Project Zomboid is the ultimate in zombie survival. Alone or in MP: you loot, build, craft, fight, farm and fish in a struggle to survive. A hardcore RPG skillset, a vast map, a massively customisable sandbox and a cute tutorial raccoon await the unwary. So how will you die?
User reviews:
Recent:
Very Positive (293 reviews) - 83% of the 293 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
Overall:
Very Positive (12,005 reviews) - 91% of the 12,005 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Nov 8, 2013

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Early Access Game

Get instant access and start playing; get involved with this game as it develops.

Note: This Early Access game is not complete and may or may not change further. If you are not excited to play this game in its current state, then you should wait to see if the game progresses further in development. Learn more

What the developers have to say:

Why Early Access?

“Project Zomboid is a much more ambitious game than we could ever have hoped to fund ourselves. It has grown massively over the years, and it’s been a rollercoaster, but find ourselves in a stable financial situation with an overwhelmingly positive reaction from the Steam community. We hope you will join us, but if not we understand. If you're not ready to jump in yet, then please consider us when we break out of Early Access.

How often do we update the community?

We have weekly newsletters, known as 'Mondoid's, which we publish on our site and as a Steam announcement every Monday (unsurprisingly) as a small tonic to the depressing 'back to work' feeling. These detail what we've been up to during the week, often with sneak peeks of upcoming features, interviews, videos and all that goodness. We've had an unbroken chain of Mondoids for a long time now, and plan to continue them as long as Project Zomboid is developed. We also communicate with our community directly on our own forums and Steam forums, often with changelists for upcoming builds.

How often do we update?

We have a reputation that seems to diverge greatly when it comes to update frequency depending on who you ask. Many consider our game frequently updated, some consider us slow. In recent times it’s rare we don’t have a release within a month (including beta releases), and these always contain new gameplay features or major tweaks to the gameplay.

Some features, particularly NPCs, have taken a long time to implement. This is largely out of our commitment to getting the features right and them not disappointing on release, but it should be noted that we make no apology for delaying their release until we feel they would be enjoyed, live up to people’s expectations, and most importantly do not have a detrimental effect on the gameplay or stability of the game.

We will admit to a few long waits between updates in the past, but we feel from community feedback that the majority of our customers are very satisfied with the development of the game. It should be pointed out too that the game has significant modding support, with map editors and full unrestricted lua modding access. We have a vibrant modding community that can help plug the gap between updates. It should also be taken into consideration that the game is already very far through development, to the point where we now have 1900+ hour players - There is a lot of content to enjoy in the game already and we firmly and proudly believe it worth its current price as it stands. Please consider reading some reviews if you are still unsure about the content of the game or the release frequency.

Details of major milestones can be found below.

What is required for 1.0?

Two major features are yet to be implemented into the game, both of which are currently in full-time development each with dedicated full-time developer support. These are:

NPCS - A far reaching and in-depth NPC system with character relationships, personalities, and an emergent story engine that allows for diverse and emergent character based zombie survival story unique to every playthrough. This also includes the tutorial, a return of Kate and Baldspot who starred in the early alphas of the game.

Vehicles - Fully physics modelled 3D vehicles, siphoning petrol, mechanics skills.

Several features require either significant modifications, rewrites or completion before we could consider 1.0.

Map completion - We still have a major city, an army base, more wilderness, and several small towns to implement to the game map.

UI Rewrite - The UI isn’t perfect by any stretch. We would like to get a more intuitive and ergonomic UI system implemented.

Stealth / Combat - New animations to allow for stealth mechanics (looking round corners, crouching behind walls, cover etc) as well as a rewrite of the combat system to leverage new animations to make combat more involved, intuitive and fluid.

We want to have all this in the can this year. However, we tend to avoid ETAs because Early Access development in particular is often filled with unknowns and we want to ensure we get these highly anticipated features right. 

In the meantime however we will continue to update the game and provide new features for our community to play with. One of our developers full time responsibility is providing frequent and new items, crafting recipes, skills and survival gameplay elements to fill out any holes in gameplay, and provide frequent feature rich game updates in line with community feedback, while the other developers focus on finishing these specific remaining major features.

What about after 1.0?

At this point, once we feel we have fulfilled every promise we gave when the Project Zomboid site first launched (except the last one, ahem, ignore that. Absolutely no one wanted that, it turned out), as well as the extra things detailed above, and the game is sufficiently polished and bug free, we will launch the game as 1.0 and leave Early Access.

What happens at this point depends entirely on whether the game is making money or not, but given the past solid performance of the game we see no reason why it shouldn’t be. Several developers within the team will likely start exploring our second project at this point, however we have dedicated and passionate developers who were brought into the company via the Project Zomboid modding community, emotionally invested in the game, who are already a big part of the development and communicating with the community. As long as Project Zomboid is making enough to support their continued development of the game, and they are happy to continue working on it (which seems likely), we will continue making Project Zomboid indefinitely as long as there is interest.

