Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes is a game that involves two people. One is in the VR helmet describing the bomb to the person with the bomb manual. The other is the person with the bomb manual explaining to their partner how to defuse the bomb. (Seriously, check out the bomb manual and you’ll get a good idea of how to play.)
So any given game goes something like this:
“Okay. Um. I’m looking at a keypad with four buttons on it? It’s got, like, a star, um, an X with an I in the middle? Um, a copyright symbol, and like a lambda with a little x in it.”
And, if you’ve got the bomb manual, you flip through and find page 7 of the bomb manual and find the right column and then give the instructions on which order to push the buttons.
Then, if you get that one right, you can move onto the next module and hear the person in the headset say “I’ve got four wires.”
And, if you’ve got the bomb manual, flip to page five.
It’s an absolutely brilliant experience. They have all sorts of interesting things going on for the person who is disarming the bomb such as the lights going out for five seconds or an alarm clock in the room starting to alarm so you have to press snooze to turn the alarm off (don’t worry, there isn’t enough time on the bomb to make you press it twice).
The bomb that I was trying to defuse blew up when I was trying to deal with the module found on page 11 in the bomb manual. (So you may want to play with a third person who has a whiteboard.)
This is a very stressful game to play and a fascinating game to watch. “How can you be so poor at communicating?”, you’re tempted to say as you watch two people play… and then you get in there and, oh my gosh, the person defusing the bomb is the most inarticulate person when trying to describe a symbol (um… “it’s like the Cyrillic letter Zhe?” “what the heck does a Zhe look like?”) and the person with the manual absolutely can’t do so much as read a sentence without screwing it up.
I recommend it absolutely for co-workers and don’t really recommend it for couples who are dating.
So… what are you playing?
(Picture is HG Wells playing a war game from Illustrated London News (25 January 1913))