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:
Mixed (15 reviews) - 66% of the 15 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
Mostly Positive (1,397 reviews) - 74% of the 1,397 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Dec 4, 2014

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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
    • Storage: 3 GB available space
Customer reviews
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Mixed (15 reviews)
Mostly Positive (1,397 reviews)
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1,069 reviews match the filters above ( Mostly Positive)
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
7 of 10 people (70%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
8.5 hrs on record
Posted: October 2
A few hours into the game - which I really wanted to like - and it feels like a very good school project and nothing more. The atmosphere is great and the turn-based aspect is my kind of game. However, the Interface is convoluted in parts (particularly with inventory control) and there isnt always leading when you need it - the tutorial only covers so much. Character creation is there yet the game feels heavily skewed to combat - whether against looters or zombies. The survivors in the shelter seem to not be capable of doing anything for themselves (common failing of many games like this) and the pacing of the game is quite slow in parts. Bugs are apparent - and not hardware-related (didnt have one crash), these are code-based bugs that got through. Keeping team morale up is tough - and annoying, wish there was a game mode which lessened its effects over a 30 day period. At this point it appears that replay value is low which is a shame - and no support for Steam Workshop reduces this title's shelf-life in anyone's library.

Glad I got this on a Steam sale and didnt pay full price - State of Decay is still the top zombie game for me. Dead State could have been something special but is a bargain bin addition for your library when you've got extra cash in your wallet and some downtime in your life.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
19.8 hrs on record
Posted: October 19
Definitely scratches that Fallout 1/2 itch.

Based on all the negative reviews I was expecting a disaster, but it's less bug-ridden than your average obsidian release.

The interactions between the different survivors are much more intricate than I would have expected.
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1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
1.6 hrs on record
Posted: October 1
I really wanted to like it. I tried to like it but in the end its another game with great ideas but not so great execution which is really sad it had alot of promise.
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1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
35.3 hrs on record
Posted: September 30
The optimization in this game is abysmal. I can't believe a simple rpg can run this slowly.

For reference, my specs well exceed the recommended settings. Games like Xcom 2 run no problem.
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1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
20.8 hrs on record
Posted: October 11
Not enjoying it , not nearly good as i.e. Wasteland2 D.C.

Others already wrote this game pro's and con's, with many of problems already pointed to developers in discussion fourm. Not much is changed, problems mostly remain.

Game has serious issues on different aspects, for me most annoying are:
1. Leaving some action points for self-defense or ambush like in wasteland2 is not possible.
2. Inventory management is so complicated and time consuming it kills my mood for play
3. Cannot go over dying enemy on doorstep (choke-point), cannot kill it because it is under other dead bodies, cannot exit battle mode until it's dead...

Because of gameplay mechanic problems, game feels: dead, static, too slow progress
so i would not play it any more, and I would not recommend it to a friend.
There are better executed games in this genre to waste time on.
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Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
327 of 376 people (87%) found this review helpful
8 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
111.8 hrs on record
Posted: March 16, 2015
[Updating my review as of 2016/10/20 as it's getting attention again]

After following the development of this game years before it's actual release, I have to say this is probably the most disappointing zombie game I have ever genuinely followed. And I don't just mean that from a "it's not what I expected because I bought into the hype like an idiot" point of view - this game is filled to the brim with content "spread too thin" and is incredibly lacking in depth of any kind.

Yes, I know this first topic should be the least important part to a reader who just cares about the game, but this is pretty much a required read to get the full gist of why I'm annoyed. This goes far beyond simple issues with how the development went, actual issues with the game pretty much go hand in hand with this.

Why The Release Was Lazy:

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

It's another thing to not actually deliver a good game to go with any of that. It is also another thing to wittingly cut your development roadmap short with what you once called "placeholders" now becoming the final product.

I wanted this game to turn out as amazing as the portrait painted for it. I really did. I hyped this game to a lot of people. The developers recieved plenty of constructive feedback, and for the most part, seemed hopeful in fixing these issues as they promised to eventually do over time. I played and re-played the game throughout it's early access on steam. I gave it a positive review, talking about everything I loved about it.

It was something that had so much potential, and so much of that was wasted in possibly the laziest release of all time.

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 the true "final release" stage when they started saying it was going to leave early access. Neither the much-needed polish or balance/bug fixes had happened at that point. There was a long laundry list of stuff that was yet to be changed or added. However we just ate up every statement that more was to come with some kind of huge update they were going to put out with the full game.

As expected, we all held our breath. Then the game released. The "massive update" was really just some UI features and terribly minor bug fixes. So much stuff was still very, very wrong with the game.

