The Dead Linger is the definitive zombie apocalypse survival horror experience! Set in a massive, ever-changing world, survivors learn to fight, run, and survive against the never-ending and relentless zombie hordes.
User reviews: Mixed (1,485 reviews)
Release Date: Sep 27, 2013

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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:

“Hello Survivors, old and new! The Dead Linger is currently in Alpha stage and in active development. Check out our comprehensive Development Roadmap for the bigger picture! We release updates frequently, usually alongside a dev vlog to show you what's new and let you know we're listening. As the game is in Alpha, there are bugs, missing features, and unfinished bits. Just remember to visit our forums at to participate in discussion, suggest features, and give us feedback! You can also follow us on twitter @thedeadlinger!
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Recent updates View all (69)

January 30

Minivlog 3 - Trees and Movement

Hey Survivors!

Another mini vlog comin' at ya in lieu of The Weekly Dead.

Linger on, Survivors!

2 comments Read more

January 21

Minivlog 2 - Pepper Valley Scale (Part 2)

Hello Survivors!

I made another minivlog for you before I'm consumed by PAX for a few days.

Linger on, Survivors!

7 comments Read more
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About This Game

The Dead Linger is the definitive zombie apocalypse survival horror experience! Set in a massive, ever-changing world, survivors learn to fight, run, and survive against the never-ending and relentless zombie hordes. With pure sandbox, free-roam gameplay, multiplayer, exploration, barricading, physics, and intense realism, this is the zombie apocalypse experience you've longed for all these years. The zombie genre has died. We're bringing it back from the dead. Be sure to check out our Development Roadmap!

Latest Update:

Key Alpha Features

  • Explore a massive world, full of the restless undead!
  • Slay the undead hordes, with whatever you want!
  • True free-form barricading; nailing boards wherever and however you want!
  • Interact and explore every item, weapon, object, and building that you can see! No fake doors, no fake windows, no invisible walls.
  • Full multiplayer support; as many survivors as your server can handle!
  • Survive the apocalypse YOUR way. True multiplayer zombie survival, with a major focus on classic zombies as the core enemy!
  • Once purchased, all future updates are FREE!
  • Yes, this is the zombie survival you and your friends have been waiting for.
  • Lower price during Alpha!
  • Be part of the Sandswept Legion community; led by a dedicated development team who listen and discuss the game with the community on a daily basis!

System Requirements

    • OS: Windows XP / Vista / 7 (64-bit)
    • Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo E6000 series or equivalent AMD AthlonX2 processor
    • Memory: 6 GB RAM
    • Graphics: GeForce 8000 series or higher, ATI Radeon HD2000 series or higher. (512 MB or higher)
    • Hard Drive: 6 GB available space
Helpful customer reviews
103 of 119 people (87%) found this review helpful
4 people found this review funny
2.8 hrs on record
Posted: January 8
Early Access Review

I cannot make it any more clear then this.

3 years and hundreds of thousands of dollars later, and they have, literally, ZERO to show for it.
That's not hyperbole, or exageration, they have literally nothing. They just scrapped the entire project for the SECOND TIME that I know of, and are starting over from the basic engine up.
Don't let their drawn out and fantastical "development roadmap" fool you, folks, this "game" (and I cringe to use that word to describe it), will, as the last three years have shown, NEVER live up to the hype.
Save your money for something that will actually be complete.

If you HAVE to have a zombie game, get Project Zomboid, Dead State, Seven Days to Die, or any one of a half dozen other indie titles that actually have SOMETHING to show for the $$$ they've milked from their communities.

Again, and because it bears repeating,

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74 of 92 people (80%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
1.9 hrs on record
Posted: January 6
Early Access Review
As my time shows, I haven't played a huge amount, but have followed this game with great (near obsessive, morbid) interest since near its first announcement. I know more about the game than my play time may suggest. After reading other user reviews, you'll probably realize that this meager game time is well enough to pass judgement on the game anyway. It continually mystifies me how a few reviewers have clocked up over 10 hours on this game. I can't even begin to imagine how they filled all that play time even in a year. I suspect accidentally leaving it running and going to sleep is the only real answer.

