Japan’s megahit dungeon simulation game is now in English and available globally. Manage your own dungeon and micro-manage your zombies, monsters, minions and traps. Think strategically to summon your forces, level them up and defend against endless invaders and boss units.
User reviews:
Mixed (57 reviews) - 64% of the 57 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Oct 16, 2015

Sign in to add this item to your wishlist, follow it, or mark it as not interested

Buy Dungeon Manager ZV


About This Game

Take a break from breaking into yet another dungeon and instead build your own and let your imagination run wild. Japanese megahit ZombieVital, named 2004’s best online software by Vector magazine, returns in its most authentic form. This classic text-based dungeon management simulation is now in English and for the first time will be released outside of Japan.

Game features include:

  • Text-Based Gameplay - easy access to the important stats, room strength, minion, trap hit points and invader details in a single screen.
  • You can build your own labyrinth of 16 stories (144 areas) maximum.
  • Summon various zombies, dragons and demons and build traps.
  • Up to 144 areas in 16 floors for you to populate with minions and traps.
  • Randomized Gameplay, featuring over 20 different enemy types.
  • Upgrade your dungeon with rare items for stat boosts.
  • Resource Management: kill and use enemies' own bones and magic force against them by purchasing traps, minions and even reviving your destroyed minions back to life.

System Requirements

    • OS: Windows XP/Vista/7/8/8.1/10
    • Processor: 1Ghz 
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: DirectX compatible card
    • DirectX: Version 9.0c
    • Storage: 20 MB available space
    • Sound Card: DirectX-compatible sound
Customer reviews
Customer Review system updated Sept. 2016! Learn more
Mixed (57 reviews)
Review Type

Purchase Type


Display As:
38 reviews match the filters above ( Mixed)
Recently Posted
1.9 hrs
Posted: July 7
This scratches a very strange but very satisfying itch I've had for some time now. I very much enjoy the mix of strategy, management and carnage. Come, heroes. Come to your deaths... and bring your lewts with you!!!
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Sir Edward Astralis
0.6 hrs
Posted: May 30
This is rather boring. "Dungeon Antfarm Manager" would be more apt. there really isn't much you can do, or need to do. you'll use the speedup button 24/7, listening to cheesy sound effects. There is some depth, but nothing groundbreaking, and it is neat to see how many heroes you can nab before your monsters are all killed, but honestly there isn't much to say about the game except its boring.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
8.8 hrs
Posted: March 22
Great game towards the end of the night when the time for twitchy arcade games are past, and you just want to click through menus furiously and try and tempt one more party of adventurers in too deep then snatch their stuff!

You play as a manager for a dungeon/mine and have to allocate resources and hire monsters (through pop up menus) to balance challenging adventurers (but letting them go) to increase your reputation (and get better parties) AND crushing the heroes and taking their treasures for your dungeon's boss room.

The game has a speed control so if you click and read really fast you can, or if you'd rather take it easy and maybe check out and recognize each hero (the game has names and information on each one, and the ones that escape sometimes return!) you can set it slow and watch the whole scenario play out.

Highly recommend as a second game between playing action ones.

Helpful? Yes No Funny
Triple Skull
2.9 hrs
Posted: March 15
Boring and repetitive, the gameplay is not challenging at all, don't get it for more than 0$
Helpful? Yes No Funny
0.8 hrs
Posted: March 13
Excellent dungeon simulation! As long as EA continue to do free to play, that s the best alternative out there
Helpful? Yes No Funny
0.8 hrs
Posted: January 28
I expected a text based dungeon simulation to have a ton of depth and complexity. This is ridiculously simplistic. The "dungeon" is 10 floors of 3x3 rooms that are all exactly the same, the only real thing to manage is the monsters which have no custimization or depth and very little variety. You combine them and move them around and they level up, that's it. And there's very few monsters you can get. Heroes just appear and get farmed and there's so little depth there is no room for anything but the most simplistic strategy.

Don't waste your money.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
4.7 hrs
Posted: January 28
Pretty fun game. Wish it had a little bit more depth. Resolution Options or borderless fullwindow mode would be nice.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
15.9 hrs
Posted: January 26
Helpful? Yes No Funny
5.5 hrs
Posted: October 25, 2015
Whether or not this game will appeal to you can pretty much be answered by one simple question: "Could you ever see yourself playing a text based management sim?" If your answer is pretty much any variant of yes or maybe, you will probably enjoy this game. It isn't strictly text based, but it's close. If the answer is no, hell no, or "that's a thing?" then stay FAR, FAR away. This game is not for you.

