Dead State is a narrative-driven survival RPG set at the dawn of the undead apocalypse. Drawing inspiration from classic RPGs like Fallout, X-Com, and Suikoden, Dead State combines strategic, turn-based combat with base building mechanics, character creation, and social management.
User reviews: Mostly Positive (1,125 reviews)
Release Date: Dec 4, 2014

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Recommended By Curators

"Survival zombie CRPG with turn based combat. Still on Early Access, but the ingredients for a great game are already there - Watch out for this one!"
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June 17

12-HOUR MARATHON DS:R Stream Tomorrow + Reminder about Indie Megabooth Stream Fridays!

Join our Scripter / QA Lead Jake as he plays Dead State: Reanimated for 12 hours straight on the DoubleBear Twitch channel, tomorrow starting at 10 a.m. Pacific Time!

Our Twitch channel is here:
DoubleBear Twitch Channel

As a bonus, the stream will also feature viewer polls that influence the choices Jake makes as he plays - who will he take into combat with him, what to do with a problematic ally, and how to handle a crisis are all possible decisions you can help him make.

For starters, you can help him pick the character build he'll play:

Chip in, get hyped, and be sure to join us tomorrow morning (6/18) at 10 a.m. to see how far our team expert can get in twelve hours time!

Also keep in mind that Friday we'll be doing our regular stream on Indie MEGABOOTH's Twitch channel at 4 p.m. PDT, here:
Indie Megabooth Twitch Channel

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May 26

Dead State demo updated

Hi everyone,

Just a quick update for the people who've asked:

The demo is now updated to include Dead State: Reanimated content and fixes. Please check it out if you're on the fence about buying the game - it's the first seven days of gameplay, so you can actually carry your progress from the demo into the full game if you choose to buy it.


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Dead State: Reanimated

We’ve spent a couple of months of solid development time making Dead State stronger, smarter, and faster, and we’re happy to say that the results are fantastic. We’ve brought new life - or is it unlife? - to every aspect of the game. This isn’t just Dead State anymore - this is Dead State: Reanimated! DS:R isn’t just an update - it’s our definitive enhanced edition with brand-new content, full of improvements and fixes requested by you, our community!

The Highlights

  • Major overhaul of combat balance! Core combat systems have been thoroughly reworked to take advantage of all the data and feedback we’ve gathered over the months since Dead State’s original release. Ranged weapons, melee weapons, armor, special attacks, ally / PC healing, and more have been reworked and carefully tested to create an engaging and challenging combat experience. Even the core combat system has been tweaked so that AC is calculated before damage reduction; this change makes combat more consistent and more fair, and corrects the “invincible” armor problem.
  • Smarter AI! Medic, Guard, Grenadier, Sniper, and more - New AI behaviors and schemas exist for human enemies, making them more interesting and more challenging to fight! Enemies will notice your presence more quickly, follow you around corners and through doors, and fully utilize all of their tactical options, thrown weapons, and special attacks.
  • New PC Infection option on New Game menu! Create a new game with PC Infection checked and your character will be as susceptible to infection as your allies are. Carefully manage your antibiotics and change your combat strategies to ensure your own survival!
  • Hardcore Mode! Just in case living in the apocalypse wasn’t hard enough for you. In Hardcore mode combat becomes more dangerous, allies consume more resources and heal more slowly, and Morale is harder to keep up. Turn on Hardcore, Iron Man, and PC Infection for the ultimate challenge!
  • Alarms! That’s right - we’ve added alarms to buildings in several areas. Red, blinking lights warn you that there’s an active alarm on a building. Use your Science skill to deactivate an alarm and prevent a looting distraction from becoming a noisy attraction!
  • New areas and random encounters! Several new levels and random encounters have been added. Make sure to keep an eye out for the Chemical Plant, an area with a unique twist…
  • New combat sounds and animations! We’ve added new special attack, reloading, and healing animations and sounds. Special attacks feel smoother and more impactful now!
  • Stability improvements! We’ve rooted out every crash and progress blocking bug to make sure you have the smoothest possible experience. Several popularly requested usability improvements have been added, such as friendly fire conformation, looting piled up bodies, and an option to toggle Live Shelter movement on and off.
  • Pathfinding improvements! Both allies and the undead have received major pathfinding adjustments that will reduce lag some people have experienced as well as make movement more consistent and natural.

