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Zombies Took My Daughter!

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4.5/5 (314 votes)

You've got 36 hours to find your daughter in the middle of a zombie epidemic in Nerdook's remarkablly clever spin on the classic side-scrolling shooter genre. Explore a huge city that randomly generates each time you play, team up with other survivors, hunt for new weapons, and discover clues that will help you track Anna down before time runs out.

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arcticwolf15 July 19, 2010 3:16 PM

It's great! I love the concept! Just that I keep getting one hit incapacitated at full health. WHAT?


Pretty fun, the thing is... while the game is randomly generated, the first time I played it, the first place I went, I found the daughter. Got her and was out in less than 20 min game or so. Guess I got too lucky...


I also had the same outcome. The first clue I got about her location was where she was, not where she wasn't.

I completed the game in about 5 minutes.


I wish it left discarded weapons on the floor. I keep accidentally doing things like:

Picking up assault rifle (knowing that it would swap it for my handgun, as the message said)

Then accidentally picking up teddy bear because I was near to it in a fight (not knowing that it would exchange my assault rifle for it, because I could not read the mesaage)

so I'm left with no ranged weapon at all, not fun

would be nice if it left the other weapon on the ground or something like that

pjonkml July 19, 2010 5:59 PM


I've noticed that the zombies with the claws-some have a big claw looking thing sicking out of their backs, and some just have claws on their hand-need to be hit twice to kill them while they can kill you in a single blow. I find that the survivors you find in the buildings help out a lot. They usually shoot pretty quickly and if not, the zombie gets them first.

nerdook July 19, 2010 6:14 PM

thanks for the review and kind words... :) i'll take note of the criticisms too, and work on incorporating them into future versions. hopefully i can eliminate the most common complaints!


Let's not forget that the protagonist is breaking one of the cardinal rules of zombie outbreaks--do NOT go after loved ones, especially if they are in the middle of ground zero.


Has anyone run into the situation where your daughter doesn't seem to be present at all? I've cleared the entire map (100% on all boxes in the subway map view w/ green checkmarks on all the collect-the-item markers), and still no Anna. Am I doing something wrong?


I love this game! But please have an option for turning the music off. The music is fine but it gets repetitive very quickly.

zbeeblebrox July 19, 2010 9:24 PM

Our protagonist is so fortunate to find himself in a city full of prolific photographers! :p But yeah, this game is pretty cool. It's not often you see a combination zombie shooter/sleuth game



Tap M to mute sounds

zbeeblebrox July 19, 2010 10:51 PM

Okay, in my second playthrough, I ran into Peter's situation. I'm looking at a map where every location is listed as 100% (because all the clues eliminated everything) and I haven't found her yet. So, questions:

1) is it possible to play a game where your daughter is simply not present?
2) is it possible to play a game where you can accidentally get your daughter killed before leaving? (assuming we treat her the same as the survivors - I wouldn't know, I haven't won yet)

I'm afraid to move anywhere because I only have 3 hours left. I think I may be trapped in a no-win scenario...

Anonymous July 19, 2010 10:58 PM

@Peter above:

I've also run into a situation once where all the sections were marked green but I hadn't found Anna yet. So, apparently, it happens.

When you enter the room where she is, your PDA "interrupts" you to indicate she's in the room. In other words, you're not doing anything wrong. :)


There's definite promise here, but some glaring flaws:

  • I haven't seen this myself, but according to above comments, it's possible to find Anna too quickly. One solution would be to wait until some hard-set supermajority of the map has been eliminated before actually placing Anna somewhere.

  • At least once, I was right in front of a zombie, shooting at point-blank range, and it went right past him. It wasn't even a miss; it was as if he was behind me. Bullets should (for hit-testing purposes) come out of my sprite's x-middle, and accuracy should drop off as range increases; hits should be certain at point-blank, and harder (say, 50:50) at entire-screen distance.

