User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 794 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 50 out of 794

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  1. Feb 3, 2013
    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.

    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.
  2. Nov 5, 2012
    80s graphics in a 2012 game. I know that hipsters and brain-dead people are gonna eat this up because "hurr-durr, it's indie", but this is pushing it.
  3. Oct 24, 2012
    I can handle top-down shooters. I can handle terrible eye-straining graphics, I can even handle trial and error gameplay, but one thing I will never understand is when everyone in the game has a life meter but you. For the life of me you will die, no less then 300 times, in ONE-SINGLE-HIT with anything even a door. Yet enemies take two, three, sometimes five hits to die. The screen rotates as you move, it shakes constantly and the controls are completely broken. It would have been a hit in the year it's taking place in (1989) but for 2012, the eye strain, the aggravation and the urge to drive to the developers and beat them within two inches of their lives is not worth it, and $9.99 is defiantly not worth it. Again yet another pile of trash that will go straight to the top of the charts. Expand
  4. Oct 27, 2012
    This belongs on Newgrounds, not Steam. This would've been average at best 10 years ago, now it's just sort of pointless, nostalgia will only take a game so far. There's a ton of free game websites full of this stuff.
  5. Jun 20, 2013
    I can not understand the general enthusiasm about this game. This is not an innovative indie title, but a rude, ugly and violent trial-and-error fest.
  6. Jan 4, 2013
    This game is not retro, although it tries very hard to be so. The controls do not feel like an 8-bit or 16-bit console. The music is something out of Pink Floyd and sounds nothing like the chip tunes of the era. Overall it feels like a retro game from someone that has only heard about them second hand. I only paid $4.99 yet I feel cheated.
  7. Mar 9, 2013
    Like others have said, it would have been a very good Flash game. If you're willing to pay for that, and have a very strong stomach for relentless and pointless gore, then this may be the game for you. I was willing to pay for it and I liked the few hours I played, but even as someone who's played and enjoyed FPS and fighting games (not to mention the GTA games) for twenty years the unpleasantness of this game makes me unwilling to keep playing it. Expand
  8. Jul 23, 2013
    Gameplay is fun... for about 30 minutes. At that point it starts to become incredibly repetitive. I was glad that it was over after 3-4 hours, as the gameplay couldn't even support that much. It's also as eye-straining as it is ugly. It may be that way by design, but that doesn't make it any more appealing.

    Bottom line: There are plenty of great indie games out there. This isn't one of them.
  9. Jul 23, 2013
    The game play is sub par at best. The controls are awful, the hit boxes odd and the NPCs have a penchant to sometimes be dead eyes and sometimes have worse aim than a storm trooper. This is besides the point of the horrible semi moving screen that makes anyone who thinks this game is skill based sadly mistaken. The point is this game just doesn't click on any levels. It isn't a fun top down, it isn't a fun shooter and it makes little sense at all. Overall I have honestly played better quality flash game. I understand the concept of retro but polish your retro up. This game just fails on so many levels it makes me want to cry. Expand
  10. Feb 26, 2013
    This game is absolutely god awful. I played 5 minutes of it, rage quit, and broke my keyboard. I hate this game and I hate the people who made it. I was so enraged by this game I felt the need to create a metacritic account just to express to everyone just how bad of a game this is. DON'T PLAY IT
  11. Sep 2, 2013
    I bought Hotline Miami on the Steam sale, tempted by good reviews. This game is just bad. Indie-retro-80`s style is only irritating( I`ve seen lesser pixels in HoMM 3). The controls reacts weird, and the game itself is ALL about killing. Maybe it has some plot, but it always follows the same template you are in your house, you pick up the phone, blah blah blah, you go to your car, loading, you arrive and kill everyone, you take something "important", you go back to the car, you buy something in the shop, you go back to your house, answer the call, blah blah blah, repeat. A lot of unnecessary violence isn`t fun either. The AI is completely unpredictable sometimes you shoot and nothing happens, second time everyone is running at you. Quick summation A LOT OF killing, next "retro" style, unsatisfying gameplay. Enemies can kill you, being "outside" the screen, so you can`t see them at all. And I`m not complaining because of the difficulty. SMB is harder, but more in a challenging way. One more thing the game is bugged some way and music doesn`t play (all other sounds do). This is irritating turned off after 20 minutes. Don`t buy it. Expand
  12. Oct 24, 2013
    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.
  13. Jan 27, 2014
    This game is so frustrating and empty. It's beyond me that it got such a high score.

    - To begin with, Hotline Miami has no customization beyond ''masks'' that give special abilities, no cinematics and no story whatsoever. I know it's not a 60$ game but it looks cooler than it is.

    - Devoid of a godmode, the game requires to start over a zillion times. It sucks. There is no
    justification to this.

    - Excluding the restart annoyance, the game is very short.

    Really beyond cool sounds and soundtrack, you will not find much in this one.
  14. Feb 17, 2014
    I had this game gifted to me on Steam and I thought it would keep me amused for a while, it didn't though it's the most overrated game I have played in a while.

    The graphics style and music are good but it stops there.

    At first glance looking at the steam page you might think this is an action game like Smash TV or Zombie Shooter, it's nowhere near as good as those and nowhere near
    as much fun, you basically have limited ways to kill the enemy who rush and one hit kill you all the time.

    The aim of the game is to die non stop and keep trying until you win and feel rewarded - just a shame the devs and all the fanboys forgot that games are supposed to be fun to play.

    In short - an overhyped game with a high difficulty to hide a shallow game underneath.
  15. Sep 1, 2013
    I like retro games, but didn't like this particular one. You always die. Always. Any hit on you and you die. But the game is fast, so you replay every single mission for 50 times. 30 seconds and you're dead, and all over and over again. Completed 2 chapters and didn't like it at all.

    Music is quite annoying. Played on the gamepad and didn't like controls (aiming) also.

    The game is
    quite cheap, but don't worth it anyway. Expand
  16. Apr 9, 2014
    Hotline Miami is a poor game that suffers from a long drag of trial and error approach. This game presents itself as a gritty, top down, action arcade game, but the game forces players to play exactly the way the game was supposed to be designed and leaves no room for spontaneity, experimentation or replay value.

    It's only a matter of minutes before you understand the A.I. pathways and
    exploit it to reach the objective. Every level is exactly the same with no variation.

    The story is juvenile at best. The music is mundane. And the trippy art style that constantly flashes colors at you and swerves the screen is literally sickening.

    So much for a game made using 'Game Maker'... *sigh*

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
    A stylish slice of retro carnage. This is the bloodiest, least forgiving game of the year. [Jan 2013, p.85]
  3. Dec 17, 2012
    A drug-induced coma of violence, strategy, death and rebirth. [Jan 2013, p.67]