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Watch as a speech bot and steady hands beats Keep Talking And Nobody Explodes

Classic bomb squad tension clears a hardcore puzzle

Owen S. Good is a longtime veteran of video games writing, well known for his coverage of sports and racing games.

Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes is, purposefully, not a single-player game. The action comes from one player describing what they see on the screen, and another following along in a bomb manual, reading back the proper steps to take. It's like the Winner's Circle on The $100,000 Pyramid, except it's your ass on the line.

However, one dedicated player not only made it a single-player game with the aid of "Charlie," a speech bot he wrote, he also beat an absolutely hellish puzzle with 22 seconds to spare.

Watch along, it is fantastic tension that really highlights both Keep Talking's taut design and Devan Hurst's steely resolve and ultra-pro skill. There is almost no wasted language, though a couple of times he has his bot read back an instruction just to be sure. The payoff, I can't spoil that here, but watch to the end, it's a nearly lifelike reaction from his AI partner.

Better yet, you can use the AI yourself! Hurst published his work on GitHub and a glossary of the keywords and nomenclature he uses to elicit the correct response from the bot. By no means is this actually cheating. A player still has to be fast, accurate, and know the language to keep from getting blown straight to hell.

Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes will come to PlayStation 4 sometime this year. It's already available for Windows PC and Mac. Now, if you want to see how not to do it, then watch Polygon's Charlie Hall in Illinois, Susana Polo and Samit Sarkar in New York and Dave Tach in Ohio try not to get Griffin McElroy killed in Texas. Warning, the language in the following video is very, erm, explosive (NSFW).

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