1) Bad performance. Unoptimized code. Unrealistic goals. Tell-tale evidence from blogs / game of severe misunderstanding of the most basic of 3D game programming principles resulting in some rather wacky solutions to non-problems like ludicrous 'World Refresh' system (look it up) that shouldn't be necessary and no game programmer worth their salt would come up with such a solution. Less be proud of it and make videos boasting of it.

2) There is little actual gameplay in this title, just some vague unfinished hints at gameplay and a ton of glitches and bugs that far surpass what is reasonable for an Early Access title. The devs and supporters alike use 'alpha' as a crutch to excuse an awful and badly made game by people who are not capable of delivering on their promises. And its their promises alone that sell copies of this game. They have an admittedly extensive and well formatted roadmap that details every planned feature of the game. This is used in 99% of defenses of the game in the face of any criticism. Steam Early Access rules state that you should sell (and price) your game based on how it stands NOW, not what it may (or may not) become in future, as this leaves customers open to not getting their moneys worth if the project falls flat. Their high price, and their insistence on pushing a roadmap in the face of anyone who complains about the appauling state of the game and lack of anything to do, is all presuming that we are paying money for some incredible game in the future. For its 'potential'. Sadly anyone with any real knowledge of game dev can see this game has no potential and is heading for near certain crashing in flames. It's another negative Early Access news story waiting to happen. This game will never reach its supposed 'potential', and complete its roadmap (to any level of quality in any case) and thus it is not morally right for it to be used to sell the game so heavily. Sadly some gamers don't understand the dev process and eat up the BS the devs come out with to excuse the state of the game, assuming all great games go through this 'awful and not fun to play' phase. No they don't. Only bad games by inexperienced devs go through the 'awful and not fun to play' phase after they are already available to purchase.

3) Devs have changed engines twice now. First before they came on Steam, essentially having to restart to change from Ogre to Unity. Then just recently its become apparent (at time of review) that they are changing from Unity to Unreal. This means that all code developed over the past year will be scrapped (just a year was scrapped of course, because the previous year or two's work (dev time funded by kickstarter backers) was already scrapped a year ago before it launched on Steam ;)). Don't expect any new features in next six months to a year, and if the Ogre->Unity switch is anything to go by, expect the first Unreal version to have LESS features and MORE bugs than the current one. Their Steam release was a joke since they changed the game engine, rewrote the game, and put the first ever (completely broken) version up as their initial Steam Early Access release. Seriously. They launched it on Steam right after a complete rewrite, without any kind of public beta version on their forums. Crazy!

They use the excuse for engine changes that whatever engine they are on is not 'cut out' to make TDL in, when in fact its their own inexperience and Unity is perfectly capable of making this game. Its rather disgusting and disrespectful toward Unity, its devs, and community, that they would point the blame at Unity for not 'cutting it' despite it being used on many similar procedurally generated map projects (Sir, You Are Being Hunted anyone?) when the culprit is actually their own inexperience, having to rely on off the shelf Unity plugins that don't support what they need to do and being incapable of writing their own. Bad workman blames their tools.

Worse, even if their claims are accurate, and Unity simply couldn't handle their game, then they didn't clearly research Unity well enough before spending months rewriting game in it last year, if they have now decided they need Unreal and Unity isn't going to work out. Should they not have gone from Ogre to Unreal? Why were they using Ogre in the first place? Are they going to discover in a year's time that Unreal is somehow incapable of handling their grandiose game design and that Cry Engine is the right choice for 2016? The fact that they would change engine and rewrite the entire game a year after being on EA, and that this wasn't even the first time since they started selling the game, in itself, should be evidence enough that buying this game would be a huge mistake. They are incapable of organizing a big game dev project like this, of planning ahead and preempting issues in development because they have no experience of such a big game project. Simple as that. Yet they are quick to boast of their extensive experience and knowledge at every turn (often saying demonstrably false technobabbley things that make any 3D programmers eyes pop out on stalks). Which brings me to....

