User Score
8.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 987 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 56 out of 987

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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Jwv
    Jan 9, 2014
    7
    Hotline Miami's simplistic graphics and concept feels refreshing in a time where a lot of releases focus on complex game mechanics and life-like graphics. Simple but one of the most addictive games I ever played. I also liked the myriad of approaches to each level, especially with the masks, that makes for a high replay factor. A confusing and open storyline, but that just let's you focusHotline Miami's simplistic graphics and concept feels refreshing in a time where a lot of releases focus on complex game mechanics and life-like graphics. Simple but one of the most addictive games I ever played. I also liked the myriad of approaches to each level, especially with the masks, that makes for a high replay factor. A confusing and open storyline, but that just let's you focus on the nutty gameplay more. Utterly fun. Expand
  4. 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.
  5. AWG
    Jul 19, 2013
    6
    Hotline Miami starts from a good point but it fails to deliver a continuosly interesting game experience. It's not like you're playing BIT.TRIP RUNNER (i.e. you die 45 times in a row, spend one hour on one, single level, finally beat it and feel like a God): here you die 45 times in a row, spend one hour on one, single map, finally beat it and you feel like an idiot for wasting so muchHotline Miami starts from a good point but it fails to deliver a continuosly interesting game experience. It's not like you're playing BIT.TRIP RUNNER (i.e. you die 45 times in a row, spend one hour on one, single level, finally beat it and feel like a God): here you die 45 times in a row, spend one hour on one, single map, finally beat it and you feel like an idiot for wasting so much time of your life. I guess it's just a matter of atmosphere; they wanted them to be stylish and witty but in the end they're pretty plain. Expand
  6. Jun 20, 2013
    7
    Pretty great game. You can tell its indie though. The soundtrack is fantastic. The art style and animations are great. The story was pretty cool, weird and novel. The gameplay is kind of niche: you will have to play the same level many times often until you finish it. So, the game involves memorization. The repeated play has some issues, because there's some levels that have "new" gamePretty great game. You can tell its indie though. The soundtrack is fantastic. The art style and animations are great. The story was pretty cool, weird and novel. The gameplay is kind of niche: you will have to play the same level many times often until you finish it. So, the game involves memorization. The repeated play has some issues, because there's some levels that have "new" game mechanics that are sometimes not obvious to figure out, resulting in a lot of play throughs up to this one point until you figure it out (I think they should have offered gameplay tips at these obstacles). Some combat bugs, such as doors getting in the way of bullets oddly, which can become very frustrating, and the hit detection sometimes being odd. Expand
  7. Jan 28, 2013
    7
    This game is fun, and the tension is good. The soundtrack is particularly interesting as it is modern, but still manages to capture the flavor of chiptune without the grating tinny sound. The graphics are of Commodore 64 quality -- and this isn't an exaggeration -- so I can't really say anything good about them. But the game's greatest weaknesses are its repetitiveness and linearity. TheThis game is fun, and the tension is good. The soundtrack is particularly interesting as it is modern, but still manages to capture the flavor of chiptune without the grating tinny sound. The graphics are of Commodore 64 quality -- and this isn't an exaggeration -- so I can't really say anything good about them. But the game's greatest weaknesses are its repetitiveness and linearity. The levels are all different and progressively more difficult, but only in the way that levels in Sokoban change: ultimately, they are the same thing, but just organized differently. Which is ok. It works. But it isn't spectacular. Some people love the instant death without penalty (one shot kills you, but you just restart the level), but I find that it ruins the tactical aspect of the game. Instead of planning out your moves and playing it intelligently, you'll find that it's a lot easier just to do trial and error. One of the first things the game tells you is, "don't be afraid to die," and pretty early into the game, you really won't be and that detracts a bit from the mood. But for all its flaws, my overall impression is positive. The game does what it's supposed to do: it entertains. Just buy it when it's on sale. Expand
  8. Jan 2, 2013
    7
    Hotline Miami just oozes with atmosphere. The soundtrack is amazing and the simple graphical style looks surprisingly great. The story and setting is bizarre and grotesque and its casual use of extreme violence really sets the mood in place. The gameplay works great in its simplicity and it is as rewarding as it is challenging to succeed in the perfect way. The game has some minor flaws.Hotline Miami just oozes with atmosphere. The soundtrack is amazing and the simple graphical style looks surprisingly great. The story and setting is bizarre and grotesque and its casual use of extreme violence really sets the mood in place. The gameplay works great in its simplicity and it is as rewarding as it is challenging to succeed in the perfect way. The game has some minor flaws. Checkpoints placed before cutscenes is one of them. Its biggest flaw if you can call it a flaw is that the game isn't very long. Most will probably beat the game in about 5 hours or less. But if you take into account the very low cost of this game that is hardly a real problem. And i would wholeheartedly recommend everyone to pick this one up since the game offers some really quality gameplay for a cheap price. Expand