That all said, we can’t make any solid promises beyond the 1.0 mark, however there are countless things we would love to do that go way beyond 1.0 and sales make us confident that we’ll get the opportunity to explore them. Truth be told, given that it was Zomboid that put the money in the bank in the first place, as long as our company is secure and we can fund any other project's development comfortably, it's very probable we'd be willing to put some money back into the game beyond the point it's sustaining itself if there are any features in particular we can't bear to leave out of the game. Words are wind though, and all we can do is guess where we'll all be by then. We really want to keep this train going as long as we can though, as long as it continues to the benefit of the game. At which point the modders will hopefully take the mantle with almost unlimited access to the game's core.


Development Costs

Here we hope to give you a better idea of how the sales revenue from Project Zomboid will support development of the game. While we will keep particular developers salaries confidential, we would like to offer a breakdown of developer and office locations, along with the average rent costs, reported on http://www.numbeo.com/ for the Indie Stone offices, along with each developer's location to give you an idea of relative studio costs. It's become clear to us recently how significantly this factors into Early Access games chance of continuing development and we hope others will follow suit in divulging this information.

All percentages are in comparison to New York City (100%) - Other examples would be San Francisco (98.66%), London (93.81%), Moscow (52.71%) and Delhi (9.53%). The lower the % the further your purchase of an Early Access game will go to fund development (or more crucially how long that money will last), as accommodation costs correlate pretty closely with expected salaries and costs of living and working in that location. (Please note that in several cases the developer lives sufficiently outside the given city to make the actual %s likely much lower than reported)

3x Developers + Office
Newcastle Upon Tyne, United Kingdom - 32.37%

1x Developer
Brighton, United Kingdom - 56.37%

1x Developer
Toronto, Canada - 51.78%

1x Developer
Surrey, Canada - 30.87%

1x Developer
Lille, France - 31.59%

Monthly development costs are currently recouped within approximately the first 1.5 weeks of the month on average, which means at present each month produces extra funds to further develop the game should sales dry up. This does not include sales or other promotions.

What if PZ stopped making any money tomorrow?

The Indie Stone have made sufficient sales since launch on Early Access to ensure that if the game stopped selling any copies tomorrow, the entire PZ dev team could carry on funded development as at present, with no reduction in workforce, for at least the next two years, potentially longer. This would not be an ideal situation for us, of course, but we are committed to finishing every major planned feature before we consider moving the game to 1.0. Considering the financial situation we are in at present, the chances we will not be able to fund the remaining development of the game are quite small.

In the worst (and least likely) possible of financial cases that required the disbandment of all paid developers of the game, 4 of the listed developers are directors of The Indie Stone with an invested interest in the success of the game and company, who would cut their income significantly and/or supplement development of the game with other work to get through any financial difficulties. Despite this no doubt causing progress to slow significantly, the 4 directors hold all required skills to continue development of the game during this nightmare scenario.”

Approximately how long will this game be in Early Access?

“See above!”

How is the full version planned to differ from the Early Access version?

“See above!”

What is the current state of the Early Access version?

“See above!”

Will the game be priced differently during and after Early Access?

“It will likely be £5, $8 more expensive once we hit 1.0. Due to our commitment to making sure early adopters get the cheapest price in appreciation of their early support, we will never appear on bundles, or in sales that take it to or below the original alpha price of £5, $8 until a long time post 1.0. This commitment also means that, until 1.0 and the price increase, we will never be willing to go beyond a 40% sale.”

How are you planning on involving the Community in your development process?

“See above!”
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Recent updates View all (124)

June 28

Bloody Business



Last week we finally cracked our new method of handling the textures on the new 3D character models, allowing us to use various compositing techniques to provide diverse overlays onto players and zombies alike. The initial need for this came from issues we’ve had with the geometry of clothing poking out on occasion, particularly if we ever tried to layer clothing on top of each other. As such we needed support to allow clothing to be textures as well as 3D models.




(please note Survivor Spiffo is not canon and will be the restaurant chain in-game, it was used as a test though we’re sure plenty of t-shirt designs will appear in the workshop not long after it is released!)

The new system will allow for us to layer multiple items of clothing on top of each other, so the player is able to wear a t-shirt, with a sweater, and maybe a coat on top of that. This will allow us much more versatility when it comes not only to how characters and zombies look, but also to the stats of those clothing as it relates to heat and protection. Managing your heat in the game at the moment essentially boils down to taking off or putting on a sweater and it will be cool to make all this more interesting. Not only this, but it gives us the ability to combine as many textures as we like with which to do effects such as blood or dirt overlays. Here is a little video demonstrating some of the sexy gore coming to the world of PZ, with some bonus back-wear to boot!


