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Video Game / Survivor: The Living Dead

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Survivor: The Living Dead is a 2010 2D pixel-art action horror game for PC by indie developer Radical Endeavours, aka Craig Daversa. The game sees you take control of a girl named Amber who gets trapped in an abandoned house during a zombie outbreak, and must use household objects to defend herself.

Heavy influence is taken from point & click adventure games, as finding the right tools, making weapons and dispatching enemies ends up more like a puzzle game than any traditional action/shooter.

An updated and greatly expanded version of the game was first released on Steam as Early Access, and has finally seen a full release as STLD Redux: Episode 02 on May 20th, 2017.

This game provides examples of:

  • Driven to Suicide: The owner of the house that's used in the plot-free Timed Mission segments can be found in a locked room with his brains blown out, right next to a shotgun.
  • Elite Zombie: There is a rare variety that gives off clouds of poisonous gas at death.
  • Everything Fades: After you have put down the reanimated cadavers for good, they'll disappear without a trace only a few seconds later.
  • Gameplay Grading: When a level ends one way or the other, the player is accessed on their tactics, number of kills, and Amber's remaining health at the time.
  • Friendly Fireproof: Amber is not hurt at all when walking through the fires of the Molotov cocktail, though they will prevent her from fixing a door back up.
  • Improbable Weapon User: Amber's main melee weapon throughout the early game is a fireplace poker.
  • Kaizo Trap: Once you wait out the timer, it still takes a few seconds before the incoming soldiers can kill everything in the house. Don't get overconfident.
  • Molotov Cocktail: One of the DIY weapons available in the game. The zombies get engulfed by the flames and fall down almost as soon as they step into the flames, which will persist on the floor for a while (but never spread outside of their starting location!)
  • Over Penetration: The Sniper Rifle tears through 5+ zombies at once if they are clustered together, instantly putting them all down. The shotgun can also brain multiple zombies at once, but because of its short effective range, it'll usually be limited to 3 undead or so.
  • Plunder: Guns can be obtained from certain zombies and the dead homeowner.
  • Revolvers Are Just Better: The revolver is the resident Hand Cannon, being insta-kill against the zombies at short and medium ranger, but also limited to its six bullets in the chamber.
  • Short-Range Shotgun: The description for shotgun helpfully states that it is "three times as effective at close range", i.e. practically point-blank, since all the engagements in the game are already close-range by any ballistics standards.
  • Shout-Out: The game is a self-confessed Romero homage. In particular, the opening cutscene is based directly on the first scene of Night of the Living Dead (1968).
  • Sniper Rifle: The second available firearm in the house, which gets removed from the wall case once the gas explosion in the kitchen rattles the entire house. It is powerful enough to tear through multiple zombies at once, but requires her to stand still and focus her aim before firing, with a bullseye icon indicating when she is ready.
  • Sprint Meter: Present. Moreover, draining it after getting bitten brings Amber a lot closer to turning.
  • Tactical Door Use: Zombies cannot open the doors, and will only try to bash them down. Even once they have done that though, you can still fix them right back up, indefinitely. They can also be made to last longer by applying boards, though this also prevents Amber from heading outside through them.
  • Technicolor Toxin: Turning up the gas on the stove in order to create an explosive trap for the zombies results in the sickly green fumes of that gas spewing out.
  • Throwing Your Sword Always Works: Thrown kitchen knives are surprisingly effective at dispatching zombies, in spite of the likelihood one would end up flying handle-first due to being totally unbalanced for throwing.
  • Timed Mission: Seven minutes. If you win, you unlock more modes, like the 12 and 14 minute modes.
  • You Are Already Dead: Being bitten. Though, if you conserve your energy and avoid sprinting, you can survive until rescue appears. Only to turn in the escape vehicle. Or to be cured at a nearby hospital.
  • Your Head Asplode: The effect of using a shotgun on a zombie at close range. One variety of zombie also reacts this way to the fireplace poker.
  • Zombie Apocalypse: Played straight, with Amber having to hold out against dozens of zombies (the kill counter can go into triple digits in the later modes) inside a single house. However, things haven't gone completely to hell, as managing to survive in the allocated amount of time results in the military showing up and rescuing Amber.
  • Zombie Infectee: As well as a standard health meter, Amber has an infection meter which gradually raises after she has first been bitten.