  9. Nov 8, 2012
    7
    NOT FOR EVERYONE - if you have a low tolerance towards any of the following: "bad" graphics (retro 16 bit), extremely cheap enemies (insane reflexes, often clairvoyant), bare-bones story (albeit a somewhat thought provoking one), and/or are susceptible to rage, stay the hell away from this game as you might very well suffer a stroke. The joy of successfully completing a level after 100+NOT FOR EVERYONE - if you have a low tolerance towards any of the following: "bad" graphics (retro 16 bit), extremely cheap enemies (insane reflexes, often clairvoyant), bare-bones story (albeit a somewhat thought provoking one), and/or are susceptible to rage, stay the hell away from this game as you might very well suffer a stroke. The joy of successfully completing a level after 100+ deaths (you die in one hit from anything unless you equip a certain item) cannot be overstated, but you might go insane in the process. Expand
  10. Dec 27, 2012
    7
    Hotline Miami is hypnotic. The score based, fast-paced arcade style action set to a pulsing background and thumping music produce an experience that's really unique. The game play is very trial and error; it takes several runs through a level to learn what works, yet alone what yields a high score. There's a very fulfilled and rewarding feeling gained when a section is cleared, however,Hotline Miami is hypnotic. The score based, fast-paced arcade style action set to a pulsing background and thumping music produce an experience that's really unique. The game play is very trial and error; it takes several runs through a level to learn what works, yet alone what yields a high score. There's a very fulfilled and rewarding feeling gained when a section is cleared, however, the same game play factors that produce the aforementioned satisfaction also produce frustration. The controls are finicky, there's a very thin line between sliding around the level racking up a score and bopping from corner to corner until someone ends your misery. If I had a nickel for every time that I was shot down by an enemy off screen, I would have enough money to pay for this game twice. It's worth noting that this fun arcadey-romp has a story, which is interesting enough to keep your attention and make all of your actions feel a little more bad-ass. Bottom line: With Hotline Miami, you get your cake and eat it too, except your cake has no icing. A great experience with A LOT of room for improvement. Expand
  11. Jan 2, 2013
    7
    It's a great time for Hotline Miami to stand between the indie games, as lots of them are getting rewarded by its premise (The Walking Dead and Journey for example). These games were acclaimed by their compelling story or beautiful imagery. The problem is this game doesn't have any beautiful images or an interesting story. You just have to do one thing: KILL. That's right! Remember GTA andIt's a great time for Hotline Miami to stand between the indie games, as lots of them are getting rewarded by its premise (The Walking Dead and Journey for example). These games were acclaimed by their compelling story or beautiful imagery. The problem is this game doesn't have any beautiful images or an interesting story. You just have to do one thing: KILL. That's right! Remember GTA and GTA II, well, this is exactly the same. Hotline Miami is a fun game, but it's not as original as it claims to be. The gameplay is simple. Kill everything that moves quickly before it kills you. You can grab guns and knives and you can throw some weapons too. Each head will reward us with sort of XP Points and at the end of the level we will see our efficiency. Cool, right? Now, the story. You are a man who dreams about other men with masks talking to each other about you. You wake up, you get a phone call about the "job" you have to do, and once you do the "job" you go to a bar and drink. It gets repetitive. Really repetitive. But this games is all about fun. Hotline Miami is a little bit of GTA mixed with the "Do it fast" theme of Bloody Trapland. The game, though, still is fun to play. Trying to improve our record will have us replaying levels many times, and even though it doesn't have a long duration, we have lots of level. Prepare to die...a lot! Hotline Miami's difficulty is insane. You must be fast, and good, and tactical. You have to look well before getting into trouble. Hotline Miami has those 2D RPG graphics that got lost in the past, but that look so stylish it's impossible not to fall in love with them again. It's also cheerfully violent. The fun, the style and gameplay of the game is what makes it worth it, enough for a good 7. Expand
  12. Apr 26, 2013
    6
    Hotline Miami has a unique, depressing, ominous atmosphere structured by trippy. dated visuals, and solid music. In saying that, the repetitive game play does begin to drag after a few chapters. Some frustrating bugs, on top of ridiculous boss levels that seem purposefully built to annoy, take the overall shine off of the game.
  13. May 30, 2013
    5
    I was expecting that Hotline Miami wouldn't be that good, but I tried it because of good critics and many people who suggested me to play.

