Keep talking and nobody dies is a unique assymetric cooperative game that is best suited for casual fun. A cooperative multiplayer game that alone is very rare.
The game needs to be played with two people minimum. One player is locked in a room with a bomb and has to defuse it. They alone can't do it though because they do not know how. The other player or players are outside and have access to a manual how to defuse it but can't see it. Thus they have to give instructions to the player in the room with the bomb. Sounds easy, right? The players can be physically in the same room or anywhere around the world since the game can be played remotely via Steam. Only one player needs to own the game and it is the defuser that needs to control it. Others can talk via Steam voice chat or any other voice chat service. The experts will have to either print the manual out or search in it on the web (or pdf file).
I bought the game on Steam and tried running it because I wasn't really sure how this would all work. I knew that remote play existed since Steam sometimes asked me if I want to remotely play a game, stream it or just play it and it always confused me because I just simply wanted to play the game. Never tried remote play though so I didn't know if there would be two screens or the experts would simply have to print the manual. It was clear that one player would be able to see the bomb. I launched the game in VR and my friend was able to access the manual on the screen while I saw the 'game' in VR. So we just decided to play. Neither of us read the manual beforehand which made it way more interesting for both of us and we almost didn't make it the first time. It was close, we had 1.21 second remaining while my friend Vevvy finished the bomb almost before the timer started (you can actually start defusing before the timer starts).
You have (most of the time, can be 3 or 8) 5 minutes to defuse a bomb. A bomb has a certain number of modules that each contain a 'puzzle' that needs to be solved. The defuser has to describe what it is and based on that description the expert (the one with the manual) has to find the steps how to solve it. The manual itself is quite confusing so it's not easy to memorize. The experts will probably ask more questions because there are many conditions. Apart from the timer ticking down there are other outside effects that can make it harder to solve the puzzles (lights suddenly going out or some terrible nerve wrecking sounds). There can also be modules that need attention from time to time (intervals of 30 to 45 seconds). If those modules don't get it, you'll explode. Multitasking three such modules while still trying to solve other modules is no easy task because you still need to communicate and also use your memory.
The story mode has 7 chapters each having several bombs that have a certain time limit and number of strikes. When the players finish this mode they can still free play - get a random bomb. There are many iterations. There is 11 different modules not including the needy ones and maximum of 11 slots occupied.
Is the game worth trying?
My review might be boring but the game certainly is not. The game is obviously meant for parties. You don't necessarily neeed to play it an actual party, but the more people play the more fun it can be. Anyone can play the game if they can read a manual and aren't colorblind for example since colors matter in this game. I am rhythm deaf and I just found out that morse code is something I can't do (yes, you read that right, one of the modules involves morse code!) which also makes me a bad defuser when this module shows up.
If you have have friends or you are capable of bringing several people together I highly recommend this game. It will test your communication skills, attention to detail, memory and patience.
S'Tsung (stsungjp @ Twitter)