Pathfinding, which has been a "rough draft" and improperly done since long before the official release is still a complete disaster, and it doesn't take too many hours of the game to see how poorly the movement system runs in practice.

There are noteable spelling and grammar mistakes in the UI and dialogue that are still there to this date, and almost all of them were reported over a year ago.

Notice how the NPCs at home base are just kind of there and don't actually seem to be doing anything rather than walking around their token job area? Animations for working, emotion and social interaction were in the works - but apparently dropped just to rush the release.

If that wasn't bad enough, certain developers and staff couldn't take the criticism and decided to flag a few negative reviews they felt weren't "honest" enough and then threw fits on social media for the backlash. But that's none of my business.

The Lost Ending:

They removed an ending [Spoiler: The Cure] entirely on the grounds of "It would have been too much work to get it going," despite having the characters involved extremely hype the idea to you as an achievable goal already in the game. And then they never bothered to redo the NPCs involved in the ending quest, so even today a player can accidentally dedicate way too much to this super-disappointing questline for no actual reward.

While we are at it - they also took 'balance' as a reason to write it off, which doesn't make sense since it was originally an ending, and tried to back that one up with "well what if it wasn't an ending". 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. I wouldn't have bothered including this as part of the review had you just fessed up to not wanting to dedicate time to it (or had a change in heart for the story lore).

And what did the game do to off it in final? 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 we were basically told that a paragraph of text somehow made 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.

I digress, it's not my game and the developers don't owe me anything for playing it, but it just shows how you gave up on making it great as everybody involved once desired.

As A "Finished" Game:

The game still looks unpolished. It still plays and feels like an unfinished game. The animations lack depth. 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.

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 which never made it past said adjective. 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 simplistic animations and use of the tile system.

Pros, Cons, And More Cons:

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

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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180 of 199 people (90%) found this review helpful
14 people found this review funny
373.3 hrs on record
Posted: October 28, 2015
A pleasant way to spend a few hours.


+The Base-building Aspect is a lot of fun. The delicate mix and interplay of facilities, resource management, and character skills including your own definitely play a big impact on your crew's morale and survival prospects. Those who get bit (infected) during the game as a result of combat with zombies have to be managed with daily antibiotics. Each infected cause a potent little morale hit on a daily basis (fear those infected will turn keeps your survivors up at night).

Wounded characters heal in user built infirmaries. Recovery in HP can be slow, fatigue is implemented if you have your characters scavange the wasteland of Texas for too long without granting them rest, and the additional game modes with the most recent "Reanimated" update even make it possible for your own character to get infected.

+The Reanimated patch adds a few of the more interesting game settings to the original base game that ramp up the zombie threat to 11 without making it impossible and human enemies are much more aggressive and damaging if you elect to ramp up to Hardcore game mode. The Ironman mode I wouldn't recommend given the occasional save game related bugs in the game but if you save often there's no problem with anything else.

+The large map and variety of buildings is almost varied enough in their experiences to wipe away some of the larger pacing problems.

+Some characters that can join your fledgeling community of survivors are extremely interesting characters in their own right so there's enough variety in the mix of personalities on display in this game to intrigue the imagination. Its a pity that the NPC banter and dialogue for each of these characters (~30 altogether) couldn't be fleshed out a bit more than it is but its good enough assuming you are patient enough for their scripted events to come to you.

+The Crises events in the game add a lot of tension to the game and the amount of democratic support you have leading up to these events as well as the consequences of your decisions to resolve the crises are well thought out. Its a pity there weren't more Criseses to help with the pacing problems that occur in the mid-game.

+Pick your favorite picture of any flesh-toned animated flavor and your enjoyment and immersion into the atmosphere of the game will automatically increase by leaps and bounds. The portraits that come with the game I found - disturbingly - androgenuous especially for the men. The game lets you import custom portraits...use that. The rest of the NPC characters portraits are perfectly fine though so don't let that deter you. Its only the PC that looks...questionable, shall we say?

+The game allows you a broad choice of presets background and skillsets and lets you choose your own by assigning points how you will.

+The other factions in the game will definitely reach out and make their presence felt. Some will be hostile, some neutral, and some will be friendly. A few will change their status depending on your words and actions.


-Graphics and animations are good enough for an indie game of this type but there's nothing you would call clean or flashy. I don't mind this one very much just thought I would toss it in to cover my bases.