    Pros: Idea Story: I found the whole idea not so unique, but there are some new elements. The story line is nice and it's gets better after a while. Cons: Graphics: The perspective and the graphics remind me of GTA, the one published back in
    I was expecting that Hotline Miami wouldn't be that good, but I tried it because of good critics and many people who suggested me to play.

    Pros:
    Idea Story: I found the whole idea not so unique, but there are some new elements. The story line is nice and it's gets better after a while.

    Cons:
    Graphics: The perspective and the graphics remind me of GTA, the one published back in 1997 and even that one had better graphics. We live in 2013, I don't see any point, why developers can't make proper 2013 graphics.
    Music: Boring music after some point, especially if you get stuck in one level.
    Gameplay: I found the gameplay weird and it doesn't really suits me. Weird movement and bad weapons design.
    AI: AI is totally random and it's really bad. Enemies can see their foes bodies and they don't react, but they can hear me killing someone with a knife 2 rooms away.

    The game itself has some unique ideas, have some potential. Well if it had some 2013 graphics this would be far more better.
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  14. Jan 4, 2013
    5
    It's not great, but it seems to do what it intended to... It's a Nintendo hard game in the overdone retro style. The only way it could be more cliche is if the enemies were zombies.
  15. Jan 2, 2013
    6
    Funny retro-looking game, but you have to be the king of hipster to even consider it a GREAT game. Wake up, guys. Nothing is "amazing" just because it's indie.
  16. 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.
  17. 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. TheHotline 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
  18. Dec 13, 2012
    7
    Drug-fueled Tactical Espionage Action in the 80s. You have to beat each level without being hit, rewarding stealth and planning versus run & gun. While short, it's a very unique action game and worth picking up at a reduced price.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. Jan 6, 2013
    7
    Hotline Miami is a good game but the graphics is really bad. The story was great although the game can be finished pretty quickly (4-5 hours in my case).
  22. Mar 21, 2013
    7
    Well, this game is nowhere near as hyped online, but it's still good for some good ol smashing. Visually, a retro look is becoming quite normal and is starting to get pretty old, but it's fitting for the plot. Learning the mouse is a pain at first, but after a while you get the hang of it. Enemies are ruthless, and I love the challenge. Trying again is as easy as hitting "r', so it's easyWell, this game is nowhere near as hyped online, but it's still good for some good ol smashing. Visually, a retro look is becoming quite normal and is starting to get pretty old, but it's fitting for the plot. Learning the mouse is a pain at first, but after a while you get the hang of it. Enemies are ruthless, and I love the challenge. Trying again is as easy as hitting "r', so it's easy to keep going. Everyone kept hyping the music too. I didn't think it was much to sneeze at, but hey, that's how it goes. It wasn't thrilling, but it felt, once again, for the plot. Worth a shot, I'd say no more than $5 worth though. Expand
  23. Jun 5, 2013
    6
    I get it. The style of this game really delivers with what it set out to be. An 80's gruesome bloody shlock. It does just that though, then just stops. After half an hour I felt I had saw everything Hotline Miami had to show. Which is really a shame.

    I would recommend it, as what it does provide is quite enjoyable and unique. Shame it doesn't delve deeper.
  24. 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 kindIt'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
  25. Aug 24, 2013
    5
    A really silly game. Which also has bad graphics. Which also has really warped humor. Which is also kind of mediocre and very much 1987 in terms of design. Give this a miss probably unless you really like this style.

