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 (1,928 reviews) - 44% of the 1,928 user reviews for this game are positive.
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 (102)

September 25

The Weekly Dead 57

Hello survivors and welcome to another edition of The Weekly Dead! A spindly update this week but it's important that everyone knows we are still at work every week. These kinds of weeks happen because game dev.


Once again, code and under-the-hood tech is where the meat of the week has been sizzling.

A lot of the work that went on this week was once again on multiplayer and how we store data in the world, and there really isn't much to say about it. At least not from me. Here's what Geoff has to say about it.

Hello Survivors! Geoff here.

Right now Richard and myself are are deep in the muddy multiplayer trenches. There isn't a whole lot to show visually, but I can talk about it a bit. One of the major improvements we're working on right now is focusing on load times and getting you into the world and playing as rapidly as possible. As we continued to build and improve the Pepper Valley region, we found the loading times were getting increasingly longer, when they really didn't have to be. So, what we've gone and done is move a lot of content (interior stuff, mostly) onto little sub-levels for really fast loading, and better general management of how your PC loads, stores, and processes all the content in the world. Better framerates, much faster load times. We've seen a couple examples of 2 to 5 minute load times shortening down to about 15 to 30 seconds. So that's nice. Hopefully everyone will experience that sort of load time so you can jump right in and go.

Some other stuff we're doing involves tying up everything that needs to be tied up in multiplayer. Vague? Sort of. There's a lot of small stuff, from inventory to the way zombies are handled around the world as you move about. If players split up, it requires even more computation on the server side to run all the AI they might encounter in the world. We have been doing some really good crowd optimization, and have up to about 100 zombies actively doing something without having too much effect on your framerate. Framerate and consistency are the name of the game. We want every player in the game to be seeing (mostly) the same thing as the other players. This is how adventurous coop play and tight, fun PvP play can take place.

Richard's been heads-down on the level loading and storing code, both so the game keeps track of details like door states, furniture, and loot being moved, saved, and spawned. That's easily one of the most important systems in the game, and also takes into account the next update after this one, which will contain the most-wanted free-form barricading.

In my "free time," I've also been getting the vlog ready, which requires a lot of audio and footage to get, all while still coding and testing in order to wrap up this build. We'll launch it the very moment it's ready.

Back to you, Howell.

Something Out There

Out there, somewhere, or multiple somewheres, some places have been set up in Pepper Valley. Not finished, some new areas to explore have been created. As of this Weekly Dead, we aren't going to show it for now (Geoff wouldn't let me), and we will let you check it out when you get your hands on the update. We hope you enjoy it.

Things Grant Did Done

-Survivor animation changes
-New fist idle animation
-Sandstone Rifle pose and socket in survivor skeleton
-New right arm basic punch

Grant's been creating some new first person animations and idles for the survivor, to better work with our new UE4 rig, and in general, to make things look right. Here's a quick glance at those improvements.

Ignore the fingers, we're still tidying up weights from the Unity-to-UE4 rig transfer.

That's all we've got to talk about this week.

As always, be sure to follow us on twitter @TheDeadLinger for more development news!

Linger on, Survivors!

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September 18

The Weekly Dead 56

Hello Survivors! This week we are finally in the clean up phase of this update, tidying up code so that everyone can play together with all the new goodies and properly working inventory and network code. Aside from that though, we'll take a look at a a few other things that were made this week.

XP Bar

We've implemented an XP bar for our experience and leveling systems. Don't worry, it's not invasive as you can see here.

Right now it's very rudimentary and has no true benefit, nor does it save, persisting only for a single session. Currently the level cap is 30, but good luck getting there. In fact, we'd love to see a screenshot of you reaching level 30 legitimately after update 3 is released. So far, zombies and animals give XP, but other players don't.

Good luck!

The Menu

One evening recently, while Geoff was bored, he completely remade the main menu screen. Now it's amazing. Your survivor will be visible on the main screen, and it... Well, you might as well just see for yourself.

Video games got boring, so I decided to make the menu move around some. @thedeadlinger

Like I said, that menu looks amazing now.

The final bit of work that wasn't finishing up the network code, was Geoff, Kate, and Mike doing a lot pass on Pepper Valley, planning out where more buildings will go.

As always, be sure to follow us on twitter @TheDeadLinger for more development news!

