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  • Review

Urban Dead

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Rating: 4.8/5 (52 votes)
Comments (35) | Views (8,552)
WulfoUrban DeadUrban Dead is a fantastic and superbly original MMOG that was created a few months ago by Kevan Davis, and which currently has around 85,000 registered players. To put it simply: it is a text-based zombie survival game that runs in any browser.

To start the game, you first have to create a character (obviously). There are a few different character classes to choose from: Military, Science, Civilian, or simply begin the game as a zombie. The class you pick determines the skills you begin with, and the cost to acquire other skills later on.

I recommend choosing a Fireman (Civilian class) to start with. Doing so allows you to begin fast and effective zombie slaughter immediately. This means achieving higher levels very quickly, and then, as soon as you get Melee Weapons Training and Body Building, you will be practically unstoppable.

After the extremely speedy character creation process, you're introduced to the city of Malton (link to map), which consists of 100 suburbs. Each suburb contains a 10 X 10 grid of buildings inside of it, making a total of 10,000 buildings to explore (it's a big game). Once you start the game, your first turns can be crucial. Many a newbie have started the game as a cop with 12 bullets, used them on the first zombie they saw, and then were forced to create a new character. For most classes, the best thing to do is to go searching for supplies in the right sorts of buildings. (Hospitals carry first aid kits, Police Stations carry guns and ammo etc.)

There are several ways to gain experience in the game. The most obvious is to damage (and hopefully kill) zombies. Unfortunately, when beginning the game this option isn't really available to you. If you're a NecroTech employee, then the best thing to do is to use your DNA Extractor on every zombie in sight. If you're a doctor, then it's easiest to heal as many people as you can find. Once you have at least 100 XP, then you can purchase a new skill and move up to the next level (which doesn't really mean anything special).

Game play is governed by Action Points (APs). Every action costs APs, from barricading a building to spray-painting a wall. Even speaking costs 1 AP. Some actions even require several APs. You begin the game with 50, and regain one every half an hour. It's when you get low on APs and are about to log off that the game really gets interesting. When you log off, your character doesn't: it stays in the game in the same place on the map that you left it in. This means that logging off while standing outside is almost sure to get you killed within a few hours. Finding shelter is fairly easy, as you just need to find a barricaded building to enter, and then you should be fairly safe. As a note, after 3 days, your character disappears from the map, but will reappear as soon as you log back in.

Thankfully, death, as mentioned earlier, doesn't mean the end of the game. After dying you become a zombie, ready to terrorise your former comrades among the living. Playing as a zombie is quite different to playing as a human. Prey is generally harder to find, you only have a few attacks and HP aren't really an issue as when they get reduced to 0, you can just stand up again at the cost of 10 action points. Although zombies don't really need to find shelter, in order to avoid the ever-deadly XP-draining headshots, or the simple annoyance of having to stand up again, your best bet is to simply find an empty building. You can also find another crowd of zombies to stay amongst (zombies are nameless, all you see is "x zombie(s)"). Thankfully, zombification isn't permanent, as you can be revived by anybody with a revivification symbol.

Despite the length of this review, I've only begun to scratch the surface of this deep, constantly expanding game. Further information and help can be found in the FAQ and the superb Wiki. Something that really surprised about it is the huge, extremely active community. The forums are constantly abuzz with news of mobile zombie hoards and unprotected buildings full of humans. There are even a number of 24-hour mailing lists run by fans to inform zombies and humans alike of the latest events, and big XP opportunities. As a note, it's probably not a good idea to mention where you're currently situated or anything like that in the comments.

Even if this sort of game isn't usually your thing, I'd thoroughly encourage you to give it a go, as it's an extremely original and absorbing experience.

I'd also like to take this opportunity to wish a happy birthday to my friend Dougal, who is a huge fan of this game (since I couldn't be bothered with getting him a real present).


Why is the link pointing to Tonypa's site?

Or is it just me?


LOL. Thanks Jack. My bad, copy and paste can be dangerous. Hehe. Fixed.


this is like two games i used to play. Vampires in the Alleyways (or something like that) and Gothador... i set the URL for the post to gothador (however that works) and ill try to find the Vampire one


once again. the URL is on my name (click on the word God) this is the vampire game. it is called Vampires: the Dark Alleyway and definitely merits a JayBibby mark. in it, you suck the other PLAYERs and NPC's blood to help yourself in a GIANT map (like 200x500 or something... in a month i never got across... but then again i never really tried)

... I should pry comment on this game tho...

It runs a bit slow and doesnt feature that good of gameplay... (from what i saw... mebbe im missing something). in Gothador, you can actually do quests, smith, mine and a lot more... overall, a 4 out of 10


I have read description of similar game here:
Dont know if it is same thing, they just sounded similar.


Yeah, I remembered that article when I first played the game. Strangely, despite similarities in the description, they don't actually have anything to do with each other.

That article was written by Sean 'Squidi' Howard, who ran the now defunct webcomic 'A Modest Destiny'. This game is designed by Kevan Davis. Although I guess it's possible that Kevan might have been influcenced by that article...


Also, regarding the similarities to the Vampire game, it's discussed here.

Essentially, the two creators went to school together. Then Kevan created a fairly popular zombie viral which you may have played.