  • Ability to melee attack with guns (either automatically if a zombie is close enough, or manually with a separate fire trigger) would be very helpful. If I can kill a zombie with a teddy bear, there is no reason why I can't do it with the stock of an assault rifle.

  • It is possible to already be overrun when you enter a sector. Zombies should spawn some minimum distance from the player character.

  • Swinging a melee weapon and missing should not damage it.

  • We need either a pause or save-and-continue-where-you-left-off feature. Any time I press the space bar while the game is open, it either closes the PDA, selects a sector on the map, or fires/swings my weapon. This means that I cannot do anything else while the game is open. (I'm running Adobe Flash Player in Safari 5 on Mac OS X 10.6.4.)

  • It sucks that friendly NPCs can't hit me (not that I could see, anyway), but I can hit them, and I have no choice in the matter. In fact, at one point, I had the reverse of one of the items above: I was a little bit in front of an ally, and shot (several times) and killed him. One solution to this would be to switch to mouse aiming, and have my shots never (or almost never) hit allies unless I aim right at them, and even then only if there is not also a zombie there.

Also, one thing that isn't a flaw but is a bit frustrating: If you make it to the subway street of a sector, any friendly NPCs you have with you will bolt for the subway. Always visit the subway street last, and never return to it if you have any allies with you until you're ready to leave the sector. (It might be cool if you could choose one ally to stay with you, perhaps at a wage.)


Thanks for the confirmation on the no-Anna issue. Glad to know I'm not losing my mind. Must say this seems like a very poor game design choice though... maybe a bug?


@zbeeblebrox: "is it possible to play a game where you can accidentally get your daughter killed before leaving?"

Once I finished the game, I played it again trying my hardest to make that happen. But it's impossible because (1) she's an absolutely fearsome shot with her handgun, killing all the zombies before they even have a chance to get near her, and (2) the zombies completely ignore her anyway and come after you instead. Which makes one wonder why she needed to be cowering in a building hiding from them in the first place.

It does kind of make sense as a gameplay device if you see the goal of the game as solely a find-your-daughter puzzle. And don't get me wrong, I think the game is great (minus the few minor flaws people have mentioned). But I have a feeling it would be even better if it were more of a find-your-daughter-*and-bring-her-back-safely* thing. That is, if the daughter character wasn't quite so overpowered, and you could also lose the game by finding her, leading her out into the open on your trust, and then failing to protect her from being killed by zombies before reaching the ferry. Bit more of a tragic angle there. (Not that I'd prefer her to be a helpless waif. Just that, your character and the other NPCs have guns and a capacity for self-defense, yet they do get killed all the time. Why should she be any different?)

nerdook July 20, 2010 5:28 AM

Just a quick note from me: the latest version on Kongregate addresses the "no-anna" issue (hopefully completely, at the very least it should now be awfully rare), as well as some tweaks to the ranged/melee combat.

my SINCEREST apologies to all the players who experienced it, i've been scrambling to find the bug and fix it. anyway: thanks for taking the time to enjoy the game, everyone. :)

animage July 20, 2010 6:36 AM

In the game I notice that there corpses of soldiers and they leave these note about how the outbreak started. Has anyone bother following their notes? Because it says Gore... it think are heading somewhere with the package and such. Does that have any significance in finding his daughter?



I think you can find the virus - source of the outbreak - as another objective. At the end credits in mine it said virus not found or something when giving stats after I rescued Anna. I'm going to play it again and see if I can find both the virus and Anna.

No complaints about the game - very fun and I thought there were very few gameplay issues that do not get in the way.


@Peter (and the authors):

Yeah, I recently cleared the whole map as well, not finding Anna anywhere. So aparently, it's not that uncommon bug:)

Cheeseable July 20, 2010 2:44 PM

I also found some notes about the virus. I was, however, too busy finding Anna that I did not follow up on them. I did note, though, that to find the notes for the virus, one should search each and every little room. Probably the reason for my lack of follow-up was mostly because I lacked money at certain points and could not gain access to rooms. I did not have the time to return when I had money.