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=boIpk40xvVk


Though please note we still have a fair amount of texture work to do to provide the variety we’re going for and this is just a taster.

Just a reminder to those out there with low spec PCs, we’ve put a huge amount of work into optimization and are very pleased with the results. While we can’t promise that those right at the bottom end will never hit any issues, we are confident that the new animation system using some crafty tricks is in many respects hugely more optimized than the existing 3D zombies in the game, and that should mostly if not completely offset the extra work the game is doing with the new animations and overlays.


Where Next
Now all the main technological hurdles are done with with the new animation and clothing system, the remaining work involves Binky and Martin doing some new texture versions of the clothing that you’ve already seen in previous videos, if they are clothing that can be worn under other clothing. As well as this more blood and grime overlays to allow us to completely make every zombie unique, with different visible body damage, missing limbs or whatever else, along with the much greater variety of clothing. Meanwhile, now we have the new 3D model and all the anims exported to work with it, we’ll be able to finish off the remaining stuff required to get the animation system out there for testing. A few bugs have been introduced since we added the new models and textures, so it’s not imminent but we feel we’re getting close.

Once animations are in the game, we will talk about where we’re going next. The animation and combat overhaul is the first (and vital) step in an internal 5 stage roadmap that covers future PZ version releases, and will finally tick off a number of the remaining things on our planned feature list. We’ve done a lot of planning as to the best way to get toward the feature(s) people are most eager for, and Martin is already working on some cool stuff for stage 2. Once the animation system goes out the door the rest of the team will join in full force and talk more about what it is and where it’s going, and we’re confident that it’ll make life much smoother for everyone.

This week’s featured image by Kuzmich off of Steam. The Block of Italicised Text would like to direct your attention to the PZ Wiki should you feel like editing or amending something, and the PZ Mailing List that can send blogs like this and patch notes direct to your mailbox. We also live on Twitter right here! Okay thanks bye!

54 comments Read more

June 20

Strike a Pose



 

The biggest ‘key’ feature, as regular readers will know, are the new animations, models and combat which are, in themselves, a fundamental stepping stone in the plan for all the big-name content in later builds.

Right now Martin’s big re-export of all his work is at an end and Lemmy and Binks are getting the new system completed that will allow for both overlay clothing (so people can pop on a t-shirt, then a jacket on top of it) as well as overlays that will be used to allow for blood splatters during combat, zombie blood and gore to make the zombies a bit more grizzly to look at, and hopefully the ability to age zombies to make the zombies that have been shuffling around on the six months later scenario look a bit more like corpses that have been walking around for six months.

The ability to apply texture overlays will give us a huge amount of freedom to make the zombies extremely varied, something that has been lacking in the game up to this point. The backpack is in and working, as you can see, but still has a few weird issues we are trying to resolve before we can do any sexy in-game videos of it in action. So for now, an image! Hurrah.



RJ, meanwhile, is building up to an internal test of his metalwork revamp, and is currently back inside his Nutrition system to make weight loss/gain a less of a sheer face to fall down and climb – and also to nerf clever tactics like ‘chugging down jars of mayonnaise’ with a daily limit on calorific impact whether it’s dropping off you, or piling itself on.

A month or so ago we compiled a big report from all the community posts about the nutrition system (from both those who liked it, those who disliked it and who wanted improvement) and got a lot of good pointers that we’re currently acting on.

Something that we want to get RJ on to next, that we might have mentioned was in our minds a while back, is a refurb of the current sleeping system. In the earliest builds of PZ sleep felt a lot more haphazard – you had no control over when you woke up (or when you were woken by possible night incursions) and as such the simple act of resting felt quite scary and unpredictable. You’d also struggle to fall asleep when in pain, making sleeping pills more of a necessity.

This was all somewhat lost as the game developed, not least due to MP making sleep a trickier issue, but it’s now something we can get back to. It’s all under current discussion, but less controlled SP sleep, in-game alarm clock items (impact of which is heard by all players, and maybe zeds in close proximity in co-op) and maybe a few random events that player sleep opens up to us are all on the agenda.

TurboTuTone meanwhile is coming back onto the main game after getting WordZed up to a standard that’s fine for internal use, but probably not as user-friendly as we’d like for a public release. We’re at a point at which we can easily package what we considered our priority (the release of community translations for Radio/TV in the next build which is currently looking like French, Russian, Polish and Turkish) so now Turbs is coming back onto the main build for a bit – to finish integrating his work on player boredom, the necessity of entertainment, learning from live and recorded TV and radio shows and hopefully a more analogue radio tuning system to help with tuning into secret wavelengths etc.

