Keep Talking And Nobody Explodes

If the first thing that comes to mind when you think of one of your friends is of their Mii or Xbox Live Avatar, you might be overdue for some face time. Sure, you could go to the park and feed some ducks or whatever, and that would be fun for both you and the ducks. But winter is coming, and waterbirds are about to become scarce, so why not play some video games?

Here are five clever games that you and your buddies can play, like, right there in the same room. Besides, what else are you going to use your couch for? Naps?

Cannon Brawl

『Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes』は2人以上でプレイする、ローカルマルチプレイヤー・パーティーゲームです。ゲームの目的は、爆弾解除マニュアルに記載されている指示に従い、制限時間内に爆弾を解除すること。. Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes for PC game reviews & Metacritic score: You're trapped alone in a room with a ticking time bomb. Your friends have the manual to defuse it, but they can't see the bomb, so you're going to have to talk.

Platforms: PC, Mac
Release date: Available now

Cannon Brawl combines real-time strategy with the classic artillery games that you might remember from middle school. You know the drill: Use your big gun to destroy your opponent’s base while protecting your own. But here’s the fun part: Both players’ bases are on the same screen, so everything you’re doing is visible.

You’ll probably be too busy putting up your own shields and lining up your shots to really peek. But if you’re thinking of blasting through a hill or something instead of trying to lob your shots over, you won’t be able to do it with any stealth.

Cannon Brawl adds depth by including an assortment of characters with distinct abilities, like the power to temporarily freeze units so that the other person can’t use them. And in true real-time strategy game fashion, you can mine for gold to build more equipment, expand your territory across the map, and upgrade your gear.

Because the only thing better than blowing up a castle in a game is blowing up a castle with goddamned lasers.

Pig Eat Ball

Above: If you can spot which pig is yours in the middle of all of those explosions and vomit, you’re one up on me.

Platforms: PC, Mac, Linux
Release date: TBA 2015 (preview versions are available with preorder)

Mommy’s Best Games, the developer that brought us guns stacked on top of other guns in Serious Sam Double D, is back with Pig Eat Ball. It has a single-player mode that I’m sure makes complete sense, but it also boasts a wealth of multiplayer options. And when a game is this bizarre, it’s probably a better idea to have some other people around for moral support.

Pig Eat Ball operates on a simple concept: What if characters like Pac-Man actually gained weight from all of the stuff they’re gobbling down? Would they have trouble getting through the mazes? According to this game, they would. That’s when the vomiting mechanic comes in, and I kinda wish I was making that up.

Mods

The multiplayer offerings include the obvious “Who can eat the most stuff?” mode and a few others, but they share a few things in common. First, your pig gets bigger when she eats, and second, you can make your opponents throw up by hitting them in their large, glowing behinds.

When you see Pig Eat Ball at a convention, the demo includes chairs equipped with a vibrating seat called the “RMP SHKR” that buzzes your butt when you take a hit, and that’s about as immersive as I’d care to get in this game. You won’t have that at home, but considering all of the eating, puking, and eating puke while avoiding eating too much puke because that will make you puke some more you’ll be doing, a little force feedback might be the least of your worries.

Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime

Platforms: Xbox One, PC, Mac
Release date: Unknown

Here’s a crazy idea: a game that you can only play locally.

Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime aims to capture the frantic excitement of the dogfight sequence in the original Star Wars. You and your co-op partner share a screen on which you must run around to various stations in your strange, spherical spaceship as needed, raising shields, firing weapons, and, you know, flying the thing.

Spacetime also randomly generates star systems every time you play, so you’ll face different challenges each session. It’s a game about exploration, coordination, and yelling at your friend and slapping them about the face and neck so they will get on the freaking guns already.

It’s still in development with no end in sight, but definitely keep this one simmering on your mind stove.

Screencheat

Keep talking and nobody explodes review

Platforms: PC, Mac, Linux
Release date: Available now

Nobody

Have you ever played a competitive splitscreen game like GoldenEye or Perfect Dark and suspected that your friends were peeking at your quadrant to figure out where you were? And then you accused them of cheating and dumped the rest of the pizza on the floor so that you could cut up the box and tape the pieces to your TV to make dividers? And then everyone said you were crazy and went home, and you fell asleep curled up around that floor pizza that was as cold and broken as your heart?

