User Score
8.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 962 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 56 out of 962

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  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 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, soHotline 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
  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 ORIGINAL CONCEPT DIFFIDENTLY WORTH ALL YOUR MONEYS
  3. 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.
  4. Oct 26, 2012
    10
    Excellent 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!
  5. Jan 27, 2015
    9
    A little game with good game, art and sound design. Retro feeling is unique and killing methods are brutal. Fast paced, ruthless and colorful. Highly recomended.
  6. Sep 30, 2014
    10
    Hotline Miami is one of the two only games in the world that I consider 'perfect'. The gameplay is perfect, satisfying and unbelievably fun. The visual are great, and while they aren't your general high-polygon AAA graphics, the art style they went for is truly the best they could have chosen in my opinion.

    I love this game. Hotline Miami 2 needs to hurry up and come out, but don't rush
    Hotline Miami is one of the two only games in the world that I consider 'perfect'. The gameplay is perfect, satisfying and unbelievably fun. The visual are great, and while they aren't your general high-polygon AAA graphics, the art style they went for is truly the best they could have chosen in my opinion.

    I love this game. Hotline Miami 2 needs to hurry up and come out, but don't rush it. My wallet is waiting, Dennaton.
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  7. Mar 11, 2014
    9
    It's got the Kill Bill style bloody weaponised mass murder expertly merged with the very up close, personal, drug-fueled ultra violence from A Clockwork Orange.
  8. Jun 10, 2014
    9
    Exigente pero visual y conceptualmente interesante juego que nos retrotrae a cuando probamos por primera vez el GTA1. Sin duda uno de los juegos indies de 2012 y una fantástica compra.
  9. Jun 26, 2014
    9
    Yes, I am late to this game. I feel quite foolish for ignoring this game for this long and is one of the few regrets in my life.

    MUST HAVE GAME!!!!! This game is stunning, just stunning. Extremely colorful and each level is carefully crafted to allow you to have a different experience with each play through. Seemingly a gore fest for a story actually is creative and unique story.
    Yes, I am late to this game. I feel quite foolish for ignoring this game for this long and is one of the few regrets in my life.

    MUST HAVE GAME!!!!!

    This game is stunning, just stunning. Extremely colorful and each level is carefully crafted to allow you to have a different experience with each play through.

    Seemingly a gore fest for a story actually is creative and unique story. Something truly amazing!

    The soundtrack... Oh my. Best Soundtrack of the Decade. Addicting and you will replay certain levels and parts just to hear the song.

    Difficulty, quite brutal, but it only adds to the gameplay. It's also a plus because you will get to hear the amazing soundtrack... so its a win-win!

    Really though, amazing game. Literally an almost perfect game! The only thing it needs is just a change of pace with a puzzle type section or something to just switch it up more. MUST HAVE GAME!
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  10. Oct 27, 2012
    9
    Hotline Miami produces an amazing atmosphere - a cross between a David Lynch movie and 'Drive'. The soundtrack is amazing, and mixed with the great game play, Hotline really gets your adrenaline pumping. A must buy.
  11. 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 beAn 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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  12. 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 roomIt'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
  13. Apr 4, 2013
    10
    This game is one of the best indie games that I have played in a long time. I literally spent a whole day dedicated to this game. Its brutal, fun, and addicting, and that's all I need for a decent game.
  14. Jan 16, 2014
    10
    A gaming masterpiece.

    I picked this bad boy up on Steam yesterday for $2.49 but even at its full price of $10 I wouldn't have been disappointed. A brutally tough and gory retro romp through a psychedelic 80's Miami. What's not to love? The audio is sensational. The various weapons and sound effects are crisp and as for the musical score? It's available as a standalone purchase if
    A gaming masterpiece.

    I picked this bad boy up on Steam yesterday for $2.49 but even at its full price of $10 I wouldn't have been disappointed. A brutally tough and gory retro romp through a psychedelic 80's Miami. What's not to love?

    The audio is sensational. The various weapons and sound effects are crisp and as for the musical score? It's available as a standalone purchase if that's any indication of the quality ;)

    The graphical style is a tip-of-the-hat to yesteryear gaming - there's even a pixelated NES hooked up in the protagonist's, bedroom. When you consider this game was developed by a team of two men and the finished product we have is a refresh of an old game concept put on a 'maybe pile,' any commenters that suggest this game is merely a 'hipster' money grab have made their opinion null and void.

    Gameplay wise, I couldn't help but be reminded of True Lies for the SNES, but the unforgiving enemies and one-hit (for the most part) kills have a Smash TV vibe to them. But this game is unique. You can approach a stage a number of ways, by perhaps either stealthily knifing everyone as their back is turned, or trying to funnel enemies through a choke point with 6 shotgun rounds at the ready. In later levels you'll need every trick in the book to make through alive.

