User Score
8.4

Generally favorable reviews- based on 694 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 47 out of 694

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  1. Nov 25, 2012
    8
    I usually buy games on sale but after I listened to the whole soundtrack for hotline miami I purchased it for full price. If you don't dig the vibe after watching the trailer then I would say save your money. The game starts out fairly challenging but once you figure out the little details to the gameplay then it becomes moderately easy. The game is about tactically clearing rooms and doing it over and over again till you get it right. Sometimes you will wait and take things step by step, other times you will know exactly what to do and go in swinging/shooting. Again, if you watch the trailer and don't like the graphics or hate the music don't get the game. Also if you don't like challenging games then don't get this game. Expand
  2. Feb 9, 2013
    5
    For a small little game that focuses mainly on gameplay you'd think they don't make it repetitive. But they did. You get bored of rooms and rooms of bad guys which you have to kill by positioning yourself well and mashing space or whatever. The story is pretty dull too in my opinion. A pretty disappointing game after what I expected seeing those reviews and ratings.
  3. Oct 28, 2012
    10
    It's sadistic fun at its best. Think super meat boy in top-down shmup with awesome 80s disco soundtrack and some weird tripping story interludes. A game that rewards you for perfectly timing smashing through a door, jumping on someone's face, bashing it in, taking their baseball bat, throwing it into the next room at a mobster's head, taking his gun, then shooting his friend in the room that is rushing at you with a crowbar. Then he wakes up from his daze and you pop him in the head, then all hell breaks loose as every single enemy on the map proceeds to enter the room you are in, and you only have 4 bullets remaining in this auto shotgun... so you hold back behind a corner of the doorway as they rush in "CLICK, CLICK, CLICK, CLICK" goes your mouse, and "BAM BAM BAM BAM" goes your shotgun... there's bloody mess EVERYWHERE but there's one guy left and he's running in with an assault rifle.... so instead you right click... and your autoshotgun goes flying across the room in your single last chance of faith in the game.... knocks the bodyguard out and then you storm him and jump on his face and keep bashing away until he stops moving and the last breathe of air escapes his now-limp corpse. Then a voice yells "GO BACK TO THE CAR!" while the smooth 80s disco beat continues to kick in. Oh how sexy you feel. If that sounds like your kind of game. GET ON BOARD Expand
  4. Nov 20, 2012
    10
    Loud, violent, pulpy and bizarre, Hotline Miami submerges you in a sublime audio/visual state of trance that will make your head spin and leaves you craving for more!
  5. Jan 17, 2013
    9
    Great game for satisfying the blood lust that my soul, blackened from violent videogames and Arnold Schwarzenegger movies, so desperately craves. Great as a birthday present.
  6. Dec 7, 2012
    5
    It's a top down shooter. You'll get bored of this like you got bored of Smash tv or the old Gauntlet games. Not that this is a bad game, it isn't, just this has all been done before.
  7. Oct 24, 2012
    9
    1. This game has the best soundtrack I've ever heard.

    2. It plays like Super Meat Boy with GTA graphucs and a Fear and Loathing in Vice City vibe.

    3. It's ultra-violence at it's best.
  8. Oct 30, 2012
    10
    This game is incredibly fun, and violent, and tense, and introspective, and uncomfortable. As one reviewer said "It's a game about the things you do in it". You don't beat it; it beats you.

    Best summed up with this quote: "And when you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss also gazes into you"
  9. Oct 25, 2012
    10
    The game is rly fun to play.. it feels like loaded from psx or GTA1. It has a nice story that force you to use your imagination. You need skill to play this game.. at the beginning you will die a lot because the game is hard but with some practice you will get good fast and will start to enjoy the game. Hotline Miami is the kind of game that makes you rly use your brain.

    You can play
    this game like a thief using only melee weapons or like Rambo.