On top of all this we have EP in the Engine Room looking to slicken things up for future features in the pipeline, Mash is in the sprite/map room prettying things up further and obviously we’ve got the helpful chaps at General Arcade investigating the best avenues to integrate VOIP into PZ for our MP crowd too. More on all of the above in future Mondoidage. Have a good week everyone.

This week’s featured image by Markarkady off of Steam. The Block of Italicised Text would like to direct your attention to the PZ Wiki should you feel like editing or amending something, and the PZ Mailing List that can send blogs like this and patch notes direct to your mailbox. We also live on Twitter right here! Okay thanks bye!

 

51 comments Read more
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Reviews

“What can I say? This game's interface looks so simplistic by today's standards, and yet the Indie Stone team has managed to possibly create one of the best post-apocalyptic zombie survival games in existence to date.”
Max Power! (105 hrs)

“Most realistic zombie apocalypse scenario game to date.”
democar821 (81 hrs)

“The gameplay is surprisingly addicting, sometimes I look at the clock and wonder where the last 4 hours went, but looking at my fort shows me where they went.”
syfy2K4 (1,021 hrs)

About This Game

Project Zomboid is an open-ended zombie-infested sandbox. It asks one simple question – how will you die? 

In the towns of Muldraugh and West Point, survivors must loot houses, build defences and do their utmost to delay their inevitable death day by day. No help is coming – their continued survival relies on their own cunning, luck and ability to evade a relentless horde.

Current Features


  • Hardcore Sandbox Zombie Survival Game with a focus on realistic survival.
  • Online multiplayer survival with persistent player run servers.
  • Local 4 player split-screen co-op
  • Hundreds of zombies with swarm mechanics and in-depth visual and hearing systems.
  • Full line of sight system and real-time lighting, sound and visibility mechanics. Hide in the shadows, keep quiet and keep the lights off at night, or at least hang sheets over the windows.
  • Vast and growing map (loosely based on a real world location) for you to explore, loot and set up your fortress. Check out Blindcoder’s map project: http://pzmap.crash-override.net/
  • Use tools and items to craft weapons, barricade and cook. You can even build zombie proof forts by chopping trees, sawing wood and scavenging supplies.
  • Deal with depression, boredom, hunger, thirst and illness while trying to survive.
  • Day turns to night. The electricity falters. Hordes migrate. Winter draws in. Nature gradually starts to take over.
  • Farming, trapping, fishing, carpentry, cooking, trapping, character customization, skills and perks that develop based on what you do in-game.
  • Proper zombies that don’t run. (Unless you tell them to in the sandbox menu).
  • A ton of amazing atmospheric music tracks by the prodigy that is Zach Beever.
  • Imaginative Challenge scenarios and instant action ‘Last Stand’ mode, on top of regular Sandbox and Survival 
  • Full, open and powerful Lua modding support.
  • Xbox Controller Gamepad support on Windows. [Others pads can be set up manually. Gamepad support not currently available on Mac]

    We’re a small team at the moment, but we’re also committed to providing the following:

    Planned Features:


  • The return of our PZ Stories mode that also serves as first ever tutorial actively trying to kill you at every turn. Kate and Baldspot return!
  • In-depth and varied NPC encounters driven in a persistent world, powered by a metagame system that turns each play-through into your very own zombie survival movie with emergent narrative gameplay.
  • Constant expansion of the countryside and cities around Muldraugh and West Point
  • Full wilderness survival systems, animals and hunting for food.
  • More items, crafting recipes, weapons and gameplay systems.
  • Steam Workshop and Achievements support

For more details on the game follow us on @theindiestone or visit http://www.projectzomboid.com

A huge thanks to the wonderful MathasGames and Dean Cutty for making the awesome intro video. If you love indie games their channels are well worth a sub.

System Requirements

Windows
Mac OS X
    • Nb. This is an Early Access game. A demo has been provided so you can be sure the game runs on your set-up to your satisfaction.

      Radeon 4xxx series (or below) graphics cards / Please make sure to try the demo before purchasing!

    • OS: Windows XP, Vista, 7
    • Processor: Intel 2.77GHz Dual Core
    • Memory: 2Gb Ram
    • Hard Disk Space: 1.23gig
    • Video Card: OpenGL 2.1 compatible dedicated graphics card
    • Sound: OpenAL compatible sound card
    • Nb. This is an Early Access game. A demo has been provided so you can be sure the game runs on your set-up to your satisfaction.

