The game is designed to be played with at least two players, with one player as the "Defuser", playing the game on a device (supporting both keyboard and mouse, touchscreen and gamepad controls, as well as support for virtual reality headsets), and the remaining players as the "Experts" reading the provided bomb defusal manual. As designed, the Defuser cannot look at the manual and must rely on the Experts to instruct them; likewise, the Experts cannot see the bomb and must rely on the Defuser to describe the bomb to them. Communicating with each other occurs either directly from across a table, or through online communication software.
Each bomb in the game consists of multiple modules; the modules are independent of each other and can be disarmed in any order. Most modules require disarming, with the bomb successfully disarmed when all such modules are successfully disarmed. Disarming these modules requires the Defuser to relay visual indicators to the Experts, who then use the manual to determine what actions the Defuser to take. Other modules are needy; they cannot be disarmed and demand periodic attention to prevent them from going off while the bomb is still armed. Each bomb will also have a countdown timer that, if it hits zero, will cause the bomb to go off. Bombs will also have a maximum number of strikes resulting from errors made during defusing (also speeding the timer), and if that maximum is reached, the bomb will also go off. Other obstacles to the Defuser include the lights in the virtual room going out momentarily, and alarm clocks that will distract the Defuser.
Modules use complex instruction sets and puzzle-like elements to be solved; for example, the Experts may need to guide the Defuser through a maze that the Defuser cannot see the walls of. Other modules use words that may be homophones of other similar words ("sees" to "seas") or be verbal tics ("uhhh" or "uh huh") that could easily be confused during communication between Defuser and Experts. Many modules have multiple stages that require the Experts to keep track of past actions as they work through each stage. Defusing some modules may also depend on the state of the bomb such as how many strikes it presently has, or external decorations on the bomb like the serial number or the presence of batteries.
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