The children... they didn't know.
    MattShea: We dead. We super dead. No, we're dead! We're dead! We exploded! Goddammit you're so late to the party; I'm DEAD! Stop talking to me!
    GenerikB: B-Dubs... it's your old buddy, Generik-B... I'm in Heaven now... there's no copyright strikes in Heaven...
    RubberRoss: R.I.P. Arin Robot
  • Just in Time: Often ends up this way, although the game doesn't artificially force it to happen.
  • Last Words: Players generally have a tendency to give up and bring every single trope under this category into play when they see that they don't have anywhere near enough time to complete remaining modules.
    Jacksepticeye: We're so dead. We don't have time. Tell my mom I love her! Two strikes! If I die, tell my brother not to touch my Playstation! GOODBYE CRUEL WORLD!
    SeaNanners: Chilled, just... I want you to listen to me here for a second. I am going to die. Now I need you to tell my family I love them very much, OK? I also need you to pretend to be me for the rest of your life.
  • The Law of Conservation of Detail: Deliberately averted - an important part of the game is figuring out which details matter and not wasting time discussing the ones that don't. For example, for Complicated Wires, a red or blue wire striped with white is functionally the same as just red or blue (i.e. white only matters if the entire wire is white).
  • The Load: If there are multiple experts, anyone who misreads instructions or contradicts the others will be this.
  • The Maze: One of the modules involves navigating one... only the defuser can't see the walls, and a strike is given each time a wall is hit.
  • Mission Control: The bomb defusal experts.
  • Nerves of Steel: You'll need them. Being able to calmly relay and understand information verbally even as you watch the timer tick down is vital to success.
  • Now You Tell Me:
    • While the bomb manual is mostly written fairly, it constantly mentions crucial information regarding a certain instruction AFTER the instruction (paraphrased: Push "Next" to continue to next step. Do not press "Next" until correct button is pressed.). This is certain to trip people up if the experts try to read directly from text and the operator does what it says in order.
    • This happens the other way around: sometimes the expert may give instructions to the best of their knowledge but the bomb defuser fails because they neglected to mention a small detail that's actually relevant.
  • One-Hit-Point Wonder: Some of the harder bombs instantly explode if you mess up, no strikes allowed.
  • Poor Communication Kills: Taken to an extreme. Said 'red' when you meant 'blue'? It won't end well. It also doesn't help that the modules are designed specifically to invoke this. For example the "Who's on First" module requires describing buttons with labels like "Your", "UR", "You Are" and "You're". Better be really careful what you say.
  • Puzzle Game: The game is one big one, with a twist that the defuser needs to describe the puzzle to the experts, who have to then solve it and relay the solution back to the defuser. And it must all be done under a strict timer and using only verbal communication.
  • Race Against the Clock: And the clock speeds up if you make a mistake.
  • Red Herring:
    • The manual has appendices demonstrating what kind of labels or ports can appear on the bomb. This serves mostly no purpose other than distracting the experts as most of them have nothing to do with any of the modules.
    • The manual contains a complete Morse code dictionary for that module, but the numbers will never come up and several letters won't either. This is mostly a distraction to experts not already fluent in Morse.
    • The "Who's on First" part also has word lists that are longer than they need to be. E.g. the list for "left" has the same word as its second entry, making it impossible for the correct word to be any of the later ones. Again, this only obfuscates the solution if communication between the players is bad.
  • Required Secondary Powers: Clear communication skills, short-term memory, and being able to read quickly (but correctly) are vital.
  • Schmuck Bait:
    • Averted. The big red button that says detonate? You have to press it to disarm the bomb.
    • Played straight with the Needy Vent Gas module - it can ask you if you want to detonate the bomb. Pressing 'yes' causes the bomb to explode.
  • Shout-Out: The Needy Vent module is basically one giant shout out to The Simpsons (specifically, the episode "King-Size Homer"). Even the quip about the module in the Bomb Manual gets in on it:
    This job could probably be performed by a simple drinking bird pressing the same key over and over again.
  • Songs in the Key of Panic: The music accelerates and gets more dramatic when timer gets closer and closer to detonation.
  • Violation of Common Sense: See that "DETONATE" button? You're gonna have to press it at some point to defuse the bomb, though you need to press it correctly.
  • Voice with an Internet Connection: The bomb defusal expert is literally this in real life, if you are playing the PC version over Skype or similar VOIP program.
  • Who's on First?: Invoked with the appropriately named "Who's On First" module. Two columns of three buttons each, with a word printed on each of them. A screen on the module displays a word that you have to relate to a button, then cross-reference the word with the manual to find the first button you need to press. The twist is that every word is either a homophone of another word, or something that can be used to confirm, deny or show confusion.
    • Taken Up to Eleven with the unofficial Crazy Talk mod, with such entries as "blank", "literally blank", "the word blank", "nothing", "there's nothing", "no, literally nothing", "no comma literally nothing", "the word nothing", and "the phrase the word nothing".
      • Crazy Talk goes a step beyond that with the phrase "november oscar space, lima indigo tango echo romeo alpha lima lima yankee space, november oscar tango hotel indigo november golf", which is the Military Alphabet version of "no literally nothing". Meaning you can't even spell the phrase and be sure you're clear.
  • Wire Dilemma: Three modules, complex wires, simple wire, and wire sequences are this.
    • Modded modules, as above, take this even further. There's perplexing wires, wire placement, wire spaghetti...
  • Wrong Wire: Cutting the wrong one earns you a strike. Too many strikes and the bomb explodes. Usually you get 3 strikes but some bombs will explode on any mistake.
  • You Didn't Ask: There's going to be a lot of this going on, since even minor details on the modules or bomb (the color of the button, the number of batteries, what order the wires are in) often change up the entire solution. Best thing to do? Focus on one module at a time and describe it fully. However, don't be so verbose that you waste time, though.
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