RavenBlack responded by making Vampires!, which he later added a map to, sparking the idea for Urban Dead.


Personally, I don't like any online games that require sign-ups of any kind.


I created a character, but whenever I try to do something it says I need to log in - which I already am. If I log in again, the same thing happens. What am I doing wrong?


Dose, every single MMO I've ever heard of requires signing up for an account. Now, if you don't really like socializing in a persistent world anyway, that may be all well and good, but some of us can't or don't want to go out and do our socializing in the real world.

And I should also mention that the link to the FAQ doesn't work, as the URL is missing the .html extension.


Hmm, now that I think about it, out of curiosity why don't you like signing up for games? Is it giving out personal information that bothers you? If so, it's not like it can't be faked... as long as you never feel the need to change your password, you won't have to worry about remembering the information you put in, and as for your email being potentially flooded, you can if you really hate spam you could get a domain and then you can create infinite email addresses to which you can assign the accounts for the one time confirmation process, after which you probably will never need to visit again.


If you hate spam then use:


At signup (for any site that requires sign up) you put whatever you want at mailinator.com as your address, and then just head over to mailinator and type in the address you used to get any confirmation email that was sent.


You don't even need to sign up. That box is completely optional. All you need to fill in is name of character, password and class. That's it.


Yeah, it was interesting when it launched, but now the performance is just no good.

It kinda ruins the experience when somebody is attacking you, you try to attack back, and ... "Service is unavailable - Try again during a less busy period" - Ugh.

Gotta agree with God, too. There should be more to do than just kill humans. I guess I shouldn't have started as a zombie.


Any AOL users out there will find that you will not be able to access this unless you pay a $5 donation (Cute)


While the game sounds interesting, it seems persistantly addictive....which is something I'm actively avoiding right now.

I did get involved with Kingdom of Loathing (after you posted it, damn you), but it has the limit of 40 turns/day. This seems like a game that could seriously suck away your day.


This game is... interesting. I just hate the fact that it takes so long to charge up energy or whatever. Basically, you run out of your 50 points and it takes 3 days to fill up again.


Or, you know, about 26 hours, since you get two action points an hour and your max is 50.


Or, you know, you could try and not be such a condescending douche.


Play nice kids. =)


that was dumb. i left the game and i found:

********** for 2 dmg
********** for 2 dmg
********** for 2 dmg
********** for 2 dmg
********** for 2 dmg
so on and so forth. all exept a few were zombies... anyone got a revival thingamabob?
p.s dump dead bodies outside b4 they get up....
i almost jumped out of a window i was so frustrated!

valentine bauer December 17, 2005 8:29 PM

i've been playing this game for about 3 weeks now on and off and the only thing i have to complane about is that i keep dieing [spell that wrong i bet] and im not being killed by zombies im being killed by other people and when i do get killed by a zombie it is because people barricade themselves in a building and i cant get in to rest. so that is my only prob with this game.


I've been playing this game a while now. and it's really funny to get skill ups and smash zombies. There are even some organized Zombie- and Human groups which make the game really funny!


hey everyone,
urban zombie can be boring and time consumeing so i suggest you all log in at: www.outbreakgame.com its like urban dead but faster and less time consumeing i.e. you dont have to wait for action points etc.


Man, are you still spamming ads for that in every UD thread you can find, Lindstrom?

Anthony Allen February 22, 2007 12:36 PM

Are there any games like this that aren't text based?

I've known about this game for a while, but after long time it gets monotonous

And also, it's stupidly annoying if you get a really skilled character but then some new kid idiot kills you


I've been playing this for awhile now, have a level 21 firefighter (only one more to complete survivor skills! Zombie skills, meh...), a level 15 scientist (which is high for a scientist) and a level 9 police officer, who dies every five seconds. Awesome game...


I'm totally addicted to this game. For about a week i've been using the full 160 hits each day and want more :D
Very, very awesome. This one went directly to my favorites.


Oh, wow. This game was featured in a recent Yahoo! article and the survivor population SKYROCKETED. Around 10k people joined in a 24 hour period. If you are an experienced player, HELP THEM OUT! Right now the newbies need you more than ever!

Anonymous July 29, 2007 3:19 PM

Ah... yahoomas. Pity it's over. Ah zmaz harmanz hambargarz bra!nz.

krankyxx August 5, 2008 7:09 PM

first skill to aim for is freerunning then you can get into high barricaded buildings

[Edit: Please submit your game suggestions using the link at the top of the page to make sure it gets the appropriate attention. Thanks. -Pam


He is right. If you are a civilian with free running getting into a mall should be a high priority. Malls are basically hospital/police department/sport store/etc. It is a very good way to get ANYTHING you need quickly and almost always safely. Provided you have free running.


I love the game. I just hate the IP restrictions, and the low amount of AP you have. I liked the way urban dead worked cause you get 60 ap that take forever to use.


Awsome game! I love how active the Urban Dead community is, and their wiki is amazing! I personally like the AP limit because it keeps me from spending hours of time roped in the game and allows casual gamers a chance to enjoy it.


great game just begun playing it has some potential...i just forgot to enter my home base building...so now theres a tasty treat for the Z's because i am sleeping outside tonight....ah well...one fast way for a scientist top become MUCH closer to his research objects.
so see ya tomorrow flesh eaters (:


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