    Amazing soundtrack and old 16bit graphics.
    Expand
  10. Nov 27, 2012
    10
    This game is superb beyond mere mortal words. It along with Tekken Tag Tournament 2 & Max Payne 3 are my games of the year. The music is a pure eargasm & combined with the flawless strategic gameplay puts you in a murderous trance. It's like Manhunt, Crossed with the 8 bit games Spy Vs Spy, Elevator Action, with a dash of Tetris in spirit of the puzzle & flow. The violence would make Mortal Kombat blush. Never has looking through a mentally broken man's masked hazed vision been so rewarding, Story is among the best. The combined artistry from one developer murks whole multimillion dollar corporations efforts. This 1 man swedish developer is a beast & deserves to become a millionaire. Buy this game now! I hope it comes out on PSN & XBox live. Suda-51 bow to the creator of Hotline Miami he took your title of madman of gaming & understands great game design. Expand
  11. Jan 16, 2013
    7
    Hotline Miami is a fun but difficult game in which you sweep through levels from a top down view and kill everyone you find. One well placed bullet or lucky swing by an enemy is enough to kill you but respawning is simply a matter of pressing a button and then you're set to try and clear out the floor again. The visuals are eye-bleedingly retro neon and the soundtrack is pretty good. The mask system allows you to choose what minor perks your character will have, though why anyone would use anything other than the mask that makes gunshots silent is beyond me. The one tip I would suggest is make liberal use of the auto target feature as it will point you in the direction of offscreen enemies and clue you in to their locations to avoid any nasty surprises. Expand
  12. Aug 9, 2013
    8
    Addictive, bloody and fast-paced action. Cool retro design. A clever and engaging story. And a great soundtrack on top of it all. An awesome gaming experience that doesn't require a top-notch PC to play it. My only complaint is that it felt a bit short.
  13. Jul 28, 2013
    9
    Amazing indie game, the people who are giving it 0s and 1s out of spite are hipsters and angsty teens who are trying to be relevant for once in their lives. Don't let idiots cloud your vision, this is a must-get!
  14. Feb 14, 2013
    10
    This has got to be one of the best games I have played in quite a while. There are many games that offer great gameplay but the stories are usually the very simple, easy to understand nonsense that is also present in all blockbuster movies. And with Hotline Miami, one doesn't just get a pathetic, half-assed attempt at something more complex and meaningful but actually a complete one. For the movie lovers: think Inception vs. Memento.
    As for the awesome music and art style and everything else... that's covered in so many reviews already...
    There are only two minor gripes I have with the game: Enemies often can't be hit when they stand very close to you (although that may be because one's weapon reaches through them.... there usually isn't enough time to analyze this...). And there are no online leaderboards. Which is really a damn shame for a game with a score system as this one. Then again... making people hunt high scores just for the fun of it may not even be what the developers had in mind?
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  15. May 29, 2013
    10
    An excellent little indie game with an astonishingly good soundtrack, interesting plot, and great game play. I couldn't stop playing until I completed it, which took me about 3 hours, but for only a few dollars this is entirely worth the short play time.
  16. Dec 7, 2012
    5
    I'm fine with the 8-bit retro look. But there doesn't seem to be any real gameplay here. Just a very stylized look and increasingly graphic violence.

    You pick up the weapon on the ground, and use it to kill the next guy. Then you repeat those 2 steps ad infinitum. Theres not even much of a puzzle to it. You just have to click faster than the enemy.
  17. May 13, 2013
    9
    This is not a game for everybody. If you're really into story, this is not your game. If you don't like your reflexes to be challenged, this is not your game. If you need a game a $10 game to have tons of content, this is not your game. However, if you don't need a game to have a real story, if you love to be challenged to beat and even complete games, and if you love fast, twitchy gameplay, then this is most definitely your game. I'm one of those people, and this is one of my favorite games in years. This game knows it's intended audience, and if you're part of that group then you'll have a blast with this treat of a game. Expand
  18. Oct 23, 2012
    9
    An excellent little indie title that is not without its flaws. Currently (at launch) there are some stability issues though the developers are fixing them as quickly as possible. Also, the stealth mission (mentioned in the Destructoid review) does really suck. Thankfully, the rest of the game makes up for it. It has one of the best soundtracks in any game I've played; I'll definitely be listening to it outside of the game.

    The gameplay is fast paced and quite brutal but it requires you to be strategic or you'll quickly become overwhelmed. You can't zerg through this game, (nearly) everything kills you in a single hit. It isn't a very long game but what it offers is top notch (aside from that damn stealth level).
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  19. Feb 3, 2013
    4
    Personally, I didn't enjoy this game at all. I won't begrudge the devs the $2.50 I spent on it given the obvious care and attention that's been put into the music and aesthetic, but the gameplay style just left me cold. It really requires an absurd level of repetition to get through any part of the game in order to just learn the mechanics, and that's just not my cup of tea.

    The
    in-game brutality is matched only by how brutally the game treats the player. If that sort of gaming masochism is your thing, then have at it.

    For reference sake, I think Super Meat Boys is hard too. But this is harder a LOT harder. I enjoyed SMB up to a point. This, not so much.
    Expand
  20. Dec 28, 2013
    10
    Don't listen to the idiots around here saying b*llsh*t about hotline miami..IT IS A GEM!!!Story and mood wise!U need an Xbox360 controller for sure,but it is worth your time...Violent,psycho,atmospheric plus a SUPER soundtrack!What else u want from an indie game 18+?It's on sale now!GO 'N' GET IT!!!
  21. Oct 26, 2012
    9
    Hotline Miami is probably one of the best games of the year. The gameplay requires tactical thinking in a way that is almost puzzle-like, but it also requires extremely quick reflexes and skill. It's extremely fun and insanely addictive. The story is potent and meaningful, but also tongue in cheek, while the graphics are charming and colorful. But of all the presentation elements, it's the brilliant soundtrack that really takes the cake. If you think you can handle the punishment, then Hotline Miami is a must. Expand
  22. Oct 24, 2013
    4
    I have to say, I haven't seen so many 10 ratings on a game since The Last of Us on the PS3!
    Yet there are so many negative reviews. I don't get it.

    So here's the deal.... We have a top down shooter with NES style graphics, a high level of blood, gore, violence, and even some brief nudity (8-bit style!), and a stylized soundtrack of some low end "wub wub"... So what's not to love?!?


    Well, I have to admit I was really enjoying the first few levels. I was dying pretty often at first, but that's part of the learning experience and there is no penalty or 3 lives per game business.

    What I didn't like is the difficulty spike around level 5. It goes from only a couple enemies having weapons to EVERY enemy have fully automatic guns along with rabid dogs darting at you.
    So basically it plays like this... If a gun toting enemy sees you YOU ARE DEAD!

    It quickly becomes a game of "Don't throw the (with apologies to Q•bert) controller at the TV!
    It's a bit like being sniped by someone you can't see over and over again.

    Very frustrating IMO and I grew up playing, and in most cases, beating some of the harder classics such as Ninja Gaiden 1-3, Ghosts 'N Goblins, & Battletoads.

    Had they oven the player a fraction of a second to see and respond to an enemy it would have helped. O even a lesser difficulty option, but no, it plays like its on Maniac mode all the time.

    Perhaps the developer can add a slightly easier difficulty via an update. I've seen this happen before. I would definitely jump back in and play if they evened up the odds a bit.
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  23. Dec 22, 2012
    10
    this kind of games are the only ones that I really enjoy. Difficult, different to the rest of games and with adult content. The graphics and animations are awesome so as the faces (love the beard dude). I have no doubt that this is the goty of 2012, not those **** unlimited franchises that are all years the same game.
  24. Aug 2, 2013
    6
    Unique perspective and approach to the classical style of retro-walkie shooter. However, the gameplay comes down to your reaction skill run and slash that's all there is in this game. Found it really boring and frustrating after one hour of playing. Waste of money.
  25. Sep 5, 2013
    7
    Despite its minor technical issues regarding the engine, bugs, and glitches, the game manages to impress on all fronts. The action is engaging and loads of fun even when it gets slightly frustrating. The music is great and compliments the atmosphere perfectly. The various masks are also a nice addition.
  26. 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 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. Expand
  27. Oct 29, 2012
    6
    It's a decent game. At its best, it feels really good; At it' worst it's a gamer's worst nightmare. I'm still fighting the controls despite many hours of gameplay. Notable issues are line of sight (you'll die from enemies you can't even see more times than you'd like, awkward character rotation (especially noticeable with a melee weapon) means you'll miss your swings like you're some kind of drunk brawler (missing a swing = death 99% of the time). I keep dying because I don't feel comfortable with the controls. I long for a gamepad, and that's really not a good thing when I'm playing on my computer. It really feels like one of those twin-stick shooters on XBLA. It could certainly work great with a mouse, but in this case it's barely functional, never mind reliable or enjoyable in the midst of the action (also, your cross-hair isn't visible enough, which adds insult to injury). The game is also quite full of other really weird oversights (or were they design decisions? I honestly can't tell). For instance: if you occupy the same space as an enemy, that enemy can't hit you (melee or gun), neither can you hit him. That alone could be fine, but when combined with the awkward controls and the lack of enemy friendly fire it's quite a **** pain. Also, the doors keep getting in the way, opening and closing wildly when touched with anything (bullets included), sending enemies in a concussion (i.e. not killing them), but blocking your precious bullets. Also, it's quite a shock when an enemy rises from a pool of blood because he was knocked unconscious by the door and not killed by your bullets, and then he kills you (of course). There's also the most horrible boss in recent history [*spoiler?*] : the one with the motorcycle helmet. He's fully invincible (of course you don't know that until he kills you 3 times as you're standing in disgust) until he trows his **** knife, at which point you can bash him; also, he rotates around you, sort of not attacking you outright even though's he's faster than you and he's **** invincible. It feels so wrong with how the rest of the game plays, I felt cheated. [*/spoiler*] Oh and then there's that "stealth" section, which I don't even feel like describing. However, the game does build up quite an atmosphere. The story is engaging, the music is pretty damn awesome and the graphics work fine, despite inducing confusion in pitched battles (the screen kind of moves about, scorepoints clutter the screen, blood everywhere, flashes of light -oh, you're dead aren't you, I bet you didn't even notice. I sure haven't.) So in the end, pros: cool atmosphere, aesthetics are poignant and engaging. cons: the controls don't do the game justice, some horrible bosses and a god-awful stealth sequence. Still a decent game, though I'm confused by the incredibly high scores. Expand
  28. Aug 19, 2013
    7
    Awesome game, amazing soundtrack. Fast paced, very challenging, will have you trying to beat the same level 20 times.

    Only one complaint. It crashes, a lot. I'm on Windows 8 and certain levels crash almost every time. Seems like when too much is going on, the game will crash. This has made it very hard for me to get through the game.
  29. Dec 25, 2012
    8
    A lot better then I expected!!! I have so far only played a bit but I have enjoyed it all so far. The retro style is done well. 8 bit graphics aside I would have liked them to be a bit crisper. The pixels themselves actually looked grainy as well. The game play is tough. This is a game of trail and error and could induce someone to rage quit (depending on their sensibilities). MUSIC. The music is probably the best part of the game. It really does set the mood by either pumping you up for a lot violence or regretting the horrible crimes you just committed. All in all it is worth the $10... but if you find it sale (umm ... Steam) just buy it, you won't regret it. Expand
  30. Jun 21, 2013
    10
    I felt like I was playing NeoGeo... controls were perfect... it just had this real arcade feel to it. I dig it. There are a lot of negative reviews that piss me off... learn how to play the game before you diss it. There's some serious strategy here and the fun factor and replay value is high. The colors, the music, the way it feels, can't be ufcked with.

    Three top games in the last
    however many years: Shadow Complex, Super Meat Boy, Binding of Isaac, and Hotline Miami.

    Werd to your moms.
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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. 87
    From the get-go, Miami’s presentation has a unique style, with vivid colors, generous amounts of post-process filtering and a stunning soundtrack (you will just let the game play on, only to hear the tracks). But at the same time, all notions of continuous fast-paced action gameplay disappear. Hotline Miami is essentially a top-down stealth game, that rewards the player with imaginative (and quite violent) kill animations. [January 2013]
  2. Dec 18, 2012
    88
    A stylish slice of retro carnage. This is the bloodiest, least forgiving game of the year. [Jan 2013, p.85]
  3. Dec 17, 2012
    90
    A drug-induced coma of violence, strategy, death and rebirth. [Jan 2013, p.67]