Please tell us all if you do find the virus as I would find that a great secondary goal as I found Anna after a long search, but it was still a bit easy.

Psychicpotato July 20, 2010 3:40 PM

Regarding the virus:

It is indeed present in the game; I found it after finding the two special notes from soldier-like corpses.

The third (and final I presume) soldier-like corpse had a container labeled the POLARIS virus; at the end of the game I had to confirmation that the virus was found.

What's interesting to do is once you find Anna, you can take her around doing sidequests (gathering supplies, killing criminals, finding the virus etc). Anna is a skilled markswoman and can take out hoards of zombies with her handgun. AND she dodges your bullets and don't worry about hitting her. And I pretty sure she can't die.

Really good concept, I enjoyed the game very much. Only hope that allies had better AI or friendly-fire was off; there was so many times I wanted to save someone and ended up killing them instead.

Also this might be minor, but sometimes when I find Anna she's...uh...dangling on the ceiling. Perhaps a special sprite would be nice?

GenericZombie July 20, 2010 3:54 PM

First off, I really love this game. I've played through a couple of times, which is something I rarely do.

A few thoughts:

I actually really like that the daughter isn't helpless once you find her. I hope that doesn't change.

Constantly killing survivors is kind of annoying. My daughter is even worse than me about killing them. I wish that could be fixed.

I'm actually more interested in the virus subplot than finding Anna. (Especially since the odds are in our favor that we'll bump into Anna eventually, anyway.) I've found a few clues but I'm currently stumped on what to do next.

A pause/save option would be lovely! Same goes for possibly turning off the music.

Kitsune Zeta July 20, 2010 4:56 PM

Bit of strategy for this game:

On the time limit:

You have 36 hours to get Anna and get back onto the ferry. that means you can afford to die exactly 5 times and still be able to get everything in the game with 1 hour left on the clock.

On moving:

Rather than try and work out where Anna is located, do a full circuit tour (where you visit each location exactly once, moving one block at a time). One such tour would begin by going NW, then NW to the corner, then Ex4, Sx4, Wx4, Nx3, SE, S, Ex2, Nx2, W, S to ferry. Open up Excel or something similar to map out your moves. This has the added bonus of taking exactly 25 hours to do, leaving you 11 hours to spare.


Stick to ranged weapons when possible, as the projectile will keep going until they actually HIT something. I find that two assault rifles and two auto shottys work wonders, as the assault rifles have 30 shots each and an auto shotty can kill up to three zombies in each shot.

On survivors:

Let them do most of the damage. Odds are, you're probably going to hit them more than the zombies will, especially if you use ranged weapons.

The survivors will also run straight for the station if you're on the same street as it.


So, why do all the clues come in the form of photographs?

How is it that a photograph can prove that someone is not and has never been on a particular street? Photographs last an instant and people can move! I find this logical flaw to be extremely annoying.

For the author: why don't you consider leaving clues in the form of journal/diary entries, stories from survivors (e.g. "I saw a girl like that over at a refuge shelter in the church on main street. That was 2 days ago though..."), dropped items (e.g. "It's her cell phone and it still has a few hours of battery life. She must have been through here recently!"), and messages from survivors, (e.g a painted sign, "No survivors here.") That makes a lot more sense.

And finally, a minor issue: Is there any reason why I have to push UP to go DOWN a ladder? Is it really that hard to code two vertical direction buttons? The control scheme is awkward and counter intuitive.


Note to all: do try the new version (v. if you found the old version (v. too difficult. It basically turns all survivors into Anna powerhouses for that block - with friendly fire off and no immediate running to subways, picking up 4 survivors makes you not even need to do anything.