About This Game

About the Game

Dead State is a compelling, high-tension survival RPG set in central Texas at the collapse of civilization and the dawn of the undead apocalypse.

As society is beginning to fall apart, the player must organize a group of survivors together, fortify a shelter, scout for food and supplies, negotiate with or defend against other factions, and maintain order inside the shelter as humanity teeters on the brink of extinction. Dead State is a full-fledged RPG featuring base building and management, turn-based tactical combat, and reactive story and dialogue with an emphasis on survival at any cost.

Attract new allies, scavenge food and supplies, and protect your shelter at any cost. Do you have what it takes to lead a desperate group through a crisis? This is your chance to find out.

System Requirements

    • OS: Windows XP/Vista/Windows 7/Windows 8
    • Processor: 1.7 GHz Processor or better
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Nvidia Geforce 8500 GT / ATI Radeon HD 7290 (512 Mb) or better
    • DirectX: Version 9.0c
    • Hard Drive: 3 GB available space
Helpful customer reviews
262 of 298 people (88%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
109.3 hrs on record
Posted: March 16
Edit with the "Reimagined" update: It's a sketchy decision to overhaul the difficulty and functions after the 'full-release'. Neither does this update solve the central issues with the flow of the game, but at least it is half-a-step in the right direction. Oh wait - the UI and dialogue, even in the tutorial days, has obvious spelling mistakes and dialogue screw-ups. These have been reported since before release, and you still haven't bothered to fix them? (This is not as large of an overhaul as it claims to be, on top of that.)


It's one thing to have a great idea, concept, and writer,

It's another thing to cut your development roadmap short with what you once called "placeholders" now becoming the "final product".

My review for this game was once positive, however with their extremely underwhelming March update (which was extremely late to the party) it is clear that the developers are pretty much done with the game. And what they left everyone with was not a fully fleshed-out concept that everybody thought was amazing. Sure, they might do another patch or two, but they likely won't meet up with the picture they painted for the game a long time ago.

Why I regret my investment into it's early access:

I thought it was a mistake when I looked at the store page and saw that it was out of early access, but apparently, it wasn't.

You see, the game was nowhere near a final release when they started saying it was going to leave 'early access', and neither the appropriate polish nor needed changes/fixes had happened at that point.

I let it slide because a "big update" was planned, except said update was really just some "UI" features and bug fixes. Pathfinding, which has been rough and improperly done since long before the "official release" is still completely mucked up even after the "huge" march update.

The game still looks unpolished. It still plays and feels like an unfinished game. The animations lack content. Enemies with over-used models. The vast majority of NPCs you interact with don't even have names, and are stuck with "Looter" and "Survivor" as if the devs planned on going in there later and changing them.

They removed the 'cure' ending entirely on the grounds of "It would have been too much work to get it going" despite having the characters involved extremely hype this idea to you as an achievable goal already in the game. They also took 'balance' as a reason to write it off, which doesn't make sense since it was originally an ending. Also, you and I both know that an ending was your original intention. That objective was widely regarded as an ending well before it was scrapped. So using "it was never intended to be an ending" as an excuse was extremely sleazy.

And what did the game do to off it? Replaced some text. Threw in an apology from one of the NPCs for getting hopes up. I have several science buffs (including the immunologist) and medical professionals who showed interest in the subject of a cure, and you're telling me that a paragraph of text somehow makes up for one of the most anti-climatic story checkpoints in gaming history, all because the developers didn't want to do the work to get it working properly (or add in a scene where the cure fails and all hope is lost) for that matter.

Let me put it this way, you said you were selling an exotic sports car, so I bought into it.

However when you ripped off the cover and revealed the 90's Mazda Miata beneath it, you covered my mouth before I could yell. You told me "this is just what it is now, we will replace it with a new Ferrari Hypercar down the line".

However when you said "It's ready" down the line, I was worried because I had seen them rolling that same car into the shop every day for the past six months. But I trusted you, I genuinely thought the full release was as big as you made it.

