Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes is a game in which two or more players simulate a bomb disposal team. One player inspects the bomb on a monitor or while wearing VR goggles and uses a controller to interact with the bomb's modules. The players not inspecting the bomb have access to a physical manual containing information on how to solve each module. The two teams do not have visible access to each other's information and must defuse the bomb strictly through conversation. The manual may be printed or viewed online at http://www.bombmanual.com/.
Each bomb contains several modules that must be deactivated before the timer on the bomb runs out. Making a mistake will give the defuser a strike, and the bomb will explode after a certain number of strikes is reached regardless of how much time is left. The difficulty of each successive bomb will increase by adding more modules, decreasing the time allowed and number of strikes available, or introducing special "needy modules" which must be tended to multiple times over the course of the round.
The manual provides a set of lookup tables and self referential algorithms that help solve the module puzzles. These require information from the module and also characteristics of the bomb, such as number of batteries, labels, and serial numbers.
There are currently fourteen types of modules that can appear on the bomb. The modules are procedurally generated and will change on each playthrough. These can be solved in any order but all must be completed before the bomb is defused. Modules include:
- A set of 3-6 wires which need to be cut
- A button that needs to be pushed when the time on the bomb shows a specific digit
- Buttons with symbols that must be pushed in a specific order
- A Simon Says game where the flashing buttons are different than the ones that need to be pressed
- Buttons with one of 28 words on them that are either homophones (You Are, Your, You're, Ur) or other common words (Uhhh, Okay, What?, Sure) that must be pressed
- Five stages of buttons that must be pushed and require the defuser to remember the locations and labels of the past stages' buttons
- Morse code translation
- Five dials, each of which show multiple letters, but can only spell one word together.
- A maze showing a dot that can move in four directions and must follow a specific path
As of December 14th, 2015 Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes is now available on Mac and of December 19th, 2017 on Linux, as well.