4) Devs are well meaning and are dedicated to the game and community, but are arrogant beyond belief and suffer severe self-delusion of their own ability, and this is infectious to the core community. They will not take on any criticism, waving off well meaning critics like flies with a derisive snort, and despite the user reviews and numerous complaints seem to be under the delusion that they have the skills necessary to make this game, and what they have is fun to play - which is clearly not the case. If the developers of the game are unable to objectively judge their own work, its merits and problems, then how can we trust them to work in the best interests of the game and community? It's like someone who is tone deaf being responsible for conducting an orchestra, and is only going to lead to a big mess. As evident in the past two or three years.

5) Their one and only big Unique Selling Point was their procedurally generated planet sized world. Despite this being a silly feature if you really start to think about the implications, a lot of people bought the game because of this. In the past two years they have slowly distanced themselves from this, ditching random buildings, then ditching random map chunks, and recently ditching random terrain. This would be smart if decided right at the start, but after selling a kickstarter and an early access game based on this as their biggest selling point to set them apart from competition, then to get rid of it without any sense of contrition (a common thing with them) is not right. Their blog post announcing ditching this almost implied anyone who wanted this feature in first place were stupid and wrong.

6) I would bet body parts this game will be dead long long before it ever leaves Early Access. It was plain as day to me right from the start. Every word the developers uttered screamed naivety and deluded self-belief and everything since has just reinforced my suspicions. I have to credit them with more staying power than I expected though. It's possible they will continue to limp on longer than I would expect. This will never be a good game though. The talent and experience is just not there. Sad but true.
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52 of 68 people (76%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
6.1 hrs on record
Posted: January 7
Early Access Review
They promised completely random 32,000km^2 worlds.
Guess who turned into another WarZ in terms of broken promises.
500km got a 20%.
They picked something less than that.

More proof of a broken promise

Keeping in mind...

They scrapped the game, basically.

Rest in Peace, TDL.
You had the chance.
You tripped over your shoelace and broken your skull.
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30 of 35 people (86%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
40.6 hrs on record
Posted: January 8
Early Access Review
Very friendly and communicative team, great idea, lots of potential, in ~2 years development time, basically nothing to show. With the project just now being revamped in the second (!) engine switch, and the one killer feature that set this apart from other zombie survival games (procedural world generation) now being SCRAPPED, i feel ripped off.

Big warning, don't waste your hard earned money until they have something more to show than just big words and empty promises.
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21 of 24 people (88%) found this review helpful
16.4 hrs on record
Posted: January 8
Early Access Review
This is the first game review I have ever made on Steam and I never thought I would make a review of an Early Access game but this game is just rediculous. From the begining of this games development it's been nothing but promises, promises, promises. NONE of which have been met yet, but the biggest promise this game had made (in fact probably it's entire selling point) was a world sized (32,000km squared) procedurally generated map. Well as of today that promise has also been scrapped and it has been replaced with a tiny static map that supposedly will have randomly generated towns and cities (another promise for the devs to renage on).

In short DO NOT GET THIS GAME. The devs have removed the only thing that set this game apart from other zombie games due to their complete incompetence at creating the game they set out to make. Right now this game is basically H1Z1 or DayZ, except it's at the stage those games were at a week into their development. You're bettter off buying either of those games as they have all the same features made by much more experienced and competent developers.