Linger on, Survivors!

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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
25 of 28 people (89%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
4.4 hrs on record
Posted: September 15
Early Access Review
I had alot of hope for this game, but sadly, the developers are always changing engine and each time they do it, the game gets worse. they used ogre 3d till build 9, wich was by far the best build so far. then things got worse. they decided to start working with unity, and released build 10. and oh god, it was awfull. unoptimized to the bone, literally unplayable. after 4 buils, things got a bit better. but then they decided to make 2 god awfull decisions: change the game to unreal 4, and take away the infinite, procedural world. the infinite procedural world was the only thing that set this game appart from all the other ZSGs, and with that gone, its basically a worse dayz. also, the last build was released january 2014, and altrough they are working on the game, they are very slow, and when they finally released the beta of update 15, it was basically the same thing, but now featuring a smaller world. the devs dont know what the ♥♥♥♥ they are doing. stay clear from this game.
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20 of 22 people (91%) found this review helpful
7 people found this review funny
2.7 hrs on record
Posted: September 20
Early Access Review
The only thing lingering here is the development.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
14 of 14 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
17.1 hrs on record
Posted: September 5
Early Access Review

I love the concept of this game, but I think Sandswept Studios simply bit off more than they could chew with this one. I bought the game sometime in 2012 or so, and aside from a few (VERY minor) cosmetic updates, very little has been improved in this so-called "game."

For one, the world still feels very empty and barren. Two, combat feels just as stiff, repetitive, and uninteresting as it did three years ago. The zombies actually look worse now that they have been given randomized clothing than they did when they all looked like fascist-black-shirt-wearing clones of one another, thanks to shader errors and hilarious clipping issues. On occasion, houses and buildings will spawn in the sky. The UI is unintiuitive and wonky.

I didn't have a single problem with any of these issues when I first bought the game, but now that three years have passed and I don't see a single one of them resolved, I'm afraid I have to pull the plug on this one. I'll probably check in on it once in a blue moon, but I've lost all faith that this game will ever be finished, or even anywhere close to what the developers have promised us.

If you want a fantastic zombie-apocalypse experience whose dev team has proven themselves capable of pushing through obstacles and delivering what they promise so far, check out Project Zomboid by the Indie Stone, and stay away from this one. At least until Sandswept makes some meaningful progress.
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10 of 10 people (100%) found this review helpful
2.2 hrs on record
Posted: September 11
Early Access Review
The Dead Linger, Honestly I bought it cause it looked promising, It sucks. Everytime it starts getting good they decide to switch game engines or something and end up messing up all the gameplay. The were doing fine then they spent months swithing to UE4, Whats gonna happen when they are almost done and a better game engine comes out. Uninstalled after the UE4 havent play it since. I mean I get it you want the game to look good and play good, switching engines isnt always the way, This development is taking to long, I still look forward to seeing what it will be. I do not recommened this game in its current state, It is unplayable.
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8 of 8 people (100%) found this review helpful
6.1 hrs on record
Posted: September 10
Early Access Review
Okay, I haven't really gotten around to touching this game in years. If I recall, I purchased this game back in 2013 and I was really Hyped to see how it would be. A procedurally Generated Open World Zombie Game? AWESOME! Sure it was more of a house break in simulator but still it was a good idea at the time.

But then good Ideas never last...

2 It appears that it's now 2 years later and this game still hasn't finished. We're still in build 16, no cities, no sirens, nothing! We simply get VERY BAD Framerate, and the graphics are just.... not that well.

And don't think I hate this game. I WANT TO LOVE THIS GAME! I want to like it! And I still have some some thread of care to actually give a ♥♥♥♥, but at the rate this going, I rather cut that thread with my teeth. But... Let's not be too violent.

Despite popular outcry and calls for Geoff Keene's Blood, The game hasn't been abandoned as you'd been lead to believe. The devs are still working on this game, but now they're going to take old DNF 2001 excuse of releasing new updates "When It's done." I feel like the next line that comes out of Keene's mouth should probably be "Geoff Keene's Gonna make you his ♥♥♥♥♥!" But seriously, just wait for this game to get bigger and a lot more polish. The Unreal Update looks good so far but I can promise you that you should just wait for this game to either get better (I HOPE) or it just Dies.

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