    THE GROT REVIEW CRITERIA: After a long time writing reviews like an anus, think its time to set a few bad habits straight: Stop insulting designers. Show some respect for
    A really silly game. Which also has bad graphics. Which also has really warped humor. Which is also kind of mediocre and very much 1987 in terms of design. Give this a miss probably unless you really like this style.

    THE GROT REVIEW CRITERIA: After a long time writing reviews like an anus, think its time to set a few bad habits straight: Stop insulting designers. Show some respect for the design process and getting games in circulation. Hence (1) No Red scores. (2) Game scores as follows: Bad Game 5/10. Poor Game 6/10. Mediocre Game: 7/10. Good Game 8/10. Great game 9/10. Stella Game 10/10. To get 10/10 it must be a game that can be (theoretically) play-able for 1000+ hours. Not only great but near endless fun. Games may be bad or poor but making them should earn respect. Thus even the worst POS will still be a 5/10. 0/10 no longer exists in my vocabulary. Yellow is the new red. For the sake of accountability: you can reply if needed: Orctowngrot: Tim Rawlins: timtimjp@yahoo.com
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  26. Oct 2, 2014
    6
    Theme, art direction and adio are very well done and i like them. Sadly, the controls are horrible. Absolutly dreadful. Most of the time, deads are caused by the controls being unresponsive or the painsickingly bad mouse aiming.
  27. Mar 28, 2015
    5
    I love the soundtrack but that's about it. The combat was incredibly repetitive and frustrating. Find something else to waste money on amongst the sea of indie games.
  28. Jun 14, 2014
    7
    Hotline Miami is a very difficult very bloody game. It requires you to think outside the box to kill all of your enemies without getting killed yourself. This game has no mercy since you die in one hit with anything which leads you to the trial and error technique. The enemies also die in one hit for the most part but eventually they will bring in guys who take a lot more hits to drop.Hotline Miami is a very difficult very bloody game. It requires you to think outside the box to kill all of your enemies without getting killed yourself. This game has no mercy since you die in one hit with anything which leads you to the trial and error technique. The enemies also die in one hit for the most part but eventually they will bring in guys who take a lot more hits to drop. Although the enemies are tough the AI seems a little oblivious to your presence since the enemies are usually unaware of you until you get real close. This is probably for the best since if they could hear and see you from a distance it would pretty much render the game impossible. The graphics are stylish and interesting besides the enemy faces and has an outstanding soundtrack. Over all this is a pretty well made game and you should definitely try it. Expand
  29. Mar 14, 2015
    5
    Firstly, the game is HARD. But not unbeatable random like FTL, but it is hard, especially boss fights but this is expected from a retro game. If you dedicate yourself, you can learn pretty quickly and the game will become much much easier and that's where the real problem is. Repetition is the biggest problem of the game. Also it should have explained mask and weapon attributes, it didn't.Firstly, the game is HARD. But not unbeatable random like FTL, but it is hard, especially boss fights but this is expected from a retro game. If you dedicate yourself, you can learn pretty quickly and the game will become much much easier and that's where the real problem is. Repetition is the biggest problem of the game. Also it should have explained mask and weapon attributes, it didn't. I've learned that masks had attributes from Youtube. There are also bugs where weapon don't attract attention, hits don't register and etc.

    OST is awesome, pixelart is awesome. But this is not a 10$ game in 2015. If it's 1-2$ you can buy and try it, you may like it. I quit after chapter 7's boss fight and I have no intention to return. Some levels really take up your time (30 mins on more in a single level, I've seen really good players die 100 times in a row). There are many great indie games out there. Don't waste any more than couple bucks to this game. Overall, watch the videos. If you like it, buy: But only if it is very very cheap. Otherwise, stay away and spend your 10 $ on something else
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  30. Feb 9, 2015
    7
    Hard. This game is hard. Visuals are nice, old retro style to them. Plays very arcade like, and completely balls to the walls hard. I didn't enjoy the game a whole lot. Mostly because I'm not a fan for the Hard is the selling point type of games. But do I see why this is considered a good game? Yes of course.
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]