First Early Access game I've ever bought and it will be my last.
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21 of 25 people (84%) found this review helpful
32.0 hrs on record
Posted: January 4
Early Access Review
Had this game for close to a year, every now and then i play a bit to see how it goes but its never much better. The devs seem alright but i cant see the fps and contents getting way better anytime soon. It SEEMS to have potential but thats it.
For now. $21 is wayyyyyy too much. 7dtd, or even dayz is way better lol
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21 of 26 people (81%) found this review helpful
3.9 hrs on record
Posted: January 7
Early Access Review
My issue with the game is not completely even about the game but the developers competency. They switched the game engine once and had to rewrite the game as they were using their own engine(stupid move for an indie studio with ambitious plans)and now they are doing the same thing and gimping probably the only standout feature they have(proceedural generation) for a much smaller version of it which in another year might be scrapped again at the rate they are going.
I would honestly not buy this game until they can prove they know what they are doing and making progress and this is coming from one of the people who backed them on kickstarter.
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25 of 34 people (74%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
3.8 hrs on record
Posted: January 7
Early Access Review
This game is now stalled and the 3rd engine change is going down. Do not buy if you want a game to play.

Just a heads up is all.

Some dialogue for context and understanding. A few major features were stripped. The blog they wrote was nonchalant and played it off like they were never really a big deal. In fact, I found a page of kickstater and have proof it was one of the top selling points, if not the top.

Below is a exchange of a unhappy player, good person, not a troll. Just normal person that feels duped.


Too bad many kickstarter backers (that feature is listed in the second paragraph) and Steam EA buyers thought it would be in. Could even be the reason why they backed it in the first place, right? But who knows, it got kickstarted 3 years ago!

But, as they say, "Its Alpha" and "Everything changes!"

Let's just hope they keep zombies in, eh?

I backed it because of the size. I still wish them the best, courage is better than cowardice. It takes courage to nix a major feature and selling point of the game. They can blog and pretend it was not, the version of kickstarter does not lie. I was sold on the huge map.

The world of The Dead Linger is randomly generated, and it is the size of a small planet. We don't simply mean it's large, we truly mean it's planet-sized. About 25,000 kilometers, to be exact. Every new world created will be different, and you can explore every inch of it, indoors and outdoors, every window, every door.

Still a working game is better than an abandoned game. I think it would of been abandoned had they stayed the course. Don't take my words as an insult, they are not. It does take courage, for that, I congratulate them.

This game will never be what the kickstarter and Early Access page said, it just wont. If you buy it, buy it knowing that a major possibility of them flip-flopping again. A shaky hand guides the ship mates!

Here is screen shots of what I bought the game for, and now it is stripped.

Via Lemre

More proof of a broken promise
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22 of 29 people (76%) found this review helpful
1.4 hrs on record
Posted: January 4
Early Access Review
I really wish I researched this game a bit more before I purchased it. There was a time where the game was semi playable, a buddy or two were able to run around and loot buildings. That is until they started with all these updates that keep breaking the game and making it unplayable. Zombies dont attack you, if you hit a zombie, they look away from you and just take the beating standing in 1 place. Deer lag across the screen instead of run.

I have 88 minutes so far in this game. That is 88 minutes WAYYYY too much.

0/10 would not buy again. Each build gets more unstable.
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23 of 31 people (74%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
2.9 hrs on record
Posted: January 6
Early Access Review
give it a miss development is as dead as a zombie :(
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19 of 24 people (79%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
4.8 hrs on record
Posted: January 5
Early Access Review
This game will probably be done by 2027 or so.

When this game first came out it was a toss-up betweeen this and 7 Days to Die. They both had flaws and apeal, I bought this game first because it actually looked like it would shape into something really great... Over a year later and it still feels like the same game I wasted $20 on over a year ago. While 7 days to Die has shapped into something awesome this game however, got left in the dust.

I'm sorry to compare the two, but let's face it, it's really hard to note any improvements made on this game in all this time.

The A.I is just the worst.
The buildings are all the same and sooooo boring to look at.
The game mechanics are just bad.
There are just way too many bugs even for an alpha.
It's just not a very fun game to play.