-Non-standard maze building...Having a stacked 3x3 grid pushes you to be a bit more creative with your space.
-On the fly difficulty adjustment. There are two aspects to the difficulty of the game, fame and threat (the latter isn't called such, but shush). Fame determines how frequently you get visitors to your dungeon (and is based on a combination of the MacGuffin you choose for your dungeon and how much satisfaction the npcs had before returning to whence they came (Assuming you let them go). The latter gradually accumulates (and cannot be modified by the player) Fame determines how frequently adventurers stop by on their way to your dungeon.Threat on the other hand is based off of who you mark as your final boss as well as accumulating based on your monsters levels; this generates the enemies' level.

-No snarky dialog. Every game about being evil needs snarky dialog.
-Cheap kills. There are equips that have a % chance to insta-kill whatever the hero is fighting per attack, often at a pretty good chance too. One (at least) of these equips doubles the attack speed of the hero. Said heroes will probably be attacking 5 or more times for every monster attack you can make. Hah, nothing gets past my super powerful, aaaaand it's dead. I lost a level 20 V-Golem this way (perhaps not a top tier monster, but close), at the time one of if not my most powerful monster. The only reason my dungeon survived the invasion of a swordmaster with said attack speed buffing insta-kill bot artifact is because he got himself stuck in a side hall that I'd created and slowly whittled himself to death on my traps (my zombies sure as hell couldn't do anything to him)
-Unless you know in advance what all of the equips do, there's really no way for you to know ahead of time that said hero will be one-shotting all your dudes, because it'll tell you the name of the equip, but not what it does. So you won't know that putting your L20 V-Golem a room ahead of his L8 self with half a dozen zombies in a floor that boosts earth creatures (such as a V-Golem) is a quick recipe to lose that V-Golem. I'm not bitter.

I enjoy the genre: if I were asked how much I would buy this game for, knowing what I know but not otherwise owning it, I'd probably pay 4-5 bucks for it. So, if you're interested, wishlist it and pick it up on sale.

And seriously Valve, can we get a better rating system already?
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
305 of 375 people (81%) found this review helpful
41 people found this review funny
1.1 hrs on record
Posted: October 16, 2015
(Clarification : Since some people wonder how I know so much about the game - I owned it prior to the steam release, so I've booked in quite a chunk of playtime, some 50 hours, outside of it's english release. Therefore I know whereof I speak.)

This is why we shouldn't leave Japan on its' own. No, really, I'm serious. We do that and instead of Football Manager they come up with this?!?!

Dungeon Manager ZV, which I think I can sum up best by saying it's FM2015, but for someone who wants to design, and manage their own dungeon, their own monster roster and carefully balance the growing needs and desires of the adventurers they are luring into their dungeons with the promises of untold lewt with the need to protect that loot and therefore placing big scary monsters in the way. Put too many big and scary monsters in the way, the adventurers will take one look at your dungeon and go "NOPE.JPG", but make the dungeon too easy, and they'll walk out with your lewt, and you will fail at managing your dungeon. It's a curious beast.

No, really, we must never leave Japan alone, this is what happens when we do. They create games where you're monster mixing slimes, golems and demons?!?!

The game visually is ... not the worlds most stunning presentation. It's going to send you back a long way in time, I actually had to look up the kind of resolution it was using (1024x768 in case anyone wondered). The art style for what you get is consistent and well drawn, though ye gods could it have done with high res artwork for current gen monitors. The music too, has that kind of castlevania style theme, that sort of off kilter japan orchestral horror they do reasonably well. But beyond the somewhat shonky presentation lurks a really, really brutal game. DMZV is to dungeons what Football Manager is to the emerald turf.

Oh it starts innocuously enough, giving you a nice 3x3 grid of rooms you can build out into, one of which will have your stairs to the surface world, in these rooms you can fill out each room with a selection of zombie minions, along with a larger "foe" of sorts, be it a slime, a golem, a demon or if you've been stirring up some kind of hellish creation, one of the monster mixes available (G-Golems and Zombie-Demons are merely the start of the chaos available...), once you start working your way down through the floors, you'll start to appreciate the subtleties that come into play, such as being able to set elemental affinities on a per floor level, which confer bonuses either to your monsters, or even to the heroes that walk the dungeon (in exchange for bonus resources should you kill them!), setting up your zombie minions with their own attack and defense levels mean that some rooms will be tailored to dealing with specific classes of hero... and that's when you realise that you're going to be sinking a lot of time into this one.

