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The coolest thing about this virtual reality game is how it doesn't use the headset

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Tick, tick, boom!

The best virtual reality game I played at the Game Developers Conference — which has been devoted largely to VR — made smart use of a traditional three-ring binder, a pen, and some loose paper.

Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes is the first game from Steel Crate Games. The bomb-defusing puzzle game is designed for two players and one VR headset. The person wearing the headset sees the virtual bomb and, using a controller, has the ability to snip, press, turn, and tap the explosive's various components. The person without the headset can't see the bomb, but has a real notebook — or a PDF file — that provides directions for defusing these particular bombs based on their appearance.

For example, if a bomb has five wires, and one wire is yellow, and the serial number on the side ends in an odd number, then the bomb defuser should snip the fourth wire.  The VR player must communicate a bombs look, and the notebook player must instruct the defusing process. As the players cooperate, a red timer counts down. If time runs out, boom!

The small team and their game came together a little over a year ago at a Global Game Jam. They hope to release the game in an early format soon.