STAFF REVIEW of Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes (Xbox One)


Wednesday, September 19, 2018.
by Josh Morgan

Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes Box art Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes is a party game where you work together with others to defuse bombs before the timer runs out. It sounds pretty simple right? Well the idea is, but the difficulty ramps up pretty quickly, and I can see only the most dedicated groups defusing the advanced bombs. It will test your patience and intelligence, and if you can’t multitask worth a damn (I’m looking at you David) then you’re in for a long night of finger pointing and name calling.

Keep Talking is designed to play with one person looking at the screen with the bomb on it, and a team of nerds with the 23 page defusal manual split up between them. The nerds should not be able to see the screen, and the defuser doesn’t have access to the manual.

The defuser is looking at the bomb in first person and can rotate it completely, seeing every side with ease. The bomb will have two sides of modules to defuse and the difficulty will determine the amount and challenge of modules on each side. The bomb itself has a timer on it and you will detonate it if the timer runs out, or if you surpass the maximum amount of strikes allowed by making mistakes on a module.


Each bomb will include up to 11 modules that must be defused in any order before the timer runs out. Once the module you are working on has been defused, the indicator light will turn green and it’s time to work on the next. I don’t want to run through each of the modules, because I think a lot of the fun in this game is working out the modules yourself to find the best method that works for your group. One module that I will mention is wires, because what is a bomb without wires? There are 3, 4, 5, and 6 wire modules, each of which has its own set of rules on which wire to cut. Yellow, red, black, white and blue wires add to the confusion but overall this is the easiest module to complete.

Another fun one to play is called “Who’s on First?”. It’s named after the old Abbott and Costello bit and has you and a partner calling out words back and forth that are very similar, and can be very confusing. Some of the modules have instructions to get information from the bomb itself. For example, you may have to cut a yellow wire ONLY if the bomb has two batteries, or press and hold the button if the serial number on the bomb ends in a vowel. These are all things you need to remember when defusing. Hey, if bomb defusing was easy then kids would be doing it.


As you progress through the difficulty levels the bomb starts throwing more and more things at you. At first you may have 3 minutes to work through 3 modules, but in later levels you’ll have 5 minutes to work through 11 modules, and this is where it gets hectic. Along with the difficulty of the modules going up, the game introduces “needy” modules that need to be tended to as the timer counts down. Gas that needs to be vented, knobs to turn and capacitors that need to be discharged before their own timers run out or you’ll get a strike. It all adds to the tension.


As the name suggests, you are going to need to work together in order to make it through this game. I lucked out and was able to play this while out of town visiting some of my best friends who are also heavy into gaming. We were all in the same room and we all took it pretty serious, so we were able to get pretty far. I’m not saying your group has to be super serious to enjoy this game, but if you’ve got friends that just want to have fun and not play a serious puzzle game, then they may not have the best time. Also, while we played this game at the same location, we looked up some twitch streams of people playing over skype which looked fun as well. I think it works well in both cases, but it’s always nice to have your friends in the same room so they can see the look of disappointment on your face after they fail Morse Code for the fifth time (I’m looking at you Matt).

I had a BLAST (get it? A...blast...? I’ll see myself out) playing this with my gaming buddies and look forward to getting into some of the hardcore ones.




Overall: 8.5 / 10
Gameplay: 8.5 / 10
Visuals: 8.5 / 10
Sound: 8.5 / 10

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