-Ambient Music track is super repetitive and the one combat song gets real irritating real fast. Play some of your own music in the background and crank the music volume in the game down very low unless you really love the unimaginative midi drum-beat ambient deathrattle. My zombie kill-count went up immesurably and I had a lot more fun when I turned to my own combat mix. Yours will too, trust me.

-No voice acting

-A pity the infected mechanic doesn't have a stronger thematic element than merely a morale and daily biotic hit beyond the fixed three day incubation period of Zombie turning.

-The dialogue after the introduction that you initiate in your community shelter is weak and repetitive outside of scripted events. This is one area that may be the most disappointing from a narrative standpoint. Each character gives you something to worry about and do and they will get into conflicts with each other in somewhat realistic fashion. They will even group themselves into factions under sub-leaders you come across which is also nice but the lack of depth in the dialogue still makes me find this game to be a flawed gem cut too early in the development cycle to reach its prime potential. The indie budget shows most severly in this area but the early game has the most content and in all honesty I found the early part of the game in the first month to be the best most fleshed out part of the game by far...

-The factions also suffer from a lack of fleshed out developement. They are interesting and do interact some but there is a gap between what is realized and the potential that might have been realized with more time and money. More diplomacy and more varied interactions and scripted events would definitely have helped the pacing problems in the mid-game.

-Pacing problems. The greatest content is at the start when you are busy trying to set everything up and get recruits and resources to deal with opening crises and character conflicts but this dries up in the mid-game pretty fast leaving you scavaging and fighting the remaining areas on the map until the scripted end-game sequence leading to the finale and one of the game's true endings. That's all there is to say, I'm afraid.

If my hour count is any indication (I bought this game when it first came to steam early access), then I have certainly gotten my money's worth a few times over from this game. It took a very long time for my interest in the game to wane and it certainly improved technically and qualitatively from a gameplay standpoint from its most recent reanimated patch. Nearly all of the game related bugs are long gone by now and the game itself is a lot more tense and exciting with the hardcore and PC infected options enabled from said patch.

My only real disappointments with the game largely result from the fact that they simply did not have more than a matchbox budget to start with from their modest kickstarter and that has certainly plagued this game's development for a very long time. That said, I remain quite fond of this indie game company and its devs for the hours of tense enjoyment they have given me since this game's release to Steam for early access and what they accomplished with such a small low-budget. The indie team are, IMHO, very passionate about their work and considerately attentive in regards to their community.

For all its flaws and rough edges, this game is amazing in its concept, focus, and scope. Nearly every other game on zombies boils down to a button mashing action kill fest but this game takes a more cerebral approach to its gameplay mechanics where the focus is on survival not just of your one avatar or a few NPCs but an entire community of folks whose problems go far beyond the basic humdrum of scavanging and NPC questing. The game doesn't deprive you of either or from simply going toe to toe again the zombie hordes and the diverse medley of surviving human factions.

Bottom Line: This is an amazing little game for such a small indie team. Excellent Concept, decent implementation, a good mix of features that are especially rare for a genre plagued by first person shooter fare. You'll also find far more meaningful choices than can be found in any Telltale Game.

Its rare for a game of this type to hold my interest for as many hours as I've logged into it over the years; so yes, I would definitely recommend this game in its most recent incarnation without reservation to any fan looking for a more cerebral Zombie Survival RPG game that casts you as the Headman of a small community of quarralsome survivors struggling to survive the Horrors of the Apocalypse together.
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321 of 394 people (81%) found this review helpful
9 people found this review funny
733.5 hrs on record
Posted: January 21, 2015
I've never written a review before, but I always read them before I buy a game. I'm writing this review in hopes that people won't overlook this great game because the some negative reviews have scared them off. If you love the idea of the zombie apocalypse, resource managment & turn based tactical games (like JA 2, X-Com, Xenonauts, etc) you will love this game if you can get by the bugs (which are the source of most of the negative reviews).

What I like about the game:

After the zombie apocalypse surviving would be a day to day grind. Dead State perfectly replicates this. You struggle to keep up food supplies, fuel for the generator, and morale for a group of people with realistic differences who have been thrown together in this shelter to survive. The members of the shelter all have their own goals and agendas, they fight amongst themselves, and some challenge your leadership at every turn. To keep them happy you can bribe, threaten, negotiate with them. When crisises occur you have to walk a fine line to keep most of the people happy, never being able to make everyone happy. Outside of the shelter you have to deal with zombies, looters, psychos, outlaw bikers, racist militias and everyone else who would go insane if law & order was gone. Combat is not only a struggle to win, but to do so using the minimum force needed to win. Ammo is always short for the good guns, and gunfire attracts hordes of zombies. Hordes of zombies are bad, M'kay.

