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 (1,094 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
110 of 137 people (80%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
164.4 hrs on record
Posted: February 4
Spent 168 hours with the game, both beta and full release. Wanted to finish it before I reviewed it.

I really enjoyed this game. It was exactly what I was looking for in a Zombie Survival scenario.

I love basebuilding and while the system was simple, seeing my home base develop was grand.

I love the characters you can recruit. And the fact that some <most> of them don't like each other. Managing your people is a big part of the game. I like that.
I also like that not all of them are necessarily likeable people. But I played it trying to save as many as possible.

Game still had some bugs. None of them were game breaking for me. The 5 post release patches have made things better. I expect further patches will make things even smoother.

After I fininished I was left wanting more. Which to me is the deciding factor.

So this game is well worth your 30 bucks.

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88 of 109 people (81%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
80.5 hrs on record
Posted: March 16
Edit with the new 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.

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 anythime 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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47 of 65 people (72%) found this review helpful
806.5 hrs on record
Posted: February 6
Solid turn based tactical combat and engaging shelter managment sim. So glad I kickstarted this one. I'm very impressed at the depth and complexity of the result. It's a little frustrating that I always have to take my main out on scavenging parties even if I'm not the best specced person for the job. Definitely worth the price of admission though.
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18 of 20 people (90%) found this review helpful
116.4 hrs on record
Posted: June 16
After ~30 hours of fun with this game, I really must say that I recommend it. It's not flawless; the turnbased combat system is sometimes annoying, there are a few bugs and the replay value is low due to event progression, and it is expensive. But it's also fun.

Overall, I really like this game and hope for some sort of expansion/sequel. More choises on where to build your shelter and more interactions with and between the other survivors would be great.

Edit: Oops, seem to have missed a part of the manual. Well, another plus for the game would then be that the devs are responsive and helpful :)
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34 of 50 people (68%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
29.8 hrs on record
Posted: February 23
"Why do I even play this?" I asked myself this after encountering another glitchy door before going into combat with a pack of armed looters. Character walks through a closed door right into their arms- Why.

Dead State is, for the most part, "finished." The places are all there, most of them work, and there are a few things that make the game neat to play. But that's about it. For a text-based game, I'm entertained for a while. But, something doesn't feel right... The glitches, the static characters standing around doing nothing in any room at the base, the mundane grinding process, the fact that once I can't even assign a job to everyone I've brought together... Well, there's the problem. The game doesn't feel "finished."

Once your character is good at leading, negotiating, and fighting, all that's left is finding the people you would actually want to have around- that is if you make it that far. The game's combat system is cruel, unforgiving, repetitive, and I hope you don't mind bodies stacking on top of one another so you can't loot one of them. It's super disappointing to see this game "released" in the state that it is now, having watched development from the very start.

This end product is rather boring. Don't get me wrong, I can enjoy it, but more needs to be done to iron out the problems, more animations need to be added, and for God's sake, there needs to be a variation of death poses. Everything I kill ends up laying there like it's planking- in some cases, forbidding me to loot the corpse, and we CAN NOT have that in a completed game.

Dead State may mostly be finished, but it isn't, and if they don't bring the updates to fix these problems and to "modernize" what feels like a game from 2005, I'm unable to recommend it to anybody at the price they're charging.

If you want this game badly enough, wait for a sale. I wouldn't pay more than $14 for this in the state that it's in. It just isn't up to par with more modern titles. It's pretending to be a classic in 2015.

If you disagree with my review, please add your input in the comments below. It would honestly help me, and fellow viewers, to understand your perspective of how this game's benefits outweigh it's pitfalls for it's price range. If you fail to provide input as to why I'm wrong for not recommending this unfinished game, then that would say a lot about the fans within this community, wouldn't it.
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