Dead Man's Diary

Dead Man’s Diary Review

Welcome to my review of Dead Man’s Diary. The game is developed and published by TML-Studios (Tourist Bus Simulator) for the PC via Steam. It is an action-adventure game with survival elements. You play as a survivor of a nuclear war that has been forced out of the survivors’ bunker due to their supplies starting to run low.

Survive A Nuclear Wasteland

So will this be a typical run of the mill “nuclear wasteland survival” game? Continue reading to find out. You can also check out our previous reviews.

The Game

As mentioned we play as a survivor of a nuclear war that was started by “a mad man with too much power”. We have been forced out of our survival bunker by other survivors due to the supplies starting to run low.

Thus our mission for survival begins. The game starts by chucking us into a fairly deep end in the fact it is pitch black, and we’re lost in a forest. Creepy sounds galore with a hand full of “jump scares” and we make it into an open area.

We can now start to scavenge for materials for survival. The game tasks us with building a campfire, a sleeping area, and finding a Geiger counter. The Geiger counter will help us determine if food or water is contaminated or safe to consume.

Dead Man's Diary

Speaking of materials, this leads me on to the very frustrating inventory management… because there is none. I would say a key element of a survival game is inventory management. You know the kind, shuffling items around in a backpack to fit as much as possible in there without being over-encumbered. There’s none of that here. You can carry say 4 wooden planks, three batteries for your torch, 3 bottles of water, and 2 cans of food.

There is no way you can change this, so imagine you come across a huge stash of consumable supplies, it’s tough doodoo. You can only carry the set amount that the developers have set. I feel this is a bit of a poor choice in a game that has survival elements. It feels like it takes away from that feeling of truly attempting to survive in a game.

Dead Man's Diary

One of the many issues in this game is also the fact that you’re kind of warned about “jumpy” moments that are about to happen. You’ll be happily running around the world and then your character will instantly freeze on the spot. Then the game will alert you with a loud sound and your character will spin around to see what it was.

It would have made more sense if the noise happened, then you froze, then span around. But due to the freezing first, you’re totally made aware of something about to try and make you jump. On some occasions, it does make you jump but for the most part, it’s a case of “here we go again”.

Look & Sound

The graphics are actually quite nice to be fair. Textures appear to be nicely detailed and not too blurred to make them appear better than they are. The game runs very well with the exception of one major annoyance. I kept experiencing huge stuttering whilst playing, this did settle down a bit once I turned motion blur off, but was still present.

My spec is more than suitable to play this game so I know it’s not that. I updated all existing drivers as well as tried all different graphical performance changes where possible. Dead Man’s Diary is the only game I am experiencing this on.

Hopefully, it’s a known issue and I have no doubt that it can be patched via a software update. It’s just very annoying whilst trying to immerse yourself in a horror/survival game.

Dead Man's Diary

The audio in Dead Man’s Diary is pretty decent too. The voice acting isn’t amazing but doesn’t sound too cheesy. Sound effects are pretty immersive, as is the music.

Other than the stuttering, I did not experience any minor or major issues with graphics or sound.

Length & Replayability

I think this game is more of a case of the player getting bored than how long it lasts. I played it for around three hours and just felt the life draining away from me. The developers say the game will last in the region of 40-50 hours.

The game also has 24 Steam achievements for you to unlock. That’s if you’re the type of person who hunts them.

Conclusions

Dead Man’s Diary isn’t all that great, unfortunately. With some of the mentioned issues, I felt a little let down by it. Whilst I can totally appreciate that this game was made well out of the developer’s comfort zone, unfortunately, it does show.

Should you wish to check out this game for yourself, you can visit the Steam Store for it. I give Dead Man’s Diary a score of 4/10.

A code was kindly provided for us to review this.

We Score This Game

rating score: 4

Not Too Bad!

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