With both versions, I don't like the fact that almost all zombies (except the big hulky ones) are all one hits from gunfire. The big ones can go down in one hit by RPG launchers or Maliatov Cocktails which is okay by me, as the big guns are extremely limited in ammo. The issue I have is that there is no difference though in the bullet firearms: (Handgun, Revolver, Heavy Pistol); (Shotgun, Assault Shotgun, Combat Shotgun); (Submachine gun, Assault Rifle, Combat Rifle) - and it boils down to "get the guns with the most bullets!". I do have to admit that I still have to test the accuracy in a more thorough manner, though.

It would be nice to have an option of only melee weapons - as the zombies are melee only, the ranged weapons kinda make things too easy sometimes (if you happen to have a lot of Large Ammo boxes).

I'm not sure I completely like version survivors. I do certainly appreciate their help, but its also too easy to get 4 survivors then everything becomes cakewalk (for that block). This does balance out when some blocks do not have any survivors at all, though. Maybe an option to turn on/off friendly fire will spice things up.

Finally, I agree with GenericZombie - the virus subplot itself should be further expanded upon. It's from this subplot that the entire "let's nuke the city in 36 hours!" idea is based from. It would be cool to have an alternate ending if you do find the virus :p.

All in all, it's a good game. The 100% bug prevents me from saying that it's a great game, and while it has been fixed with version, there are still people commenting on Kongregate saying that they still have that bug. Main Idea: visit all city blocks, even if they are 100% - it all boils down to some spelling errors.

[We have updated our hosted version to the latest (v1.0.0.1 version). -Jay]

Psychicpotato July 21, 2010 1:21 AM

For those who are eager to track down the virus:

If you stumble upon a special note from the soldiers saying something along the lines of:

'...only it spread TOO WELL...'

...at the end of the note would be a location, which could be found on the subway map. I'm guessing that this is the location you find the virus.

This is deducted through backtracking; I found the virus at Hazel Beach, and when I flipped through my notes, surely enough that special note mentioned Hazel Beach.

This is for the v1.0.0.1 version; don't know about the previous one.

Also, if you're having trouble with friendly fire, I agree with Zeta to allow your allies to attack. Their bullets don't cause friendly fire. This is, of course, assuming you haven't found Anna yet; once you do she'll start shooting at will and killing anything in her path. Seriously.

Praise to nerdook who took suggestions/feedback quickly and relaunched the game. I look forward to a further development of this game, if there are any plans in store.

zbeeblebrox July 21, 2010 3:55 AM

As do I. I love forays into procedural generation. Especially zombie procedural generation.


Version is now available here at Jayisgames.

Cheeseable July 21, 2010 5:15 PM

Thank you Psychicpotato for the advice on the virus. I wanted to find it as a secondary goal, but after reading your discovery, I was happy I did'nt have to go to every single spot searching for the virus.

In my first game, I found that note, but I had not read it thoroughly enough to notice the place indicated as the virus drop-zone (one gets tired of these storylines)

With this newfound knowledge, I found Anna and then found the soldier with the note of "...it spread TOO WELL..." With the use of that note, I went to the mentioned spot (in my case, Union Station) and found the virus. Union Station was at one of the spots that I was going to go to last in my search, and I would have been extremely frustrated. So I say it again, Thank You.

Kitsune Zeta July 21, 2010 6:42 PM

The update does affect one part of the notes in my strategy post, namely in that you don't have to worry about hitting your allies anymore.

The only other change of note (apart from bugfixes) is that melee weapons have a 100% hit chance, but break faster now. Not sure if they decay just from being swung, though.

fghfghfghgf July 21, 2010 10:50 PM

I Went to Emerald Terrace, where it "Spread TOO Well" and could not find the virus. What now?

austin2o3 July 22, 2010 2:10 PM

Isn't this Dead Rising platformer style?

ThenAgain July 22, 2010 10:02 PM

I found a note on a soldier guy saying the location of the package was 'undefined'...
That is not helpful :P

Anonymous July 26, 2010 2:00 AM

ive gotten 100% completion on all areas, but i still haven't found Anna. I did find the source of the virus though... Anyway, is there a reason why that 100% complete but you fail and got nuked ending?