The kind of game where five minutes can become an hour, and an hour can become half a day....

The hero roster is -extensive-, no less than 23 or so classes with a few unique versions and a final "boss" of sorts await you as you work your way through the game, ranging from the simple Novice, who wanders in with little more than a sackcloth and a pointy stick, all the way up to Valkyries, Samurais and Knights that can actively change the element of the floor they are on and really ruin your day.

Juggling the monster strength relative to your fame is the key balancing act here, as you'll want to keep the two running along the knife edge to get the maximum inflow of adventurers (and occasionally an escapee to relate his experiences of your fine establishment), so in terms of mechanics, there's a lot more going on than meets the eye. It would be lazy to spam the strongest things you could field, and the game -will- punish you if you do just that, by starving you of heroes, and then eventually steamrolling you with something far beyond your capabilities. It reacts to your playstyle, and will chastise you for being a poor designer. However, play it's game, and it will reward you with an experience that is very much the Football Manager of Dungeons.

Okay, this sounds interesting and all, but how on earth do you make sense of it? How does ANY of this make sense?!?! HALP!!!

Therein lies the nub of the review. This is a very niche game. If you're seriously considering buying it, and you've done your research, then my advice is to take the risk, the chances are you're already aware of what you're letting yourself in for. Strap in and prepare for something very much unlike you've played to date.

If however you're even remotely unclear on what you're getting, if you came here from a recommendation, if you just came to this game from idle curiosity and really don't have the first clue as to what is going on, or you do not have an abiding love of very heavily text based and very japanese influenced bizarro games that don't want to make sense, and ask you to manage a -dungeon- of all things. Then I would tell you to turn around, and walk the other way, otherwise you'll be making a mistake, and you'd do the game a disservice as well.

Verdict : Highly recommended -but- only to the people who know with absolute certainty what they're letting themselves in for. This is a niche game in the truest sense of the term, and as a result will appeal to a very narrow, and very odd demographic. If you enjoy solving rubiks cubes in the dark, this may just appeal to you.

Writer and columnist for Just Reviews, where you can get similar fine reading material. Join our group, follow our curations, and throw me a like if you would like to keep up to date with our efforts!
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
44 of 57 people (77%) found this review helpful
6 people found this review funny
1.0 hrs on record
Posted: October 16, 2015
An interesting, niche game. A short summary:

In this game you are the master of a new dungeon. Starting with a single floor you have a 3x3 grid of possible rooms. Excavating each room takes resources. In each room you can then deploy zombies or more powerful monsters to stop adventurers from progressing further in your dungeon. On each floor you can have up and down stairways, allowing acess to the floor above/below. Each added level increases the strength of invaders but also allows you to place more formidable traps and monsters. At least 15 floors can be constructed and on the lower floors you can find and breed some more special monsters such as dragons or esoteric demons.

The objective is to protect your most valuable item, the Knight's Emblem from being stolen. All the items in the game have certain effects associated with them. Some will boost the power of traps or reduce the cost of resurrecting your zombies. In the hands of adventurers the items will increase their attack, defense or other attributes making them more formidable foes.

Additionally you wish to attract as many powerful adventurers to your dungeon as possible so you can collect their magic items and life force. So that you can lure ever more powerful adventurers and repeat the process. You may also allow adventurers to escape so that they can tell their friends about your dungeon. You actually want this to happen as simply being inundated with level one novices is not particularly exciting or gainful. As time passes new classes arrive and higher levelled and better equipped adventurers too. Eventually organized parties will attempt to reach the depths of your dungeon.

You constantly balance between increasing the strength of your dungeon and monsters while also allowing adventurers to experience thrill and sucess, encouraging them to return. While you steal their items, you can also allow them to escape with your own. Allowing adventurers to live with valuable loot makes them extremely happy and increases the fame and allure of your dungeon even more.

The game is not graphically stimulating, but it does something new, that I have not seen expressed as a game before. If you like the idea of managing a dungeon and have a modest imagination I would suggest you try the game. It is quite reasonably priced and runs very well.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
23 of 27 people (85%) found this review helpful
4 people found this review funny
9.8 hrs on record
Posted: October 17, 2015
I went into this game not expecting much. To be honest I was expecting to refund it immediately. Somewhere along the line though, it caught my interest. Not sure why, but it's addicting. I think it's the seemingly simple gameplay. I can sit back and kick up my feet, all the while I'm trouncing the "heroes" that come into my dungeon (call me malevolent, but it's very entertaining). During my few hours of gameplay I've been peeling back layers of strategy. Should I put my slime on the third floor or the fourth? Wait...I should build him up so I can put him on the sixth floor! Unless of course that hero kills him before hand...nah I'll just replace him with this level 1 I just summoned.