OK, maybe you didn’t just take that whole trip with me, but the point is this: Peekers are a-holes unless you’re playing Screencheat, because looking at other people’s displays is the only way to know where they are.

And why is that? Because everyone is invisible.

It sounds kind of impossible to aim, let alone hit anything this way, but developer Surprise Attack built each map with color-coded areas and obvious landmarks to help players line up their shots. Screencheat also features ridiculous weapons like a Hobby Horse and a weaponized car engine, so they’re keeping it pretty light all around.

Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes

Platforms: PC, Mac, Linux
Release date: Unknown

Like Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime, we don’t know when Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes is actually coming out. But do not forget that name because you’re probably going to want it as soon as it’s available.

It’s also the most bizarre concept on this list: One player wears an Oculus Rift virtual-reality headset, and the other has a binder. The person with the headset sees a bomb that they need to defuse, and the binder contains the instructions to do so. It’s kind of like in movies when the guy’s on the phone saying, “Cut the blue wire!” and the other dude’s all, “Is it navy or more of a periwinkle?”

Communication is important in Keep Talking because the headset prevents either player from seeing both sides. It’s actually a lot of fun just to watch people play it, especially when they have a close call. I saw it at a show recently, and one team defused the bomb with less than half a second left. And then every one of us standing around the table realized that we had to start breathing again.

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Bomb Defusal Manual

Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes
Developer(s)Steel Crate Games
Publisher(s)Steel Crate Games
Designer(s)
Programmer(s)
  • Allen Pestaluky
  • Ben Kane
  • Brian Fetter
Artist(s)Chris Taylor
Composer(s)Liam Sauvé
EngineUnity
Platform(s)
Release
  • Gear VR
  • 16 July 2015
  • Microsoft Windows
  • 8 October 2015
  • OS X
  • 14 December 2015
  • Oculus Rift
  • 26 March 2016
  • PlayStation VR
  • 13 October 2016
  • Google Daydream
  • 10 November 2016
  • Linux
  • 19 December 2017
  • Oculus Go
  • 1 May 2018
  • Nintendo Switch, PS4, Xbox One
  • 16 August 2018
  • Oculus Quest
  • 21 May 2019
  • iOS, Android (non-VR)
  • 1 August 2019
Genre(s)Puzzle
Mode(s)Multiplayer

Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes is a puzzlevideo game developed and published by Canadian studio Steel Crate Games.[1] The game tasks a player with disarming procedurally generated bombs with the assistance of other players who are reading a manual containing instructions. It was designed around virtual reality support, with availability first on Android-driven Samsung Gear VR,[2] with later ports to supported devices on Microsoft Windows, OS X, PlayStation 4, and Linux; though could be played without virtual reality in some cases. An update for the game released in August 2018 removed the virtual reality requirement for these existing systems, as well as included releases for the Nintendo Switch and Xbox One. Non-VR ports for iOS and Android were released in August 2019.

Gameplay[edit]

The game is designed to be played with at least two players, with one player as the 'Defuser', playing the game on a device (supporting both keyboard and mouse, touchscreen and gamepad controls, as well as support for virtual reality headsets), and the remaining players as the 'Experts' reading the provided bomb defusal manual.[3][4] As designed, the Defuser cannot look at the manual and must rely on the Experts to instruct them; similarly, the Experts cannot see the bomb, and must rely on the Defuser to describe the bomb to them. The Experts and the Defuser can communicate with each other either directly from across a table, or online using a separate voice service.