    • OS: OS X 10.7.3, or later. 
    • Processor: Intel 2.77GHz Dual Core
    • Memory: 2Gb Ram
    • Hard Disk Space: 1.23gig
    • Video Card: OpenGL 2.1 compatible dedicated graphics card
    • Sound: OpenAL compatible sound card
    • Controllers currently unsupported in Mac
Customer reviews
Customer Review system updated! Learn more
Recent:
Very Positive (293 reviews)
Overall:
Very Positive (12,005 reviews)
Recently Posted
TheDiscoTimeGuy
( 52.0 hrs on record )
Early Access Review
Posted: July 1
(TL;DR)
+ Great Community (Just watch how many will downvote this review in defense)
+ Devs keep you up to date regularly through updates and news
+ Offers a Unique and realistic approach to the genre

- Another prime example of how early access can go wrong
- Updates are little more than “polishing” and offer little to no gameplay changes or improvements
- Many promised and crucial features that have yet to be released or even given a timeframe (NPCs/Vehicles)

I will start out by saying I love this game, not in the way that you love a good game, but rather in the way that you love something you have invested both time and energy into supporting and following. However, it has been nearly three years and the features that were “in development” at launch are looking more and more like a pipe dream. Originally, the end goal of this game was to have a “Walking Dead” gameplay type where you could create a group of survivors (either NPC or Player) and attempt to survive the zombie apocalypse in the most realistic way possible. With its simplistic graphics and top-down gameplay you would think that adding in core features would be just around the corner. However, at the time that I am writing this, the devs are busy polishing the 3D models and animations rather than improving the core gameplay. If you enjoy dark souls, roguelikes, or any other difficulty-based game you will feel right at home with the current build status. There are no NPCs, no Vehicles, and no word on when either will be available. While it might seem like I am nit-picking, these are the two features that have been left out of plenty of survival games (who promised them) and thus caused the games to fail. Look at Dayz as an example. Dayz (the standalone version) could have added vehicles much sooner instead of polishing, yet they wasted their time and now they are the target for plenty of jokes involving poor development. This is the problem with kickstarter/early access games as the devs already have their money and therefore have no motivation to introduce new features that might attract a new audience (or appease those who are waiting for new core features). This is not to say that the devs are not dedicated, but they are more interested in making their game as “pretty” as possible now that they have no reason to produce further deliverables. In normal software development, this path gets a project cancelled very quickly (keeping the stakeholders waiting in the dark while you polish the features and “feel” of the software). This is not what early access is about, as the features should have been released in their initial and “buggy” state from the start in order to let the community know that the features existed and to let them play. As of now, the devs talk very little about any new features which does not bode well for the future of this game.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Oddlook♛
( 39.6 hrs on record )
Early Access Review
Posted: July 1
Addictive gameplay, its pretty fun if you like survival games. I would like better graphics, but I think that is in the works.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
lonekerbin
( 58.6 hrs on record )
Early Access Review
Posted: July 1
Solo players beware, metric tons of grinding for little rewarding or fun gameplay.

Games I should of bought If I saved my money for summer sale:
Terraria
Warband
Rust
Left4Dead
Portal 2
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Rastypasta
( 3.0 hrs on record )
Early Access Review
Posted: July 1
Very repetitive after some time, first this was good but then I didnt enjoy it, I played single player but I got bored, then I played some multiplayer but all was destroyed and full with zombies.
I dont recommend this (this is just my opinion).
Helpful? Yes No Funny
.soundfreaker
( 123.5 hrs on record )
Early Access Review
Posted: July 1
Project Zomboid has quenched my thirst for both a survival game and level of difficulty. Most survival games that I've played always seem to have a point at which, once you have an item, base, or a certain level, the game just doesn't seem to keep the challenging aspect. Project Zomboid balances it out, you can have a high skill level, but still get bitten; you could have very secure base, but then a helicopter flies over head, and ushers in a massive horde that can take down walls in a matter of minutes. You can run, you can hide, you can barricade yourself in a house, but a means of death will always be seeking you, be it hunger, thirst, exhaustion, or even just a simple scratch, you always have to be on edge, you always have to be alert, you must always think before you make an action. I absolutely recommend this game, and look forward to it's further development.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Solomon
( 1.0 hrs on record )
Early Access Review
Posted: July 1
I purchased this game at a discounted rate, during the 4th of July Sale. The required use of the keyboard and mouse, combined with the 12+ keybinding combinations, along with the need to constantly zoom-in and zoom-out during gameplay, makes this very difficult to play. Until the developer adds full controller support, I cannot recommend this game.

*I play 90% of my Steam games using only the keyboard and mouse, but for some reason the gameplay mechanics of this game cause that requirement to be awkward and uncomfortable.*
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Hendul
( 8.4 hrs on record )
Early Access Review
Posted: June 30
One of my best experiences in a zombie survival game
Helpful? Yes No Funny
CapTainKoLoR
( 9.1 hrs on record )
Early Access Review
Posted: June 30
it crashed when i entering the loading screen before main menu
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Stimpy
( 126.6 hrs on record )
Early Access Review
Posted: June 30
We were promised NPCs since 2000 B.C and realistically we are closer to a real world zombie apocalypse than this feature. I've had some fun playing this game but I've been invested since this was on Desura. At the current price I can't recommend. Get it when it's 75% off.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Purps™
( 34.2 hrs on record )
Early Access Review
Posted: June 30
Project Zomboid is interesting, and I recommend it, but I'm not sure I can recommend it to everyone.