    In summary, if you like a challenge and some good old fashioned violence, buy this game!
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  15. Nov 1, 2013
    10
    Its simple and fun and definitely on my list for Indie game of the year. It just feels like an 80's exploitation film, and reminds me of a lot of crime films from the time. Its easy to get addicted in its clever gameplay and you'll never get tired of cracking a dude over the head with a baseball bat, or finding other gruesome ways to kill your opponents.
  16. Sep 25, 2013
    10
    Hotline Miami gives what no other game can do, it has a perfect mix of strategy, stealth, and action, and it also has unique music and graphics, people may say it's hard but it makes the player strategize and make lots of different tactics on each stage.
  17. Jan 31, 2014
    10
    Probably the best game I have ever played! As of writing this review, this is the only game I would give 10/10 to.
    PROS:
    +The controls are tight and well flowing. +The story is interesting, and makes you think more than you would expect an arcade style game to make you. +The soundtrack is one of the best I have ever heard! +It is so satisfying for even the most simple of kills - not
    Probably the best game I have ever played! As of writing this review, this is the only game I would give 10/10 to.
    PROS:
    +The controls are tight and well flowing.
    +The story is interesting, and makes you think more than you would expect an arcade style game to make you.
    +The soundtrack is one of the best I have ever heard!
    +It is so satisfying for even the most simple of kills - not to mention how amazing it feels when you finally beat a level.
    +It is very difficult, which normally annoys me a tad-bit, but this game adds re-playability through it's extreme difficulty.
    +The simple graphics make it easy to continue through the game; what I mean is the kills make you cringe in the 2D style - imagine if it was 3D and realistic! Yuck!
    CONS:
    -I don't know, maybe you don't like the colors?
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  18. 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
    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.
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  19. Oct 26, 2012
    10
    There's been a while since I didn't play anything so addictive as this game. I'd even dare to say it feels far more immersive than nowadays boring and unchallenging AAA titles. If you have any real knowledge about video games and good taste, then you'll enjoy this game. The artistry and music are also awesome. It definitely is a must buy.
  20. Nov 4, 2012
    10
    Two guys. Old and primitive technology (Game Maker 7.1, 2007). One wonderful game in old-school hardcore style. Fantastic environment and atmosphere: from soundtrack to visual effects. Well designed gameplay / mechanics. It's godlike!
  21. Mar 20, 2013
    9
    I found Hotline Miami to be a great game. The story was vague but you could make it what you wanted it to be, that's why I liked it. I admit gameplay was repetitive but it was still fun throughout. Besides aren't all games repetitive? While Hotline Miami wasn't groundbreaking, you can still call me a fan. Can't wait for the sequel.
  22. Nov 4, 2012
    10
    A personal favorite and personal indie GOTY, Hotline Miami allows you to relive the days of newgrounds and Xgenstudio's "Stickman Arena" with it's arcade, top-down, style. The gameplay isn't the only thing really mesmerizing about the title, though, the music was flawlessly chosen for the title to portray the feelings of the protagonist. Definitely cathartic and worth a try for anyone whoA personal favorite and personal indie GOTY, Hotline Miami allows you to relive the days of newgrounds and Xgenstudio's "Stickman Arena" with it's arcade, top-down, style. The gameplay isn't the only thing really mesmerizing about the title, though, the music was flawlessly chosen for the title to portray the feelings of the protagonist. Definitely cathartic and worth a try for anyone who can appreciate a retro style arcade title. Expand
  23. Oct 29, 2012
    10
    Ultraviolence, through and through.. just splendid for those who have the stomach. as far as game mechanics go, for me it took a little time to get used to, but the learning curve can be pretty steep, and it will definately sharpen your reflexes. ive beat the game, but i still want to unlock all the secrets and the alternative endings. not to mention the mask.. all in all its a trueUltraviolence, through and through.. just splendid for those who have the stomach. as far as game mechanics go, for me it took a little time to get used to, but the learning curve can be pretty steep, and it will definately sharpen your reflexes. ive beat the game, but i still want to unlock all the secrets and the alternative endings. not to mention the mask.. all in all its a true bargain. you get way more fun out of it, than you put money in. 9/10 Expand
  24. Oct 29, 2012
    9
    I enjoy the fact that this game kicks my butt. I'm fairly good at games and this thing is tough! I like the fact that it actually takes skill. There are things I don't like about it (lack of options, minor physics issues, and even more minor control issues) but they are mostly blurred in the background while I'm killing people mindlessly. There are different masks to be worn which give youI enjoy the fact that this game kicks my butt. I'm fairly good at games and this thing is tough! I like the fact that it actually takes skill. There are things I don't like about it (lack of options, minor physics issues, and even more minor control issues) but they are mostly blurred in the background while I'm killing people mindlessly. There are different masks to be worn which give you certain advantages and unlockable weapons to use which generate randomly. The replay isn't fueled so much by that though, its more just the release of stress you get from bashing in a whole bunch of sprited heads (they are bad guys though and they deserve such treatment). Expand
  25. Nov 3, 2012
    10
    This is not a game that everyone will enjoy. It presents a disconcerting, neon-glowing underworld through which the player is propelled by addictive, ultra-violent game mechanics. These actions, and their motivations, are turned on the player by posing them as questions - both outright, and implicitly, when the violence reaches its stomach-turning peaks. Hotline Miami presents one of theThis is not a game that everyone will enjoy. It presents a disconcerting, neon-glowing underworld through which the player is propelled by addictive, ultra-violent game mechanics. These actions, and their motivations, are turned on the player by posing them as questions - both outright, and implicitly, when the violence reaches its stomach-turning peaks. Hotline Miami presents one of the strongest explorations of video game violence and player motivations ever put to binary. It is also an important game. It brings to a mass audience what indie games are capable of: tackling issues that mainstream games **** around to avoid offending the press and the public, as well as eschewing the linear criteria of what's considered "quality" presentation in games. The game would be no better with more advanced graphics - in fact, the themes would be diluted by a greater focus on realism. The neon lights coupled with streaking blood and bright pink gore act like a scribbled highlighter on a page. The iconography of the character art works towards setting the player up: each enemy is faceless, their silhouettes only changing to convey what type of threat they are. They are set up to be classified as problems to be solved. This is what makes the questions posed to the player so powerful.

