Dead Valley title/options screenshot.

It has been a week since a walker (i. e. zombie) outbreak has occurred. The Emergency Broadcast System has reported that there is a quarantine area 150 miles away, centered on the player’s farmhouse. Being fed up with being stuck there with nothing to eat but beans, the player’s character has decided to make a break for the area that’s free of walkers.

Dead Valley was created by Dogwatch Games and is believed to have been released in late 2013.


At the start of each new game, the player is stationed outside their farmhouse; walkers are milling about. Upon entering the house, the player will find many cans of beans and a handgun with 15 bullets. After taking whatever they need, a truck parked at the end of the driveway is the only operable vehicle in the area; if the player is able to make it in time to get the truck moving and drive away (or continue by foot if walkers swarm the truck), then all elements in the game (roads, houses, items, etc.) are randomized from that point on.

The player must make it to the quarantine area alive in order to beat the game. Being centralized, this means the player can either head 150 miles north or south and still make it to the area either way (whereas heading straight east or west will not). They can search buildings for helpful items, food and weapons to defend themselves against walkers.

The game runs in real time, as nightfall will occur, throwing the player’s world into darkness.

There is also a Time Challenge version, which is the exact same as the regular game, except there is an additional panel on the bottom of the screen indicating how much time is left to reach the quarantine area, as the player only has three days to reach it or else the "valley" they are in will be bombed with napalm, thus ending the game.


Although more time-consuming, the player’s character will not take in any damage if they travel by foot. Using a vehicle is much quicker, although they will become damaged if the player makes contact with any object (such as a walker, stop sign, other vehicle, etc.), along with the vehicle taking in wear and tear if it is driven offroad.

Vehicles can be found scattered along roads, in residential neighborhoods, and at gas and police stations. Ones that are overturned or totally destroyed (denoted by visible damage such as frame and/or windshield cracks, as vehicles that are solid in color [red, white, blue, gray, etc.] are good candidates for being driveable) cannot be entered and searched, much less used. Some vehicles will have a walker in it, which will immediately come out of the automobile when the player tries to enter it (although they can still enter the vehicle later if they dispel or avoid the walker).

Some vehicles will be intact, although they could have no gasoline in them (denoted by a gas gauge icon that appears) or have mechanical problems (indicated by a Check Engine icon). Automobiles that are driveable will, upon using the Inventory command, show how much gasoline they have left.

If the player comes into contact with any object (walker, stop sign, building, etc.), their auto can start taking damage up to the point where their headlights and/or taillights go out, along with their engine starting to smoke. Once the Check Engine icon starts appearing, the player has only seconds to leave the vehicle or else it will explode, causing damage, if not death to the player. Autos will also incur damage when being driven offroad (with police cars and trucks usually being the most rugged vehicles in general).

The player can also unload any inventory items that they are carrying into a vehicle, although those will be lost if their automobile ends up being destroyed.


These are the main threat to the player in the game, as they will claw him if they get too close; take too much damage from one or more walkers without being healed and the player will die and the game will end. If the player enters a vehicle and does not get it running in time (if the vehicle is operable in the first place), any nearby walkers can overpower him and pull him back out of the vehicle.

Walkers are not very intelligent, as they are occasionally seen milling around, not even moving until the player either enters their line of sight and/or makes noise (such as discharging a firearm, which attracts them). They will make a beeline for the player upon being spotted, although they can be easily lost when the player gets a big enough lead on them and then puts an object between themselves and the walker (such as a building). They are occasionally seen attacking a building or a vehicle.

There are lone walkers, but they also can appear in groups of four to six (and even more will appear if the player stays in an area for too long and makes too much noise). They are very rarely found offroad/in desert areas and are only occasionally found in a vehicle (which they will automatically emerge from the automobile if the player attempts to enter it). They are most commonly seen on an open road and in residential neighborhoods, along with occasionally being found in houses.