The basic idea of the game is that it's a simulator that tries to accurately simulate surviving the zombie apocalypse. In this regard it is uncomprimising, going as far as prioritizing realistic(As realistic as you can be with a zombie apocalypse scenario, anyway) and immersive mechanics over stuff that is actually, y'know, strictly about making the game fun to play. This results in a lot of features that are pretty cool in concept, but can end up being frustrating in the context of the game itself, with its sort of clunky strategic top-down gameplay. Here are some examples of this:

-Enemy variety, currently there's just human zombies. No special zombies, no animal zombies, just human zombies with varying degrees of speed and strength. This can get dull and, coupled with the next feature mentioned in this list, makes guns kind of not worth using since melee weapons deal with everything pretty well.
-Anything that makes loud noise attracts zombies, as does any kind of noise in general. No using the gun you spent ages looking for, it's more dangerous than useful.
-The game has a large featureset for building but building also means hauling around heavy objects that put you at max encumbrance, meaning a lot of trips to and from the trees you're harvesting for wood.
-Skills level slowly, progression can take what could be called a "Realistic" amount of simulated time with it being possible to survive for months and years worth of ingame time.
-Zombie infection. This is the big one, being infected slowly but surely kills you and can result from one bite.

Now, all this isn't to say that the game isn't fun to play - it is, but it's the sort of game that appeals more to people who like slow, strategic survival gameplay and anyone who wants a zombie apocalypse sim that prioritizes attention to detail over all else and features possibly the most comprehensive persistent open world used in a zombie or survival game to date. Anyone expecting an actiony/arcadey zombie survival game will end up disappointed.

The only thing I can objectively count as a negative is that melee targeting on corpses will occasionally not work, and I've had a lot of characters ended by having a zombie I'm trying to stomp on stand up inside them and instantly deliver a bite that has something like a 90% infection rate. Be wary of that!

I rate this game 3.5 out of 5 in its current state.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
105 of 135 people (78%) found this review helpful
163 people found this review funny
Recommended
45.0 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: June 14
- Started game
- Spawned in trailer park
- Got ingredients for pasta
- Put pasta in pot
- Added zuchinni, ketchup, eggs, broccoli
- Was ready for a delicious meal
- Accidentally added bleach to the pot

10/10
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
53 of 61 people (87%) found this review helpful
7 people found this review funny
Recommended
6.6 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: June 19
This game scares me.
And probably not in the way you would think. I am not scared of the zombies. It's the loneliness. Every time I see one. I am reminded that I am the only living thing. And that I don't know what I would do if this happened in real life, my family. Pets. What would I do without any of them? I don't see what the point would be in living. The whole game is about how you died anyway. It's not about your happy ending. It's about how you died alone in an unforgiving world.
That is why this game is so amazing. No other game has that effect on me. Truly. This is the scariest game I have ever played.

So... That being said, I will probably play this a lot more when there is NPCS.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
41 of 49 people (84%) found this review helpful
36 people found this review funny
Recommended
97.2 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: June 15
my first attempt went like this:
-spawned in a house
-found a shotgun and 3 empty cans of bleach on a corpse
-found a few shotgun shells in a drawer
-i hear a zombie or two approaching
-i turn around
-i shoot
-2 dead zombies
-a ton of zombies approaching
-Time of death: 4 a.m.
-cause of death: my stupidity
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87 of 142 people (61%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
5.6 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: June 6
DISCLAIMER: Game is in Early Access. I'm sure every single one of my concerns will be addressed in time. This Review was posted June 6th, 2016. This review is based upon a version of the game without user generated content such as mods or maps.

I do not regret buying this game at all. I like it for what it is. But I do feel there's a bit too much left to add before I'd really give it a proper recommendation. While my experience is mostly positive, I still need to give it a "Not Recommended" for reasons I'll outline below. But I'll also discuss the game's strengths, so please keep reading my unbiased assessment, since maybe you'll walk away with a positive impression. Please be aware that "not recommended" does not mean it's bad, I'm just not able to go "Yes, buy it right now!"

For starters, what IS there is good. My concerns stem completely from what isn't there. The maps are decently sized with plenty of danger to avoid (I once got lost in the woods for a whole day since I was desperately trying to avoid a horde that was tailing me) and I really like the fact that Water and Electricity are finite; they are either cut off after a period of time, or begin cut off, depending on your game mode of choice. The controls, while awkward at first (I was playing without a proper mouse for a bit, using my Laptop's little touch pad, which made things like holding Right Click while tapping Left click and still moving the mouse around problematic) are functional, and any complaints I'd have about them (such as wishing there was an option to be able to keep continuously walking in a chosen direction without holding the key down for those awkward hand cramp moments while you have a horde to escape) are merely nitpicks.

There's plenty of variety in character creation that add a wildly varying experience every time. There's a wide array of perks and penalties to choose from, on a point-based system. To take more benefits, you need more setbacks, allowing a truly customizeable character. Do you want to be able to carry more, but get hungry faster? Do you want to move more slowly in exchange for making less noise? It's impossible to make a character who's simply "too good" since every benefit needs to be balanced out by a drawback, and it just makes every character you play that much more unique.

There's also a ton of options in gameplay. Do you use your nails to make a weapon deadlier, or to barricade doors to a safe house? Do you risk sleeping when there's visibly zombies outside, or do you try to thin them out despite being exhausted and suffering reduced awareness? Do you run away from a group of 6 zombies and risk attracting even more, or do you stand and fight, despite the fact that it looks bad for you? Every passing moment is another calculated risk. And that is a good thing.

My issues largely come from things that seem like common sense, but are lacking. For example, I had a character lost in the middle of nowhere since he was chased by a horde and got lost. He was suffering from high levels of exertion (can lead to a heart attack, he was no longer able to run at all, can be helped by taking a break at a chair or bed) and exhaustion (again, can be helped by sleeping at a chair or bed.) There was no zombies around at all (I went over 10 RL minutes without encountering one) yet there was no option to rest since there was no chair or bed present. Why can't you just sit down or even sneak in a nap on the grass, for example? My only option was to find my way back into a defensible house somewhere, kill any zombies already inside it, and use their bed. Similarly, my first character met their end due to a small scratch, since I didn't realize small scratches don't clot and require bandages, or else you eventually bleed out. That just seems like something they'll change later.

I also doubt I'd have been able to learn much about the game if not for a friend I was able to ask questions. The tutorial, while clever and effective at teaching the absolute basics (and had a sense of humor,) doesn't even tackle the absolute basics of things like barricading windows (I'm almost ashamed it took me so long to figure out) or moving furniture. It's entirely possible (and even probable) that these were features added later after the tutorial was finalized, but it may have still been a good idea to teach the player how to do these things, either via a second, "Advanced" tutorial, or even simple tooltips.

All in all, Project Zomboid provides the groundwork of a good game. I'm sure it will be great once it is done. I do enjoy it as it is, for what it is. But in it's current state, I can't give it a glowing recommendation. If what I said sounds appealing, then by all means, get it. But be advised that it's not done, and the areas that need work can be a little frustrating.
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25 of 33 people (76%) found this review helpful
9 people found this review funny
Recommended
22.0 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: June 15
I used to dream about a zombie survival game that was based on the rules of the world we live and breath in. A game where ransacking houses felt real and natural, where locating fresh water was as important as bashing zombie heads, where finding an axe was cause for celebration, and where facing zombies was something that was scary, and never stopped being scary. A game that trusted you to be smart enough to stockpile food to avoid starving to death, and that had the balls to make getting bitten by a zombie something that actually followed well known zombie lore. (IE; you're going to turn into a zombie. No, there is not some magical cure, you're going to die. May I suggest avoid getting bitten by zombies in the first place. What's that you say? That makes the game tense and unpredicatble, because dying means you lose all your character XP? Indeed. Now you're getting it. Surviving a zombie apocolypse in the real world would be tense and unpredictable....)

I always knew this imaginary zombie survival game of my dreams would be independently produced. Why? Because AAA game developers are so terrified the average modern gamer will get distracted by something shiny, their version of the game would grant you a "fish from heaven" magical spell, simply to balance out the requirment of finding food and having to satisfy a hunger stat. Or they would simply make the hunger stat regenrate if you sat in a corner for a few seconds, making one wonder why its there in the first place...

For those not keeping up, (I'm looking at you mainstream console gamer for whom the regenrating hunger stat was created), Project Zomboid is that zombie survival game of my dreams. At least as close as one can possibly get. I absolutely love the fact that the game more or less simulates how well I think I would do in a real zombie apocolypse. That is to say, I one hudnred percent believe I'd die backed into a corner, flailing about with a hammer in a mad panic, and eventually getting too fatigued to fend off the hordes and landing up a zombie snack. (No, you would not chainsaw them into bits and flick-flack out the window into the arms of a hottie with enormous breasts, mainstream console gamer, and no, I don't care how much you try and convince me otherwise. Get a job.)

