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Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes (PC) artwork

Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes (PC) review

"Intentionally designed miscommunciation and convoluted instructions...brilliant!"

True Friends Know How to Read

Time is ticking. The alarm is blaring and we are down to the last module. There are only 8 seconds left before this bomb goes off and I do not want to replay it. So what am I doing about it? I'm waiting. Waiting for my idiotic, incomprehensive, buffoon of a friend to figure out which wire to cut. We have two strikes because my buddy doesn't know how to read a freaking table, letting the Simon Says module bend us over a barrel, and now I am down to one...last...try. I mean, it's only 3 wires and one of them must be it, so I go for it. Fortunately, we I manage to successfully disarm the bomb, and we move on happily ever after to more difficult and mentally draining bombs.

Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes (PC) image

Co-op Only

Never before have I ever been so heated during a game, especially at one of my own friends on this side of the screen! Although it may seem like I've only had adverse experiences with KTANE, I actually love those situations. Moments where I start to see red and hear ringing in my ears because a new ally can't keep up with my instructions. It's wonderful! Unfortunately, for some, KTANE can only be played with other real-life partners. There are no single-player modes or bots due to the nature of the gameplay. The silver lining though, is that as long as one person owns KTANE, any number of players can join in on the fun (as bomb-manual specialists). Owning KTANE is only required if you want to be the bomb handler. In fact, you can go check out the bomb manual right now, for free, on the official website if you're interested in how the games might go. Bomb Manual Here.

The Experts

If you are a little hesitant in checking out the above link with the words "bombmanual" attached to it, I understand. So let me give you a quick rundown of the game instead. Presented with a book of bombs, categorized by difficulty in an effort to create a sense of progression, your job is to find a partner and disarm every single one of them. A bomb-creator lets you generate custom bombs if you finish the book or want to train yourself against certain situations. Each bomb will include up to 11 modules that must be individually disarmed. Some of these modules are "Needy", a behavior that is attributed to a module that needs repeated disarming. In general, three strikes are allotted for "user error"; however, some bombs will not provide this leeway. The different modules can be roughly referred to as: simple wires, the button, symbols, Simon Says, Who's First, memory, Morse code, complicated wires, wire sequence, the maze, and passwords. The Needy modules that require constant attention involve various actions meant to distract the handler, such as: answering the prompt, discharge the capacitor, turn a nob, etc.

Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes (PC) image

From the expert's perspective, the instructions on how to defuse the module can be very convoluted at times, making it fairly difficult to understand the proper procedure with only one read-through. For instance, some instructions are prefaced with: "if there is a single battery, do X," or "if there are X strikes, do Y" before moving on to the actions needed to disarm the module. Other instructions are intentionally designed to cause miscommunication, such as the differentiation of the words: "UR," "Your," and "You're."


After defusing bombs for a while, I have to admit that the game started to slow down a bit, as it became easier and easier to defuse each module. At a certain point, the bomb handlers may end up knowing how to disarm the easier modules on their own, as was the case for me. What the developers have done to help combat these situations and keep the gameplay lively, is vary the bomb manual instructions. This happens every once in a while, and is enforced by synchronizing the game with the updated bomb manual every time a change is released.

With such unique gameplay and an immense amount of replay-ability, I can easily recommend KTANE to anyone looking to experience some lively coop action. Just remember that another person is required, yet their ownership of the game is not (assuming they are content with being the expert).


silversuriv's avatar
Community review by silversuriv (September 10, 2016)

silversuriv loves to review games as an escape to reality, preferring to stay on the analytical side of the spectrum. Steam

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