I give the devs credit, they do seem dedicated to making this, but spending about 2 hours a week on it is just not going to cut it.
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12 of 13 people (92%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
2.1 hrs on record
Posted: January 6
Early Access Review
Needs work
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13 of 15 people (87%) found this review helpful
2.0 hrs on record
Posted: January 6
Early Access Review
Welcome to "The Dead Linger"!... is what the game wants you to think... The Dead Linger is a game that crashes around every 10 minutes. I would wait 2 years for this game to be partially finished. If you like the idea for this game, then please stop it. The devs have been slowly abandoning this game and it may never get out of "Early Access" as a good game. If anything, hold on to your wallets for a few more years, then check back to see if things have changed.
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13 of 15 people (87%) found this review helpful
6.0 hrs on record
Posted: January 9
Early Access Review
I've done my best to avoid putting negative reviews on items, as I am a fairly forgiving gamer. There is almost always fun to be had even in the half-developed games that exist in this new era of early access. Fresh in the infancy of this business practice, we as gamers are being the lifeblood of the development process. The Alpha tests. The Beta tests. We are directly contributing our voices and guidance to how the game is shaped. There are some who don't understand the product we gave money to was more of a "Donation" to a belief that the end product is going to be awesome (and our money helped it on the way to said awesome). They believe they bought a game, and that simply isn't the case. I add this do assert I am not of that thought. I understand what I put money down on when I bought this game nearly a year ago. A belief, a hope, and a dream. One of many, and regrettably, one I am failing to believe in. TL:DR at bottom if you feel so inclined.

At the beginning of this project, the hopes were a procedural generation of a world. Literal world, 32,000KM x 32,000KM. Suffice to say, the size of a planet. Hopeful in and of itself when you look at the graphics (Not voxel-based and hence more harder to work with) and the ideas they were saying. Vehicles, quest lines, air travel, full cities, all the good stuff amongst a zombie apocalypse. The style of shamble-zombie oft forgotten about or seen as "too boring" by some. No special infected, but just a whole lot of regular infected and limited resources forcing you to become nomadic. In depth fortifications of bases like sheet metal and lumber reinforcement, firearms and melee weapons of many variaties, and a good multiplayer to keep it together. Done like DayZ without a map anyone could become perfect with (prog-gen at it's best) and more customizable than the former game due to fortifications (pre-mod anyway). Most of this still remains, despite the removal of the planet-sized world. I don't entirely hold that against this team, though. It was a pretty lofty goal, and probably unattainable to keep it interesting. Still, the latest update reveals it will now be a map (much larger than Armas islands) that is static, and the structures will be prog-gen in that static area. Not a bad way to transition, and not the reason for my negative review, but one of the key features that defined this game apart from the rest that had to be put aside. Still, not why the negative review is here.

I lead into this review with the above paragraph because while most of the stuff mentioned above is still going to be in the game, none of it is now. The updates in the year have been....poorly offered. It's sad, because if anyone has read the development blog or kept up with the staff at Sandswept, you know they are passionate about this project. The problem is, passion alone has not carried this far. Since my beginning of this alpha, I have seen the game shift game engines three times now. A game engine shift is not a minor detail, it's quite critical to the development process. A decision i'm sure they didn't take lightly. Still, the decisions have caused this game to literally look nearly identical to how it has back when I first downloaded it. This means in a year, there has been lots of work with almost no actual progress. The developer themselves directly point out that the unlimited world they wanted to craft was the timesink for much of this. Again, It isn't that I don't sympathize for them, but I have grown tired of waiting to see what comes next. Every few updates, I would put a solid hour or two into just dinking around, seeing what changed, what got added, and if there was anything substantial to get my teeth into. No, there really hasn't been. Now, we await their third engine change, and while it sounds hopeful, it did the last time too. So for now, I would ward anyone away from sinking money into this project until Sandswept puts some serious work into this alpha. At said time, I would be more than happy to change this review and I do hope, indeed, I am changing it by this time next year. For now, the following should be said.

-Too much misdirection in the development
-Almost no progress made to the game from a year ago
-Had to sacrifice one of the components that made this stand out
-At least another year will be needed (probably) to help this project firmly look and feel as it is intended (Not talking finished. Just to get it to remotely look as the roadmap on the developers website reads)
-In general, not worth it at this time to pledge your money toward. Wait for real progress and check back.