In conclusion; yes I recommend Project Zomboid. And as a final thought; you have not known desperation until you've tried to stab a zombie to death with a spoon, simply for complete lack of other options. Another reason I love this game. I commend the developers, and deeply hope this game sees much success. I'm eager to see how it progresses.
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17 of 20 people (85%) found this review helpful
Recommended
150.8 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: June 24
Project Zomboid is a survival game first, and a zombie game second. Surviving requires resource management and good decision making. Food and water are both important, and within the first month the water supply is cut off and power is gone. One day is an hour of play on default settings for reference. Water sources such as sinks will still hold a bit of water after the water supply is gone, but for the most part it's up to the player to provide for themselves at this point. Most food expires, and this requires planning of when to eat what. There are many interesting mechanics that make surviving fun, such as the ability to freeze foods so they last longer, or growing crops and canning them in summer so they can be used in winter.

Yet, there is still plenty of fun to be had in this game by rushing hordes of zombies while trying to loot a warehouse with powerful weapons and rare construction materials early on. There is a perk system in place that requires players to give themselves negative traits in order to obtain positive ones. This allows for a variety of playstyles. You can create a loud character that has poor senses and is more likely to be seen by zombies, but is incredibly strong and can tackle large amounts of them at once, or create a weaker character that can sneak around easily and survive in the shadows. The immense character options are coupled with the fact that there is a sandbox mode with a healthy amount of options.

Want more zombies? Set the population to very high and watch as they overwhelm you even on the outskirts of town. Don't like how zombies tend to spawn within urban centers? Make them spawn uniformly and you'll find random ones lurking in the woods. The settings also include whether or not to begin with basic supplies, how long it has been since the outbreak began, and how long it will take for the power and water to shut off. There are many more and I encourage anyone who enjoys survival games to pick this one up for themselves and take a look.

All of that being said, it is important to note that Project Zomboid is still in early access. There are some bugs around, and in my opinion the interface is still relatively clunky to use. The game takes some getting used to, but has a big payoff in the long run. The developers have improved the interface in recent builds, and have weekly "Mondoids" where they keep the community up to date on what's what. Development on the game can feel pretty slow at times, we've been periodically promised NPCs that are fellow survivors for several years but they are still not implemented, for example. If you can handle all of this, then by all means I recommend picking up this game, it's worth the price and more.
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19 of 25 people (76%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
Recommended
403.6 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: June 13
This review is based off of Version 34.28 of Project Zomboid.

Project Zomboid is my favorite zombie survival game of all time. No other game combines the tense struggle for survival with immersive zombie mechanics the way Project Zomboid does!

Strengths
* Crafting is intuitive and useful.
* Character creation is extremely deep and flexible, follows a Whitewolf perk/weakness system. Many skills and abilities allow for a great deal of replayability.
* Zombies just don’t spawn on top of you like most zombie games. They move around based off of what they hear, see, smell, and they group up in an immersive way that no other game does.
* Zombification - Losing is fun! Every time you step outside your safehouse, there is a chance you will die. Making every moment of the game extremely tense and enjoyable.

Weaknesses
* The inventory and crafting interface can be a bit clunky at times, especially when cooking larger meals.

I've been playing Project Zomboid for years now, and it is a game I always come back to. Every additional content patch keeps making this game better and better!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kSsERwL_i90
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10 of 10 people (100%) found this review helpful
11 people found this review funny
Recommended
3.7 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: June 25
Download this cool looking game.
Decide to play multiplayer because it sounded cool.
Join reddits server, 34 members.
House I spawned in has already been looted.
Find a cool person outside, says they dont know what their doing, I dont either so we follow each other.
Find a ♥♥♥♥ ton of loot. Loaded up with enough supplies to survive for weeks, find an abandoned base and explore for fun.
Friend goes upstairs, falls off
Broken leg, we start searching around for meds.
Go onto roof to look for med, fall off and break my leg.
Stare into his eyes as we both slowly bleed out.
Last thing I see after I die is him taking all of my loot, probably made it out fine.
10/10 would die with a stranger I met an hour ago.
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7 of 7 people (100%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
3.0 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: July 1
Very repetitive after some time, first this was good but then I didnt enjoy it, I played single player but I got bored, then I played some multiplayer but all was destroyed and full with zombies.
I dont recommend this (this is just my opinion).
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14 of 21 people (67%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
258.1 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: June 5
Saying this game is "early access" makes many released games fall into shame.
This is simply put the BEST early access game out there, a lot of other developers would have already called it a day, but we still get regular updates with new features.

Some bullet points why the game is awesome:
- Great atmosphere, play this in your house alone at night and you will jump from your chair
- A really challeging game WITHOUT being unfair, you learn after every perma death.
- Multiplayer, which makes the game even better if you play it with friends.
- Great communication from the devs, every monday we get a "zomboid", an update on the game and pending features.
- I am not even a zombie-lover, but I played this game already for 250 hours, the only 2 games above this in my steam list is CIV5.

Just buy it - you will love it.
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