It's moments like these that kept me playing. The constant micro kept me going. For some people this is a turn off, but being a relatively relaxed player myself I still found this game very entertaining without the need for ton's of key strokes. I can do everything with the mouse. It's just a matter of thinking things through once you get the hang out how it's designed. That may seem complex, but I assure you it has a very nice learning curve. Fun and intuitive. A double bonus in my book.

TL:DR - If you have an active imagination and don't mind using your brain a little then give this game a try. If you need really good graphics then pass this one by.

Addendum: This is my first review. I welcome all criticism.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
21 of 27 people (78%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
9.1 hrs on record
Posted: October 18, 2015
Casual "spreadsheet sim" with solid strategy. Good resource management mechanics in the beginning and some interesting variance in the monsters you can summon. Small learning curve; I'm a strategy vet, and I cleared the game on my first try in less than eight hours. The game promises some replayability after you win: you can continue your dungeon, and the game will throw two bonus enemies at you. There's also a Hard difficulty I haven't tried, and I'm interested in seeing how fun it can be.

I would enjoy greater complexity and customization within the dungeon. I only used ten of the sixteen available floors, and the sole reason I went down so far was because one monster type must be placed deep underground. Speaking of monsters, you'll have to keep track of which monster combinations make what; the game doesn't do that for you. It is a minor inconvenience, as there are only a handful of possibilities, but a tab showing you all your unlocked fusion recipes would be useful.

I recommend Dungeon Manager ZV with one caveat: This ain't an intricate game. You're not getting War in the Pacific - Admiral's Edition levels of nuance here - you'd be lucky to get one-fifth. If you're a genre fan and/or like relaxing with text-based strategy, then go for it. Otherwise, don't bother.

I may edit this review in the future should I record myself playing Hard. I wouldn't mind the game kicking my teeth in.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
56 of 95 people (59%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
5.9 hrs on record
Posted: October 17, 2015
The game is "fine". Don't expect flashy graphics, this wasn't made to have them.

Sadly the content is also simply lacking though.
Completion can be expected to be done within 10 hours.
I currently feel no need to go back to this game.

Customising the monsters: currently they level up and gain a little defense and health, i'd like to see multiple target hits, instant kill abilities and to be able to see more than just "Level, hp & defense"
Would like to see a "campaign style" play. Although not really sure if it'll work for this.
Ability to have more than 1 dungeon at a time. Given this isn't a competitor to other dungeon design games and is meant to different, i think this is a way to make it different. (by this i mean having some form of overworld view and being able to buy new locations(possibly with maximum depths and maximum level of adventurer?)
Make it 5x5xX, this then allows for more complex dungeons
Cap's on the resources are very low, a lot more could be done with it.
An "easy" way of levelling weak monsters so that you can combine them would be good (preferably using a second dungeon?) or just simply pay for levels with resources? heck the resource is basically "souls of dead adventurer's" so them being able to give exp isn't too much of a leap of faith.
Eventually you just basically get adventurer's to go to 9 depth asap and just kill them there, make nearer to the surface more useful?
Allow monsters to evolve naturally instead of forcing combines to make them better
Needs just simply more fusions and more creativity with what they can do.

Plus sides:
I experienced no bugs. (one or two bits where the text didn't fit)
Simplistic - Was very easy to work out roughly what to do.

6 hours is still more than the other reviews and as i stated, i've literally finished it. Would recommend at 99p. But at this amount you get too little. Most games on kongregate have more content than this.
Save your money, will review again when i see updates, but i don't think there's really going to be any changes big enough to really change it.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
17 of 27 people (63%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Not Recommended
5.4 hrs on record
Posted: October 18, 2015
It has some good things to recommend it, but overall the gameplay is just a bit too shallow. Had potential, but lacks mazes like Dungeon Warfare or Desktop Tower Defense, there's some translation errors and bad grammar, plus the fullscreen resolution doesn't seem to actually be supported, along with other random crashes.