Anonymous July 26, 2010 1:56 PM

I found a soldier corpse with a note saying:
"We're doing it tonight. Frank and Gore are heading for St. James Street with the package."
I have RE-visited said street twice and gone through the buildings. Nada.
Also, I have gone to all locations on the map and checked all rooms. That is the only "unidentified, well-armed body" I found.


I really love this game. However, every time I go and replay it, it seems like there's more zombies than the last time I played. Which I kind of like, because it gives me more of a challenge.

The weapon I like the most is the

combat rifle because it seems to have the longest range and best accuracy

Like others have said, on my 3rd play-through I cleared the map and still no Anna. Maybe it's because I found the virus first?

dark sunstriker(godstriker5) August 4, 2010 6:26 PM

this game may be difficult to understand and i never got it but i can help!




Weak part:anywhere


Weak part:head


Strength:nothing short of extraordinary
Weak part:none
Note:this has a huge claw on it's back.I warn you sneak behind it and shoot or hit it.If it is alerted at that point.....RUN AROUND THE STAGE AND KEEP SHOOOTING.

Glitch of weps

I can get four auto shotguns in the same place can you?

How it works.

if you like a weapon(let's say kantana)pick it up.run outside then inside and pick it up again.repeat this twice and you will have four kantanas.

Guns of rank

most damage:auto shotgun
most accurate:combat rifle
most explosive damage:RPG


yea i have the 100% completed yet no Anna experience before.. i took it as an error in clues received :) then i went to search randomly and found Anna :)
i can't seem to find the virus though... i played the game multiple times but the most i could find was the soldier guy with the message of Frank and Gore delivering a package at a certain place...


Great game. Keep it up Nerdook.


So very addictive! My only quibble is wanting a final list of achievements for maximum screencap glory. Other than that, the touchy short-range fighting can be frustrating at times, but in the end it works well.

I ran into a bug after dozens of games ... a supply item at the top of a lone tower sans stairs cannot be accessed, because it won't allow two rope ladders.


if there was some more skill in shooting the zombies would be a good game, as it is much too easy-- the only problems you can have are when glitches (supplies in impossible places, zombie off side of screen who hits you as you leave).

and the daughter can't even get killed-- that's just silly.

anyway, fairly fun game.


If you trying to find ana make sure you check EVERY ROOM! Even if the mapsays no.


At first, I didn't know that the prisoner people were my enemies since they just killed the zombies (they were usually on a building so I didn't really mind them), a couple of times when I went up to the building ('cuz I thought they were like a survivor) they thanked me for 'saving them' but never followed me... so I left him there, and after I searched a bunch of buildings, I came across a total of about 4 survivors and when I went back to where the criminal was, he shot at us... and killed all of them and I ended up dying as well. I'm not sure if I missed this feature but it would be helpful if there was some instructions on the enemies. Some of the zombies were stronger than the average ones as well... but I found that out after I died (a total of 6 times). However, I did manage to find Anna at the right time, after I almost cleared out all of the map with 5 hours left. It was a pretty fun game but a save option would have been great.


The prisoners

are clearly marked on the map as objectives, and the huge prison buses on some streets are a dead giveaway.

I agree it's silly to give them the same script as regular rescued people, but they could be double-crossers.

Save feature would be awesome.


Oddly enough... this needs a zombie tag. Hehehe.

https://www.google.com/accounts/o8/id?id=AItOawlKTDwBgAWJ_aO67ZS2R_TWXwGkxiBz0Bk July 6, 2014 11:44 AM

I have stared following the virus clues.

https://www.google.com/accounts/o8/id?id=AItOawlKTDwBgAWJ_aO67ZS2R_TWXwGkxiBz0Bk July 6, 2014 12:21 PM

I found the virus! Here is the quote "I found a cannister labeled POLARIS VIRUS: 'It's all over. Myron and Gore are dead. The army boys will be here soon to wipe out all the evidence.'" That is word for word.


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