Explodes

Each bomb in the game consists of multiple modules; the modules are independent of each other and can be disarmed in any order.[5] Most modules require disarming, with the bomb successfully disarmed when all such modules are successfully disarmed. Disarming these modules requires the Defuser to relay visual indicators to the Experts, who then use the manual to determine what actions the Defuser to take. Other modules are 'needy': they cannot be disarmed, and demand periodic attention to prevent them from causing a strike while the bomb is still armed. Each bomb will also have a countdown timer; if the timer reaches zero, the bomb will explode. Bombs will also have a maximum number of strikes resulting from errors made during defusing (also speeding the timer), and if that maximum is reached, the bomb will also explode. Other obstacles to the Defuser include the lights in the virtual room going out momentarily, and alarm clocks that will distract the Defuser.[citation needed]

Modules use complex instruction sets and puzzle-like elements to be solved, and the defusing instructions are generally conditional on the configuration of the particular module; for example, the Experts may need to guide the Defuser through a maze whose walls the Defuser cannot see, but as the manual has maps for a number of mazes, the Defuser must help the Expert identify which map is currently applicable for that given module.[5] Some modules deliberately make verbal communication complicated: some use unusual glyphs that require description, other modules use words that may be homophones of other similar words ('sees' to 'seas'), verbal tics ('uhhh' or 'uh huh') or common words that would be otherwise used in that situation ('press' or 'left') that could easily be confused during communication between Defuser and Experts.[5] Many modules have multiple stages that require the Experts to keep track of past actions as they work through each stage. Defusing some modules may also depend on the state of the bomb such as how many strikes it presently has, or external decorations on the bomb like the serial number or the presence of batteries.[5]

The game is broken up into a number of predetermined levels broken up into skill groupings that set the number and types of modules, the time to defuse the bomb, and the maximum number of strikes. Each level will generate the bomb and its modules to be defused in a procedural manner.[6] Players also can create a custom challenge based on module count, time, and strikes.

Keep Talking And Nobody Explodes Steam

Development[edit]

Developers Allen Pestaluky, Ben Kane, and Brian Fetter originally created the game for Global Game Jam 2014.[7][8] There, they had a few Oculus Rift development kits and wanted to take advantage of the novelty of virtual reality. Their original game, a rollercoaster ride simulator, had attracted a number of people to try it out, but the three observed that while the wearer of the headset was enjoying themselves, those waiting for their turn did not share that enjoyment. This gave them the idea of a game that could be shared alike by both a headset wearer and those watching the wearer. Though they had several scenarios in mind, the idea of bomb defusing was the most interesting as well as something they could complete during the Game Jam.[8] At the end of the Game Jam, they presented their game to the other participating developers, recording their own first playthrough of the game which they later posted to YouTube; the response both at the Game Jam and from YouTube viewers, calling the game 'hilarious', led the three to realize they were on to a marketable title and developed the game for a full release.[8][6] In developing the various rules for disarming modules, these were initially created procedurally like the bombs themselves, so that they could be shifted around between various demonstrates at trade shows; though the final game has statically defined rules for defusing, there is a framework in place that can be used to mix up the rules in future versions.[9]

A PlayStation VR version of the game was released on 13 October 2016,[2] while a version for the Android-based Google Daydream virtual reality platform was released on 10 November 2016.[2] Steel Crate released a non-VR version for the PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, and Xbox One on 16 August 2018; this was a free update for existing owners of the game.[10][11] Ports for iOS and Android devices without VR support were released on 1 August 2019.[12]

Reception[edit]

Reception
Aggregate score
AggregatorScore
Metacritic(PC) 71/100[13]
(PS4) 88/100[14]
Review score
PublicationScore
Destructoid9/10[15]

The PC version of Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes received 'mixed or average' reviews while the PlayStation 4 version received 'generally favorable reviews', according to review aggregatorMetacritic.[13][14]

Destructoid awarded it a score of 9 out of 10, saying 'If you are tired of always playing Cards Against Humanity, Monopoly, and that Gargoyles board game on Laserdisc, then Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes will certainly give you the fix you're looking for, pending you have friends ready to be committed to the task at hand.'[15]

Ars Technica's Sam Machkovech reviewed the game, calling it a 'must-have', although he also noted that once players figure out certain modules, they can 'hit a chore-like rhythm' instead of a challenge.[16] He also observed the game's potential as a party game that is equally enjoyable for onlookers.[16]