Gameplay wise, it's fusing monsters like old-style digimon, with a lot of incremental-type grinding to get them up to level 30 and some guesswork involved. It's a game you play for about 30 minutes only because you'll probably get bored and play something a little more cerebral instead after a while or just let it go in the background unsupervised.

I already went past the 2 hour refund mark but I don't think I can really recommend this game.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
6 of 7 people (86%) found this review helpful
9.4 hrs on record
Posted: October 21, 2015
This game isn't quite like anything else I've played. I was on the fence about getting it but then it was gifted to me. It's not at all flashy with graphics so if you don't like text only or heavy text games with minimal/no graphics then this isn't going to be for you.

I've always loved games that revolved around exploring a dungeon (like Wizardry) so the dungeon aspect of this appealed. I don't know how to describe the genre though... it's not RPG at all. It's about resource management, more than anything. If you're put off by the video demonstrating how it's played, it's not for you. If you're intrigued by what you see, I think it's worth a shot **if you pick it up during a Steam Sale** because it's a very short game once you figure things out.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
21 of 36 people (58%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
1.8 hrs on record
Posted: October 17, 2015
Dungeon Manager ZV, figure it out, its dungeon manager, a text based one.
No artwork whatsoever, but it will set your imagination free...

Game is easy to start, so even beginers wont have trouble playing it, but to master it, you will need to sharp up your skills.

Overall gameplay is that you will have to manage your dungeon areas spread in numerous levels that goes deeper and deeper, with every next unlocked stage you unlock better traps, can summon more minions, get more unique weapons and arifacts that will attract better and stronger champions to come and try looting your dungeon.

+ Great potentional to be addicting game
+ Cool relaxing music
+ Great progression and upgading system
+ And mostly FUN !

- Cards
- Achivements

If you dont mind its tabele/text game, then I strongly recommend it to you. Its fun, it has zombies, demons, slums, dragons... and it's Japan’s megahit, c'mon you gotta try it ^^

Key was provided by developer for testing purpose, no other compensation was involved.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
10 of 15 people (67%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Not Recommended
5.7 hrs on record
Posted: October 20, 2015
I saw this game compared to the football manager games, but it really does not work all that well. I also noticed a large number of reviews saying that there is just not enough content for the game.

There are some interesting concepts availible here, but there is also a lack of variety in the basic dungeon design and populating scheme.

The game is built around a 3 X 3 matrix for each floor, where each room automatically connects to any neighboring room. The 'heroes' flow into the dungeon in semi-random directions working their way down to the bottom or until they take enough damage that they want to go back out and try to work their way back to escape.

There are 16 possible floors where each room starting at level 1 can have 2+(1 X floor level) at a max of 9 of zombie defenders as well as a single trap that also has a level based on floor level max 9. So on level 3 you can have 5 zombies per room as well as a single L3 trap. Additionally you can place hero items into rooms as well as a single monster defender. You have to make certain that your monster defenders do not die otherwise you loose them permanately, this causes a bunch of active micro-management where I pull out the near death monster and replace it with a monster that is healthy. The real goal here is to level up the monsters as high as possible and then mix the different monsters using a few different monster recipies.

All this actually sounds pretty decent except that your room monster is your main damage dealer and your zombies are expensive blockers to protect your monsters. With the limited resource maximum a wave of powerful heroes can easily wipe out your resources while you are desperately trying to keep your high leveled, demon type units from getting wiped out. Early on with low levels of fame it is fairly manageable, but when your fame rises your monsters that you have leveled up to preprare to make stronger evoved monsters that can actually tank late game heroes, this really is all about micromangement. The lack of variety in the auto spawn meaning just weak zombies means that as you progress you are going to get overwhelmed.

My most recent game I kept pulling back deeper and eliminating all the zombies and monsters that cost a significant amount to respawn each time they are killed and I have 3 populated rooms at this time. 1 is an evolved golom, while the other two are dragons. All three can tank and still do some damage to passing heroes. And I kill enough of them to make more than the zombies and traps cost me as well as the resurection. Anything else I put in just drains my resources for no real gain while being very hectic.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
6 of 8 people (75%) found this review helpful
7.8 hrs on record
Posted: October 17, 2015
A very interesting and original case to Dungeon Keeper using spreadsheets :)

Seriously funny and intelligent game that allows you to create your simplified dungeon structure, create and level your monster and manage your fame that atracts the adventurers coming to die in your dungeon, allowing you to gather more ressources to make the dungeon more difficult, attract more heroes, etc...

This is a definitely recommended game that will give you some serious fun and a good challenge.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny