Metascore
85

Generally favorable reviews - based on 51 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 48 out of 51
  2. Negative: 1 out of 51
  1. Oct 29, 2012
    85
    An intoxicating celebration of violence that will have you pounding the restart button for more.
  2. Oct 28, 2012
    85
    Let's just say it: Hotline Miami isn't for everyone. It's brutal, bloody and extraordinarily unforgiving. Thanks to Hotline Miami, the 8-bit top-down shooter genre gets put in the spotlight again after Retro City Rampage. It deserves the attention. Well, if you can stomach countless retries and a dozen smashed skulls.
  3. Oct 25, 2012
    85
    Hotline Miami is exceptional not because it's violent, but because it's violent for a reason.
  4. Oct 31, 2012
    82
    Hotline Miami is pure gameplay, a videogame with personality and bloody heart.
  5. Nov 29, 2012
    80
    Huge pixels, old school top-down perspective, 8-bit animation and choice of colours convincingly recreate the mood of 1989 – the year Hotline Miami's story takes place in. Fortunately there's also plenty of excellent, unconventional and engaging fun for mature gamers. [CD-Action 13/2012, p.76]
  6. Nov 19, 2012
    80
    Despite a few bugs the game plays so intense it at times feels like it's playing in your mind and not on your screen. It will make you feel really badass one second, only to disgust you with its over-the-top violence in the next. A few strange design choices interrupt the flow but all in all, Hotline Miami is a special experience not to be missed.
  7. Nov 13, 2012
    80
    Hotline Miami is a prime example of how awesome indie game can be. It's creative, it's free spirited and it's cool as hell. This really is a must to buy for fans of highly original games.
  8. Nov 6, 2012
    80
    Those looking for a challenge in planning, reflexes and dexterity – and those with the intestinal fortitude to witness the scads of gruesome deaths that result – will be well served by Hotline Miami.
  9. Oct 31, 2012
    80
    While it may lack a certain technical finesse, Hotline Miami manages to take players down a road not many games do. It's as much fun to play through the game as it is edifying to reflect on what we've done, and for that, it is quite powerful.
  10. Oct 31, 2012
    80
    With its retro-style visuals and surreal story, Hotline Miami is a brutally challenging but engaging 2-D shooter that'll have you coming back for just one more mission.
  11. Oct 31, 2012
    80
    Hotline Miami is an odd experience. Missions flow between stealth and combat with split-second tactical choices reinforced through trial-and-error. The context for that gameplay is brutal beyond measure, though the game also provides a rare opportunity for reflection.
  12. Oct 25, 2012
    80
    Sometimes, videogames are thought of as a means of escapism into worlds and universes you always wanted to immerse yourself and spend your time in, but in reality never could. I truly hope I never encounter someone who thinks this way about Hotline Miami.
  13. Oct 25, 2012
    80
    Hotline Miami is difficult and violent, but it's not aggravating when you lose, and it's very rewarding when you win.
  14. Oct 23, 2012
    80
    Hotline Miami is an outstanding title that manages to stand out despite both retro-styled games and overhead shooters being crowded genres.
  15. Nov 5, 2012
    78
    Despite all of my frustrations, after extended breaks, I found myself coming back for more. Hotline Miami's uneasy ambiance and frenetic action have an odd allure.
  16. Nov 2, 2012
    77
    Lunacy, anarchy, drastic violence and stealth tactics wrapped in absurd amounts of pixelblood and psychedelic electro. You can love this game. You can damn it into the deepest hell. But you can't ignore it.
  17. Dec 13, 2012
    76
    Hotline Miami has managed to captivate me from the beginning to the end.
  18. Nov 13, 2012
    75
    The First Grand Theft Auto. During a Rave. On Acid.
User Score
8.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 986 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 20 out of 211
  1. Oct 23, 2012
    8
    Hotline Miami is just as fun as it is punishing, that is to say that it's a whole lot of both. It's a top-down fmup (think shmup butHotline Miami is just as fun as it is punishing, that is to say that it's a whole lot of both. It's a top-down fmup (think shmup but extremely brutal) with a pretty heavy tactical element to it that keeps you thinking about how to approach every situation more and more efficiently each time you die--and you'll die an awful lot. Any enemy can kill you or knock you out in one hit, so you'll be trying one idea, failing, and then refining that idea a few times until you have that glorious satisfaction of overcoming all the odds against you. The level design is pretty complex and the enemies are varied enough that the trial-and-error gameplay doesn't become stale. There is almost always a genuine challenge (apart from two absolutely ridiculous boss battles and a pretty cheap stealth segment), making the "trial" in "trial-and-error" something really, really compelling. The AI isn't great at picking up on signs that you're in their midst, but if it was, the game would probably be absolutely impossible. The campaign follows a narrative that isn't very strong, but it's definitely something interesting. It complements the stressful gameplay with some really weird hallucinations that actually make you wonder what the hell is actually going on, and then, even though it's not very complex, it ties up loose ends in a pretty fascinating way. The graphics, despite the really ugly face drawings, are stylish and give off an extremely eighties vibe, though there are no options to turn off some features like screen sway, which will probably end up hurting the game's accessibility. The real aesthetic star is the soundtrack, though. For 2012, it's one of the absolute best game soundtracks, right up there with Vessel. Because of its extreme challenge, Hotline Miami is probably not a game for most people, but it's extremely good at what it does, and despite a few caveats it's one of the best games this year. Full Review »
  2. Dec 10, 2012
    10
    INDIE GAME OF THE YEAR FTW, Great music soundtrack, Brilliantine gritty knife throwing game play, engading and interesting story, AN ORIGINALINDIE GAME OF THE YEAR FTW, Great music soundtrack, Brilliantine gritty knife throwing game play, engading and interesting story, AN ORIGINAL CONCEPT DIFFIDENTLY WORTH ALL YOUR MONEYS Full Review »
  3. Oct 26, 2012
    10
    Excellent game. The tension, the artistry, the speed, the strategy... A commendable and highly artistic rendation and critique of violence inExcellent game. The tension, the artistry, the speed, the strategy... A commendable and highly artistic rendation and critique of violence in popular media and an immense retro throwback make this game an instant cult hit. Granted, it's not for everyone but if you like vintage, tongue in cheeck humor and the 80's... go play it! Full Review »