Search. Die. Cuss. Repeat.

Dead Man’s Diary is an interesting game IF you can find the dreaded Geiger meter. Published and developed by TML Studios, the concept t is exciting if you are a fan of survival and base-building type games. But sadly what has all the makings for a great game, just falls a little short.

In Dead Man’s Diary, you play as a man who has just been kicked out of a bunker, years after a nuclear war, due to running out of food. Being left in the forest, it is now your job to survive. Players do this by searching everything they can find to accumulate what is needed to meet needs like shelter, food, and tools.

Dead Man’s Diary Quest for the Geiger Meter is My New Arch Enemy

Dead Man's Diary

The only issue in Dead Man’s Diary, and it’s a big issue, is that the most important thing needed is probably the hardest thing to find. In fact, it could take hours of gameplay to find it, which in this case led to player burnout. Like most survival games, players need to be aware of their food and water intake. However, for that to work, they need to find a Geiger meter that will indicate what items are safe to eat and what items are contaminated. If you do find the Geiger meter, your next hurdle is going through what you found, because the majority of the items will be useless due to contamination.

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If you are lucky enough to get past those two hurdles and find a decent supply of food, Dead Man’s Diary can be a lot of fun. The best advice I can give to players in this game is to look everywhere. If you find a note that sends you one direction, follow it. If you come across a locked box, open it. If you don’t need an item but come across it, pick it up. The last thing you want to do is be caught without something you need. Because as soon as that happens, death is usually right around the corner.

Now the nice thing about dying in Dead Man’s Diary is that you don’t have to start over from the beginning. Instead, you start over a few moments before your death with a small grace period. For example, if you die from thirst, you won’t be thirsty when you respawn, but the issue of looking for water is still a must. So time is of the essence if you don’t want to repeat your death. Not to mention any items you might have found leading up to your death, will be gone.

Dead Man's Diary

In some situations, it might just be better to start over. Especially if the reason you died was that you ran out of food and water. Or lack something like batteries in the dark. This is where that player burnout seems to really hit. It can get frustrating quickly if you find yourself in an endless loop.

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While finding things can be a little unbearable at times, one of the elements that are really enjoyable is the graphics. The imagery is so life-like, it really pulls the player into the game. Each area is filled with so many things to look at and search through, it is easy to become hyper-focused and lose track of everything. This is great for a game that builds heavily on jump scares and loud noises to catch you off guard.

Dead Man’s Diary is Gorgeous

Dead Man's Diary Review [PC] - Not Exactly a Page Turner - The Illuminerdi

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Along with the realistic graphics, it is pretty simple and easy to learn the ropes of the game. While there seems to be a lot to learn at the start, it’s all broken down and easy to learn. You will learn abilities like jumping, crouching, and belly crawling when the moment arises. While the inventory is pretty organized and easy to understand. The only downside in this area is the fact that the inventory quickly caps out. But on the other side, that only makes it even more realistic as a survival game.

One of the things that steal the show is the plot. There is a lot of story to go through and it is told through diary entries. To some, this might be overkill, especially with the long periods of talking. But for players who love story, or background information, it is definitely well thought out and intriguing. However, it is safe to say that the story isn’t captivating enough to get players to push through the burnout they might experience while on the hunt.

It all boils down to the Geiger meter and if you will be able to find it. The fact that the game hinges on this one simple thing could make or break a player’s experience, says a lot about the game. Overall, Dead Man’s Diary has amazing graphics, near endless exploration, and an interesting story but it could do with some tweaks to make it even better.

Dead Man’s Diary is available now on Steam.


Have you played Dead Man’s Diary? How long did it take you to find the Geiger meter? What was your worse jump scare? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below and if you were lucky enough to find that pesky Geiger tool tell us where you found it on Twitter.

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