And then the cover got lifted again, and under that cover was a 90's Mazda Miata with a spoiler, pair of stripes down the middle, some performance parts and rims. No hypercar, just an upgraded 90's Miata.


And because it's been made clear that the cure is never going to come back, and no major game-changing developments will be happening anytime soon, it shows how little the developers actually care since they slapped a "good to go" sticker on it and sent it out of their door.

When you see early screens of the game, you see people sitting in stools in the lab, tinkering with machines, while a character flings her arms up in the air while raging about somebody being a problem. You see characters moving their arms as they talk, showing emotion. You see life. You see a game where you can show what's happening to a friend and they will understand what is going on in the scene without you explaining it.

That's not the game now at all. Everything is lifeless. Sloppy idle animations never made it past it's adjective I just applied. Everything relating to emotion and conditions was reduced to text and labels. Even in the very minor "live-action" parts of the turn based game, it still feels like it's turn-based because everything is still attatched to their depth-lacking animations and use of the tile system.

The actual game

I'm going to summarize this to boot.

Obvious pros and cons:
+Good writing.
+Good story.
+Awesome, in-depth characters.
-turn-based gameplay is clunky
-Lack of polish
-Broken story events that don't recognize a previous descision when it should
-Lack of attention to various characters (Jodie Hopkins as an example)
-Extremely empty list of events in the bit of time before the endgame

Borderline points:
=Long storyline (but didn't have the intensity to match the hours it takes)
=Mediocre amount of weapons and content to use outside of characters
=questlines can have a lot of detail and options, but on the flipside, some don't

What I factor in when I write my reviews is the question of if I genuinely recommend this to somebody, would they enjoy it?

To answer that question, the said person would have to enjoy turn-based games, and they would also have to appreciate good characters and writing.

However they would also have to deal with the fact that some mid-game characters don't get in-depth development, the game lacks a lot of polish despite a long time in early access, the pricetag that is debatably not worth it, some obvious bugs and story holes and some glitchy questlines.

A lot of other turn-based titles have more polished and simplified gameplay. Even though Dead State had a champion writer, it still can be said that the flaws override the good.

And that is why I don't think I would recommend it.

Writing and concept was great, hower it was the clunky execution, lack of proper dev attention to well-noted problems, unbalanced features and lack of streamline-polish that ruined it for me.

This game is the poster child for products that spread themselves too thin. I understand that exit-stage early access titles are almost never as good as they made them hyped at the start of development, but this is well beyond "just scrapped ideas". While I found the characters and choices entertaining, literally everything else felt extremely under-developed and nowhere near completion.

That's my blunt review for now.
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55 of 76 people (72%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
57.2 hrs on record
Posted: June 14
This game suffers from a series of issues.

1) The combat system is terrible. I mean it's truly terrible; this thing is somehow less fun, functional, and challenging than Fallout 2, which is 20 years old. This is further compounded by pisspoor A.I.

2) Where was the UX designer? The amount of glaring flaws in this game, flaws you'll notice within the first 5 minutes of gameplay, are astounding. Examples: Why are there no weight limit indicators visible WHILE LOOTING CORPSES, vision cones/agro ranges on enemies, range overlays for your guns, etc. Stuff that an intern UX still in college would be able to decipher.

3) Torque 3d. Because of how awful this engine is, you can expect crashes. Lots of them. The refusal to use other Engines baffles me, especially considering the Unreal Engine is free.

I had followed this game for 2 years waiting for it to evolve, and at it's finest moments.... it's playing like a vastly inferior version of Wasteland 2. It's saturated with all the concepts you know and love from games of the past, with none of the perks or joys from new age titles.

Base building: It's like a D+ version of X-Com's
Survivor management: It's a slightly better version of State of Decay's (since characters have personalities) with far less customization options
Turn-based combat: F; it's inexcusably boring, uninteresting, and slow-paced. Even for a turn-based tactical game, it's pitifully slow. I would go as far as to say it's the worst, most unintuitive combat system I have personally ever experienced (and I played Shadow Vault)
NPC interaction: It's very lacking. My choices, while phrased differently, seem wholly irrelevant and meaningless. Dialogue feels like a farce.

