This Dead Island game is free on Steam right now — here's how to claim it

Dead Island: Riptide screenshot
(Image credit: Deep Silver)

Last year’s Dead Island 2 was a surprisingly solid entry in the open-world zombie series. It spent years in development purgatory but launched to decent reviews, and after months of Epic Game Store exclusively it's now heading to Steam in the spring. 

To celebrate Dead Island 2’s arrival on the biggest PC storefront around, publisher Deep Silver is giving away a previous entry in the franchise: Dead Island Riptide. Until tomorrow (Feb. 15), you can get this 2013 action game for free, just head over to the game’s Steam page and then click the “Add to Account” button to claim it. 

Once added to your library, the game is yours to keep forever, so be sure to grab it even if you don’t have time to play right now. You can always circle back at a later date. 

Plus, if you’re craving even more co-op fun in a zombie apocalypse setting, the original Dead Island is on sale for just $2 on Steam — that’s a whopping 85% off.

Dead Island Riptide: was $19 now FREE @ Steam

Dead Island Riptide: <a href="" data-link-merchant=""" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">was $19 now FREE @ Steam
Dead Island: Riptide is the follow-up to the 2011 original and offers another tropical paradise overrun with the undead for you to slaughter alongside up to four friends. Help survivors, upgrade your gear, and discover a sinister conspiracy, in this open-world action game. For a limited time, Dead Island: Riptide is free on Steam. 

Dead Island: Riptide is brainless fun with friends 

Released in April 2013, as a sort of interstitial spin-off to 2011’s Dead Island, designed to tide players over until the launch of the full Dead Island 2, which was originally scheduled for 2015 (told you it went through development challenges), Dead Island: Riptide is pretty much just more Dead Island. But that’s no bad thing. 

Dead Island: Riptide screenshot

(Image credit: Deep Silver)

Yes, it’s far from a visually impressive game — even in 2013 its graphics were muddy and bland — and the questionable story and character dialogue haven’t gotten any better with time, but if you’re looking for some mindless fun, then Dead Island: Riptide offers it up in spades. 

Picking up where its predecessor left off, you select from a quintet of survivors, and after enduring a shipwreck must venture onto the fictional Palanai Island in the hopes of finding recuse and enough resources to stay alive. Of course, the tropical paradise has been overrun with brain-hungry undead zombies, so along the way, you’ll have to fend off these walkers using whatever weapons you can find. 

Dead Island: Riptide places a big focus on melee combat. While you can find firearms and projectile weaponry, ammo is very limited. You’ll spend most of your time clubbing zombies into a blood pulp using everything from a baseball bat to a sizeable piece of timber. You can even craft special weapons for extra damage.  

Dead Island: Riptide screenshot

(Image credit: Deep Silver)

Played in single-player, the cheap thrills likely won’t grip you for long, but bring a friend (or three) along for the ride and Dead Island: Riptide becomes a whole lot more enjoyable. The entire game can be played with up to four players in co-op, and the island of Palanai is reasonably sizeable, giving you plenty of side objectives to complete off the beaten path. 

Steam is also giving away the Definitive Edition of Dead Island: Riptide, this suped-up version includes all of the game’s DLC, as well as improved visuals over the original release. However, even with these tweaks, you won’t mistake this for a brand-new game.   

It would be a little over-the-top to declare Dead Island: Riptide an underrated gem, but at the low cost of $0, it’s very much worth adding to your Steam library and makes for a perfect time-waster. Just make sure you rope a few friends into joining you on your zombie-slaughtering spree. 

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Rory Mellon
Entertainment Editor (UK)

Rory is an Entertainment Editor at Tom’s Guide based in the UK. He covers a wide range of topics but with a particular focus on gaming and streaming. When he’s not reviewing the latest games, searching for hidden gems on Netflix, or writing hot takes on new gaming hardware, TV shows and movies, he can be found attending music festivals and getting far too emotionally invested in his favorite football team.