Walkers usually take six to seven bullets from a handgun to be killed, but only one or two blasts from a shotgun or rifle will also take them out. They will also be dispelled with a few whacks from a baseball bat, along with being damaged by being hit by a vehicle or being too close to one when it explodes. Running them over with an automobile will also kill them.



Exploring a residence. This house has a flashlight and siphon hose (at bottom left area of screen).

Several types of buildings can be found during a game.
  • House–these are private residences that are most commonly found. A house can be totally empty, have one or more walkers in it (which will instantly come out of the house when the player attempts to enter it) and/or food, various items, weapons and/or ammunition in it. A house can be entered from the front door and usually its garage.
  • Gas station–these are rarely found during a game, although their premises’ can be searched for items and they have gas pumps, although they might not work (due to a broken nozzle) or not have any gas.
  • Police station–also rare, although these contain several weapons and lots of ammunition.
  • Hot dog stand–this is the rarest of all buildings, although they can have useful items inside.


These following items can be found during a game.

  • Food–comes in cans of beans or pieces of cake, the latter of which heals the player by one entire unit of health (which they have three health units maximum), whereas beans only heal by half a health unit.
  • Medical kit–fully heals the player.
  • Weapons–handguns, shotguns, rifles and baseball bats can be found in buildings that can be used against walkers.
  • Ammunition–for most of the above weapons.
  • Flashlight–used for night travel, illuminating a small area around the player.
  • Gas can–can hold up to 5 gallons of gas.
  • Siphon hose–used to transfer gas from vehicles.
  • Wrench–used to fix vehicles that are damaged.


With all outcomes, the player will be shown a Stats screen, giving a total of how many miles they walked and/or drove, how many cars they destroyed, how many walkers they killed, how much food they consumed, etc. during their game. If the player beats the game, a “You Made It!” screen appears, followed by the Stats screen. If walkers kill the player, they will be taken to the Stats screen. If they quit, or they will be allowed to continue if they wish, although they will lose any possessions they had.

The game will also end by a nuclear blast if the player does not reach the quarantine section within three days if playing the Time Challenge version of the game.


  • Move character–arrow and WASD keys
  • Drive a vehicle–up arrow key to accelerate, down key to brake, then release and hold to back up, left and right keys to steer
  • Toggle vehicle headlights–H key
  • Activate/use gas pump/fill gas can–disarm weapon if you have one, walk into gas pump, then click and hold left mouse button to fill up car when cursor turns into gas pump icon (which has to be near pump, plus the player has to click and hold button while touching car); fill up a gas can also by clicking and holding onto it
  • Use gas can–right click on mouse while touching car you want to fill; once cursor turns into gas can, click and hold on car with mouse button to fill it
  • Use siphon hose–right click on hose while touching car you want to extract gas from; the cursor will turn into a rubber tubing icon, then touch car or gas can you want to fill to extract the gas between the two objects
  • Enter/exit building or vehicle–E key while standing next to car, along with standing at front door to enter house or building (along with standing at a garage door at a house to enter house)
  • Collect item–either click on and drag with mouse button, double click to add to inventory or walk into it to collect if it appears on the playing area
  • Equip weapon/flashlight–drag and drop with mouse or double click weapon from your inventory to put it in your hands
  • Fire weapon–left mouse key (when equipped)
  • Aim weapon–mouse
  • Refill ammo–R key (when weapon is equipped)
  • Eject ammo–right click on mouse button on weapon icon
  • Use melee weapon–spacebar
  • Check inventory–I key
  • Activate/use inventory item–right mouse button
  • Transfer item to inventory–double click or click on mouse button and drag and drop item to transfer it to your inventory
  • Drop item–click and drag item from inventory to anywhere on the playfield, then release to drop it
  • Toggle framerate–F key
  • Pause/resume game–Escape or P key


Once Dead Valley became open source, additional work was done on the game, adding additional weapons, spoiled food, a new vehicle and more.

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