    The game is fun. But it's a strange kind of fun. I would implore you to try it with an open mind, without trying to frame it or categorize it at first. Like a great art-house film, it feels very "complete" in what it sets out to do, which goes above and beyond trivial issues such as "I don't like 2d art" or "why is there no health bar". Those who fail to open up to new experience miss out on a lot in life, this game being no exception...
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  26. Oct 30, 2012
    8
    The brutal action, intoxicating music, and vibrant pixel-art push the satisfying brutality of tactical murder into a surreal dream-like experience that you simply can't forget. The story and gameplay fit together perfectly, and the small amount of randomization keeps things fresh as you constantly pound the restart button after getting your brains splattered across the floor. The plot isThe brutal action, intoxicating music, and vibrant pixel-art push the satisfying brutality of tactical murder into a surreal dream-like experience that you simply can't forget. The story and gameplay fit together perfectly, and the small amount of randomization keeps things fresh as you constantly pound the restart button after getting your brains splattered across the floor. The plot is intelligent, vague, and overwhelmingly surreal to the point of simultaneous satisfaction and confusion. In the end you'll be left with your thoughts, and you'll probably have questions. But, after a little brain power, you'll think you have the plot figured out when all of the sudden you realize that you already knew the plot. You WERE the plot. If that sounds weird, it's because this game is weird, as well. While the game has some flaws, they can be overlooked for the most part, and you'll find yourself almost oblivious to the problems during gameplay. For now, I'll give the game an 8. Mostly due to technical problems that the developers are already working on, and because of the severe lack of options. If the game had been in development just a bit longer I think it could have been a perfect 10. Expand
  27. Oct 30, 2012
    10
    Full review: http://newgameplus.co/pc/hotline-miami-review/

    Hotline Miami, from indie developer Dennaton Games, is a hard-hitting, visceral experience. It starts in a dark alleyway where a nameless observer instructs you to kill three men. The first two with your fists, the last one with a baseball bat. The violence in Hotline Miami is brutal. It isn
  28. Oct 26, 2012
    9
    Hotline Miami is a Indie done right. The combination of stealth and gruesome combat is great! The visual style with neon-colors and the great soundtrack underpin a really surreal and quite interesting plot that connects all of the murder scenes. This is by far the best Indie game I've ever played even surpassing FTL and Meatboy. Don't miss this but be warned that it's an adult theme.
  29. Jun 16, 2013
    8
    Hotline Miami is a brutal top-down shooter where you're instructed to kill a whole bunch of people and you really don't know why. The game is incredibly unsettling, between the genocide, the creepy music, the graphics that look like a terrible VHS recording, the terrible sense of increasing loneliness and desperation, and the sense that maybe all of it isn't real, even by the game'sHotline Miami is a brutal top-down shooter where you're instructed to kill a whole bunch of people and you really don't know why. The game is incredibly unsettling, between the genocide, the creepy music, the graphics that look like a terrible VHS recording, the terrible sense of increasing loneliness and desperation, and the sense that maybe all of it isn't real, even by the game's standards.

    The gameplay is tough. The action is frantic, since one shot kills you and enemies move quickly, yet requires a lot of planning as you decide how to take on heavily-guarded buildings. The harder battles are ridiculously difficult. The sound is creepy and very fitting. The graphics are simple 2D, but the aesthetic is also unsettling. The controls are tough to get used to, but ultimately work most of the time. The story's somewhat minimal, but the story that is there is very interesting.

    I think this game is worth the $10 purchase, and if this looks interesting to you, I don't think you'll be disappointed. If you enjoy it, there's a lot of replayability here too. Definitely get it if it's on sale. The soundtrack is very good, but it's not exactly feel-good music. Either way, consider picking up the soundtrack too.
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  30. Feb 6, 2013
    10
    A hazy, grimy and unapologetically brutal rampage through an 80s tinted world, or a subversive and though-provoking look into the pervasiveness of excess violence in video games and media in general? Decide on whichever you want, as none of these questions really matter when you're actually down playing this wonderfully addictive, and surprisingly tactical, kill-fest.
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]