What's wrong with the game:

The game has bugs. I'm not talking about crashes, but about storyline/dialog bugs. These are a little annoying, but certainly didn't ruin the game for me. There are a few technical glitch type bugs, but with some help from the forums on the company's webpage, I was able to work past all of them. The developers are actively working them out. Honestly, I think the full release should have been delayed another month or so. If they had, the reviews would have been far more positive. But, the X-mas season drives release dates. The developers are running a business, so I can't blame them for it.

All things considered I LOVE this game! I haven't been this addicted to a game in years. If you can look past the bugs, you will love this game.
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596 of 795 people (75%) found this review helpful
8 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
50.1 hrs on record
Posted: December 19, 2014
While I enjoyed the concept, style, and story of Dead State, I cannot fully recommend it. This is due almost entirely to the punishing morale system of your shelter. Even allys with "good" or "okay" moods give you a negative moral penalty. You have to constantly scour the country side in search of "special" morale linked items for individuals in your shelter. And even when you're constantly showering your allies with said items, a "good" negative moral penalty is the best you're gonna get. God help you if the generator runs out of gas, an ally dies(for any reason), or you mishandle a crisis event. Any of the following will lead to a morale death spiral. Inevitibly, the more allys you gain, the more daily negative moral penaltys you recieve and it ends with Davis gunning you down and a game over screen(worst case scenario). I enjoyed the gameplay despite the last-gen graphics, but the morale system killed the game for me. 5.5/10.
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A developer has responded on Mar 16, 2015 @ 7:20pm
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681 of 931 people (73%) found this review helpful
6 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
83.0 hrs on record
Posted: December 23, 2014
It's with a heavy heart that I find this game a bit lacking, only four hours in and not much into the plot. I love the concept, I really do--but it's taking a long time to get into the meat of it, and the interface, while not bad, is sorely missing that last coat of wax. Having to rotate the camera to reach containers, not being able to see into buildings that I haven't entered even when I should have LOS, fumbling around to click the right tiles...and NPCs that seem to promise tremendous interactivity at the beginning, but don't follow it up outside of cutscenes.

I'll come back to it later, I'm sure, but I don't feel terribly excited. More than anything else, Dead State feels *dated* even though it's brand new. It nailed Fallout 1 a little more than it should have...I'm okay with the mechanics, but that's not the interface that modern games should emulate. Long, slow-paced games NEED some amazing polish on their interface so that they're a joy to play even when nothing is going on, and Dead State just doesn't have that polish. I'm sure there's a great game lurking further underneath, but it seems like a pain to get there.

Shame. This was the game I looked forward to more than anything else on my wish list.
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Recently Posted
88.3 hrs
Posted: October 23
Jagged Alliance durant un apocalypse zombie.

Combat tour par tour sympa.
Plein de matos pour equiper son equipe.
Et surtout le plaisir de gerer tous ces psychos instables dans un lycée Texan qui devient reellement un abris surpeuplé malgré les meurtres, executions et desertions.

Pas exempt de défauts : interface d'inventaire pourri et quelques crashs. Mais rien de redhibitoire.

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26.7 hrs
Posted: October 18
Its good.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
108.8 hrs
Posted: October 17
awesome game
Helpful? Yes No Funny
48.6 hrs
Posted: October 16
Cautious thumbs up - if this is already your genre and you can deal with a decent bit of tedium.

The game starts out fairly strong, if typical as a 'few survivors in a base, help us scavenge; Oh, and by the by - you're in charge.'

There's a lot to manage, a lot of tough decisions to make and a decent bit of micromanagent to do, and the turn based aspect is solid.
Sadly, the UI has you spend a lot more time clicking actions every day than necessary - and once you get your armor up to snuff, zombies cease being a threat ...
But they don't cease being really really time consuming to fight, with their slow animations, low roar and *all of them taking a completely unskippable turn.*

If having to spend a dull 30 minutes / scavenging encounter in the late game doesn't scare you off, the game's worth picking up for it's writing, character development and select tense encounters.

That said, If you have no patience for tedium or persisting through micromanaging a poorly optimised user interface, you might want to give this one a miss.

Still, there's a demo if you're on the fence.
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114.4 hrs
Posted: October 15
Great game, sure it has it's occasional flaws but nothing that caused any desire to quit it.
Especially recommended if you liked the Jagged Alliance series (well, the first 2) and wished they had more zombies in them :P
Dead State is a fine addition as a great TBS that has eaten large chunks of my life - in a good way.
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151.7 hrs
Posted: October 9
Loved this game.
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