At the 2015 National Academy of Video Game Trade Reviewers (NAVGTR) awards Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes won Game, Strategy.[17] The game also won the Excellence in Design award, and was nominated for the Seumas McNally Grand Prize and the Nuovo (Innovation) Award at the 2016 Independent Games Festival.[18][19] Steel Crate Games was nominated for the Best Debut for the game for the 2016 Game Developers Choice Awards,[20] and the 2016 British Academy Games Awards.[21] The Official UK PlayStation Magazine listed it as the third best PS VR game.[22]

By March 2016, the game had sold more than 200,000 copies.[9]

References[edit]

  1. ^'Steel Crate Games'. Twitter. Retrieved 9 February 2020.
  2. ^ abc'Press Kit'. Steel Crate Games. Archived from the original on 13 September 2018. Retrieved 4 October 2018.
  3. ^'Bomb Defusal Manual'. Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes Manual. Archived from the original on 30 September 2017. Retrieved 10 October 2015.
  4. ^'How it Works'. Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes - Official Website. Archived from the original on 1 February 2018.
  5. ^ abcd'Defusing Bombs'. Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes Manual. Archived from the original on 26 January 2018.
  6. ^ ab'Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes'. Steel Crate Games. Archived from the original on 26 January 2018. Retrieved 11 October 2015.
  7. ^'Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes (Oculus Rift + Razer Hydra)'. Global Game Jam. Retrieved 17 October 2015.
  8. ^ abcGraft, Kris (29 January 2016). 'Road to IGF: Steel Crate Games' Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes'. Gamasutra. Archived from the original on 11 August 2017. Retrieved 29 January 2016.
  9. ^ abMarks, Tim (3 March 2016). 'Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes has sold over 200,000 copies'. PC Gamer. Archived from the original on 15 March 2016. Retrieved 3 March 2016.
  10. ^Devore, Jordan (7 June 2018). 'Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes will be so great on Nintendo Switch'. Destructoid. Retrieved 7 June 2018.
  11. ^Dent, Steve (10 August 2018). ''Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes' no longer requires VR on PS4'. Engadget. Retrieved 10 August 2018.
  12. ^Robertson, Adi (25 July 2019). 'Awesome bomb defusal game Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes comes to phones next week'. The Verge. Retrieved 25 July 2019.
  13. ^ ab'Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes (PC)'. Metacritic. Archived from the original on 29 May 2017. Retrieved 29 March 2018.
  14. ^ ab'Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes (PS4)'. Metacritic. Archived from the original on 18 October 2017. Retrieved 29 March 2018.
  15. ^ ab'Review: Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes'. Destructoid. Archived from the original on 15 December 2016. Retrieved 19 May 2017.
  16. ^ ab'Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes review: The exact opposite of a bomb'. Ars Technica. Archived from the original on 1 December 2017. Retrieved 11 October 2015.
  17. ^'NAVGTR Awards (2015)'. National Academy of Video Game Trade Reviewers. Archived from the original on 21 February 2017.
  18. ^Nunneley, Stephany (6 January 2016). 'Her Story, Undertale, Darkest Dungeon receive multiple 2016 IGF Award nominations'. VG247. Archived from the original on 15 January 2016. Retrieved 6 January 2016.
  19. ^Gamasutra Staff (16 March 2016). 'Her Story takes home top honors at the 18th annual IGF Awards'. Gamasutra. Archived from the original on 8 April 2016. Retrieved 16 March 2016.
  20. ^Nunneley, Stephany (8 January 2016). 'The Witcher 3, Metal Gear Solid 5 lead nominees for GDC 2016 Awards'. VG247. Archived from the original on 15 January 2016. Retrieved 8 January 2016.
  21. ^Nunnely, Stephany (10 March 2016). 'Rocket League, The Witcher 3, Fallout 4, others up for BAFTA Best Game Award'. VG247. Gamer Network. Archived from the original on 2 May 2016. Retrieved 10 March 2016.
  22. ^PS VR Hall of Fame, Official UK PlayStation Magazine, Issue 136, June 2017, Future Publishing, page 108

External links[edit]

  • Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes at MobyGames
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