Definitely keep them in your follow catagory. I hope I can eat all of these words later and swallow them down and rewrite this with a big ol' thumbs up.

Keep trying Sandswept.

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13 of 15 people (87%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
3.2 hrs on record
Posted: January 10
Early Access Review
"The zombie genre has died, we're bringing it back from the dead." More like beating its corpse with a hammer. The game sucks, crashes every other second, and I have seen a whole 2 patches since I bought the game. A year ago. They change the game's engine every year, and are now taking away the only reason I bought it in the first place, random open worlds.

Any negative feedback is censored and the game's main dev spends more time on the steam forums than making his game. 10/10
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12 of 14 people (86%) found this review helpful
12.0 hrs on record
Posted: January 7
Early Access Review
Used to have high hopes for this game.
Its future was bright, but mishandled.
Now, the game is broken, development time is slow and... They've removed procedural generation.
Do not buy. This game is an asset that is toxic. Avoid at all costs.

Ultimately, I think the game should be scrapped so that Sandswept can start again, learn from their mistakes, and make the game they originally promised.
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14 of 18 people (78%) found this review helpful
30.5 hrs on record
Posted: January 7
Early Access Review
The world of The Dead Linger is NOT randomly generated, and it is NOT the size of a small planet. We don't simply mean it's large it's not even that big, we truly mean it's ant-sized. About 1 kilometers, to be exact. Every new world created will be the same, and you can maybe explore every inch of it if we allow it, indoors and outdoors, every window, every door. May or may not be added in the final product. *Zombies may or may not be in the finished product as well*
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11 of 13 people (85%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
13.4 hrs on record
Posted: January 7
Early Access Review
I have changed my review on this game many times. At first, it seemed to show so much promise. How disappointed I have become...If more time were spent actually working on the game than blogging about how great it's "going to be", maybe things would be different.
I can't recommend this game. Right now, it just stinks, plain and simple. (If you can even GET it to run.) This is the one that has caused me to never give another Early Access game a second glance, so hey, at least I'm saving money now :)
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11 of 13 people (85%) found this review helpful
1.0 hrs on record
Posted: January 17
Early Access Review
Developers just announced that they're scrapping the "Planet Sized" procedurally generating world, replacing it with a significantly smaller pre-made map that randomizes some things on it or some ♥♥♥♥. That is so butt♥♥♥♥ing dissapointing. I've been following this game since kickstarter and eventually bought it after it was released in alpha off steam, so you can imagine how gut wretchingly dissapointing it was for me to read that on the blog. To me that was the selling point, a game that creates a second planet earth for you to explore and interact with. Of course that idea was too ♥♥♥♥ing ambitious, now its just turning into another stupid ♥♥♥♥ing zombie survival game like any other.

Besides that the game is far from finished, it's been like this for like a year with seemingly no real noticeable progress. My two guesses are it'll either take about 7 years to even be considered playable, or they'll bail on the whole thing in about 3 years. Don't waste your money, this is such ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥.
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9 of 10 people (90%) found this review helpful
5.7 hrs on record
Posted: January 11
Early Access Review
There isn't much to review in the game. If you could call it a game. What was once a cool idea is now doing little to differentiate itself from its competitors. That said, cool idea or not, the developers have done little to prove themselves worthy of anyone's money. Instead of giving an in depth review, I'd rather get down to it. Should you buy this game?

I would tell anyone that they are better off saving their money. If you are looking for entertainment value with your money, absolutely do not purchase this early access product. If you buy this, you do so because you support the devs knowing that there is a long development road ahead by a team that might not even be capable of creating a solid product. While long development cycles is something that could be said for most early access products, this is one in which has given me practically zero enjoyment throughout the course of it's development- which I would categorize as a pretty large failure. I could not recommend The Dead Linger based on the developers track record. They constantly underestimate the task at hand and their own ability to accomplish said task. They set deadlines they cannot meet. They have now switched games engines twice. I do not think the developer does any of this with ill-intent rather they are too proud to admit that they have bit off more than they can chew.
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