Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes combines a regular PC puzzle game with something resembling a board game. It's a simple premise and a great party game, particularly if you want to get your non-gamer friends, parents or partner involved.
One player, the bomb defuser, sits at a PC (or dons an Oculus Rift headset) and manipulates a 3D model of an explosive device, which can be defused by solving a series of puzzles organised neatly across its surface. Instructions for solving the puzzles are contained in a printed manual which other players can access – but the bomb defuser cannot. To save the day the defuser verbally describes the different puzzles while the rest of the team consult the (23 page) manual for the solutions. The bomb defuser cannot see the manual, and other players cannot see the bomb. Communication is vital.
To avoid an explosive and embarrassing death you must solve all puzzles before the timer reaches zero. Each time you defuse a bomb the puzzles get more difficult, and you have to solve more of them. Wires, buttons, keypads, mazes, Morse Code, there is a wealth of different puzzles to be solved. The manual has all the solutions you need, but it's also filled with detailed procedures, numbers and graphs – most of which are irrelevant to your current, potentially explosive situation. Teamwork under pressure is the key to for survival.
There are also elements on the bomb that might be relevant, but might also be totally pointless. And then there are other of factors like the time limit, your own nervousness, and even an small alarm clock. It sits next to the bomb and comes to life at the worst possible moments.
Canadian indie developers Steel Crate Games have come up with a great example of lateral thinking in game design. Combining virtual and real world elements in an experience that even the most casual gamers (and non-gamers) can understand and enjoy instantly.
In no time you and your friends will have become a professional bomb defusing team… or you will have died in an explosion of frantic yelling and poor communication. Either way you'll be back for more.