Keep Talking And Nobody Explodes Is The Crystal Maze With Bombs

Go left, go left. No, no right. Up a bit. Down. Na, time’s up, you’re locked in. Sorry pal. We’ll come back for you.

As everyone well knows, no one in the history of The Crystal Maze EVER went back for a lost team mate. The allure of The Dome and all that floating money proved too much each and every time. Keep Talking And Nobody Explodes [official site] takes a similar approach to this blind-leading-the-blind idea, but in place of sparkling crystals and airborne cash is a virtual bomb; in place of Richard O’Brien is your hapless chums.

In essence, one player is trapped in a virtual room with a ticking time bomb they’re expected to defuse. The bomb “experts”, as they’re known, are your mates who, although unable to see the bomb, must offer advice on how to defuse it by deciphering cryptic information found in the defusal manual. These manuals are available online or can be pulled up on smart devices.

As far as party games go, Keep Talking And Nobody Explodes sounds like fun, something these folks here will attest to I’m sure:

As you’ll see there, it’s VR-supported but playing on a normal screen looks just as frantic.

Keep Talking And Nobody Explodes is out now on Steam for £10.99 and Humble Store for £8.99.


  1. Williz says:

    But they always went back for team mates, and they were always terrible.

    • Canazza says:

      The ones that were terrible went back for their mates. I only really remember ones who got like 3 or 4 people locked in going back to get them out.

      If you had 1 guy locked in you just left them.

      • rmsgrey says:

        Treating every second of every person’s time in the Dome as equally valuable, the break-even point for buying someone out comes when you spend your 6th crystal to buy out your 6th person (or your 5th for your 5th, etc) – since the game was gently managed to aim for 6 crystals, buying someone out immediately was a bit of a coin-toss. On the other hand, having the whole team make it to the Dome makes for a better experience.

  2. Premium User Badge

    Oakreef says:

    *just reads the headline*

    Well now I have to buy it

  3. Synesthesia says:

    I guess what I’m playing with my friends this saturday then.

  4. Blake Casimir says:

    Lazy Game Reviews is doing lets plays of this with PushingUpRoses. Great coverage, great fun. Shows how effective this is as a co-op experience.

  5. HothMonster says:

    Saw this video on reddit yesterday a bought it immediately. Looks like a ton of fun. link to

  6. Josh Millard says:

    I got a chance to play this a bit at XOXO this year and it’s really, really brilliant. The back-and-forth involved in navigating the bomb and the instruction manual as a team of disparate actors is this tense, frantic thing with a sense of shared purpose that’s as good as anything I’ve ever had in a co-op game.

    Both being the bomb-handler and being the instructions-parser were a lot of fun, in their own specific ways—having the headset on and feeling closed in with the bomb, being the sole source of info about it, is really interesting, and trying to blindly support that with fast-paced Q&A from “outside” using the bomb documentation feels like a huge communication and planning responsibility in its own right.

    And as an observer it’s great just to hear how that communication goes down, and see how and whether a team manages to gel into a good defusing workflow. One of my favorite bits of watching was seeing how bomb-view folks chose to describe the various not-quite-Greek letter symbols that appeared on some buttons to the instructions-handling folks. A weird loopy Q-ish thing didn’t get described the same way twice from the games I listened in on; I’d love to see a database of transcripts of player descriptions of those.

    Just a really great game. Possibly the best casual party game pitch for a VR headset in existence, trading away some of the WOW, I’M IN SPACE type grandeur for a much more accessible “okay, now let ME give it a shot” hotseat, play-for-five-minutes vibe.

    And just hearing how various people chose