Monday, August 27

Review: Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes [Nintendo Switch eShop]


Party games and the Switch seem to be a natural pairing. Ever since that first promo video with the now-infamous Karen taking her Switch over to a roof party it’s clear that Nintendo wanted the console to be easy to enjoy with others. Aside from the Jackbox series and a few other notable titles there haven’t been all that many great indie party games to this point, and certainly none of them has been like Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes. Who knew that the complicated process of defusing the bomb could be fun?


The setup is relatively simple and also quite versatile, especially since ideally only the person trying to defuse the bomb should see the screen. Everyone else participating, which could range from 1 to any number of people you can stand yelling directions, will have their eyes on the 20-page bomb defusing manual that’s absolutely filled with critical information and tips for dealing with the bomb’s many potential sections. Whether it’s clipping wires, completing a maze, or even simply dealing with properly pressing the button to disable the bomb there are rules about just about everything.

This all makes for a situation where careful and clear communication between the defuser and the helpers is critical. Until everyone gets to know the different modules even establishing which set of instructions is the one you need can eat up precious seconds. In order to be a bit more lenient the tendency is to allow 3 mistakes before everything goes up in smoke but it’s amazing how quickly 5 minutes evaporates and how tense everyone begins to get as the timer gets into the last minute.


If you’re looking to have something unique to play at a party, especially if you have some friends or family that are know-it-alls, this could get to be interesting. As a separate thought it would actually make an excellent game to play in workplaces if you’re looking to engage in some team building through communication as well. It’s extremely niche in nature and essentially locked in stone in terms of what it does, but it can still be thrilling and fun to enjoy with others.

Score: 8.5

Pros:

  • Absolutely a unique experience on the Switch
  • Scalable from 2 to as many players as you can stand
  • As long as people have a means to view the manual, which can be accessed over the web, or even simply printed out, it requires very little to play
  • A relatively simple concept very well executed


Cons:

  • Inherently repetitive to a degree, though mixing and matching modules would likely keep it fresh for quite some time
  • Depending on the composition of your group, and how argumentative they can be, it may not end well