A few other things worth noting:
- I have no way to know what enemies are hard, and what enemies are not. They all look the same, but some hit WAY HARDER and have WAY MORE HP than others.
- It's ridiculously hard to see the "Loot is here" indicator; why a dull orange color was used, as opposed to like a dark green or red, I will never understand.
- Replay value seems non-existent. Want to win the game? Make a melee character, gradually ramp up to ranged, and walk through the game on cruise control.
- It's incredibly frustrating when you're fighting and 23 zombies have to move before you can. It's exacerbated by the fact that I can't turn up combat move speed to expedite the process.

I want to recommend it because I support indie studios... but I just can't. There are just entirely too many visible flaws in this game that suggest the lead designer either doesn't know what features are missing... or even worse, is not listening to feedback from his team about these absent features and mechanics.
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37 of 50 people (74%) found this review helpful
107.9 hrs on record
Posted: June 1
This is my first review on Steam; have some strong feelings about this game and wanted to share.

- A zombie apocalypse game that doesn't focus on the zombies.
- Tons of survivors to interact with
- The Splendid, Texas school as an upgradable compound
- Nice top-down iso graphics. Old-school, but fun and 360-degree camera panning
- Addictive

- Too easy - I'm on day 30 and have a ton of food, high morale, and more supplies than I can shake a stick at
- Needs more/various upgrades to the shelter. As with "too easy," I'm almost done upgrading the entire shelter and soon will have nothing for my survivors to do except eat food
- Limited scavenging team ability. Your character must lead every team. I have a great fisherman in my compound, but he can't lead a team to the local lake and go fishing unless I'm there with him all day. A waste of time since he could be fishing while I'm killing zeds and bringing back ammo, fuel, or other depletable items.
- Poor zombie AI. Pull one zed, park your team 6 squares away. The zombie will walk right up next to you. Bash it on your turn. Lather, rinse, repeat.

All that said, I continue to play the game as this genre appeals to me, especially without the 1st person blood-and-gore fest that most zombie/survival games have become. I love the strategy level game, the building of a compound, the interaction of characters... just wish it was a little tougher.

Still, a great game, though perhaps not at $30 yet. Try the demo first; you can play for 7 days - plenty of time to see the coolness factors. But keep in mind that by day 30+ there's not a lot left to do and gameplay becomes repetitive. Hope for more updates/upgrades/mods in the future, but I'll probably still keep coming back to it just because there's not much out there like it.
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29 of 39 people (74%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
56.0 hrs on record
Posted: May 13
This is a very fun game. It feels a little clunky at first until you get used to the gameplay and mechanics.
You basically have to manage a growing number of survivors who have gathered at a high school. You can upgrade and build new facilities, venture out to scavenge for supplies and food, even restore care or get horses. You also have to make decisions over disputes between survivors and try and keep everyone happy (or kick them out if they just don't fit). When you venture out, combat is turn based; you need to try and stay quiet if you want to avoid too much attention from zombies. You can essentially "herd" zombies away from places you want to loot by making noise elsewhere.

Overall it's a solid game imho. Not sure where the negative reviews come from (maybe game has improved a lot since then) but if you like turn based combat/resource management/survival etc then give this a go

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23 of 30 people (77%) found this review helpful
299.5 hrs on record
Posted: April 3
I've never written a review before, but this game deserves one. The game has everything I would expect in a post-apoctolyptic world: starvation, a battle with morale, interactions with survivors, and of course fighting and killing zombies and looters.
I believe the best aspect of this game is interacting and rescuing survivors. Each survivor has such an in-depth storyline which creates an emotional attachment with the gameplayer. You're forced to make such difficult, yet rewarding, decisions which impact the entire game's plotline.
One controversial aspect of this game is the turn-based fighting. Now I may be in the minority with this opinion, but I think the turn-based fighting adds originality to the game. It makes the game memorable and stand out from all the other zombies game.
Another part of the game which is a challenge is the balance of morale. Your survivors are scared, depressed, and alone in this zombified world, and they look to you, their leader, to keep their moods up. If you fail at keeping your survivors happy, they will leave your shelter, steal food and weapons, or even mutiny against you.
This game is brilliant, and the latest patch made it even stronger. DOWNLOAD THIS GAME -- IT'S WORTH IT.
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