Generally favorable reviews - based on 51 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 693 Ratings

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  • Summary: Step into the neon-soaked underground of 1980s Miami as bizarre messages on your answering machine seem to be urging you to commit terrible acts of violence - but will you obey? Hotline Miami overflows with raw brutality and skull crushing close combat as you find yourself outgunned and using your wits to choreograph your way through impossible situations. An unmistakable visual style, a driving soundtrack, and a surreal plot that will have you question your own thirst for blood. Bash and blast through over 20 multiscreen levels with 35 unique weapons and collect 25 game-altering masks in one of the darkest and most unusual independent games on the scene. Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 48 out of 51
  2. Negative: 1 out of 51
  1. Dec 2, 2012
    Hotline Miami is proof that it is possible to create a fresh and addictive action game, even with the game's emphasis on retro. At the same time it evokes truly human feelings the modern-day shooters die trying to deliver.
  2. Nov 2, 2012
    It's a puzzle game and a strategy game as much as an action game, then, and like Rockstar's Manhunt, it will sicken you even as it provides its murky thrills.
  3. Dec 17, 2012
    A drug-induced coma of violence, strategy, death and rebirth. [Jan 2013, p.67]
  4. Nov 9, 2012
    For all the careful planning that might go in a stickup, it all usually comes down to clutching out impromptu, split second shootouts. Sometimes these quirks manifest as incompetent A.I. behavior or exploitative gameplay, but for the most part, it all congeals in a remarkably tense and satisfying experience with depth to go with its style.
  5. Oct 28, 2012
    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.
  6. Nov 6, 2012
    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.
  7. Nov 23, 2012
    I wonder if the developers themselves knew what exactly they were trying to create. Is it a stealth game? a tactical strategy? a top-down arcade? Kitschy, bold artwork is only there to cover up the lack of cohesive ideas, and crude execution.

See all 51 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 18 out of 172
  1. Jan 31, 2014
    Probably the best game I have ever played! As of writing this review, this is the only game I would give 10/10 to.
    +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!
    -I don't know, maybe you don't like the colors?
  2. Feb 24, 2014
    For a rich game company the graphics was so bad i thought it was pong. The gameplay sucks as bricks bounce about 4 times and nail people in the ass. Such a bad gamee, 10/10. Im going to go now because this game made me want to chop my big hairy willy off and eat my ball sacks. Expand
  3. Dec 10, 2012
    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 Expand
  4. Dec 25, 2013
    Atmosphere, gameplay mechanics, difficulty, artistic concept, psychedelic experience, awesome music etc. makes Hotline Miami a really good game. Totally worth playing, but beware of some bugs and a lot of unreasonable things happening. Expand
  5. Jan 29, 2013
    Going to throw this out before you read my review of this game, it might be worth your time checking out the bad reviews. If you don't then i'll sum it up to this, if you love this game your a blind, dumb hipster that love broken games. There to funny to read, but anyway......

    Hotline Miami is one of those different games to come out in the indie section. To be honest, When I first saw the game I didn't think it belonged there until I got a peak at the gameplay. When it went up on sale not to long ago I thought I would give it a try and right away loved the game. At the begining of the game your greeted by a homeless looking guy who teaches you the basics then you meet the masked three (that's what I call them anyway.) I'm not going to talk about story and ruin it for ya so lets talk game play.

    Since the game is a over the top shooter it doesn't look like something you could be stealthy at, but that's where your wrong. Depending on what you like in weapon wise and what your mask does you could go silent or all out but the trick of this game is to plan your attack instead of going right at it, a simple thing that many game developers tend to push to the side to help out newer gamer's. As long as you think before you act you can get threw this game pretty well but remember, just like your enemies can be killed by one hit, you can die with one hit as well so trial and error is needed when you first start playing just to get use to it. The more you kill the more points you collect and you can make more points by how bold you get, how many chained kill you collect and even how you take them out and with allot of different weapons to choose from you wont get tired trying something different like switching your shotgun for a base ball bat or sword.

    I myself haven't beaten the game just yet but from what I have played I am very pleased with this game, but to be honest I like to see more for this game and if not this one then I hope to see allot more for Hotline Miami 2 (yes they are already developing a second game). From what I can tell, after you beat the story there isn't much else for you to do except play the sorry again and get high scores on all the levels. What this game could use is a user friendly level maker along with some sort of server system to share these levels to other players, but that's just a personal idea since I don't want to just drop this game after defeating it. Besides that, I really dig the music in this game. It kind of gave me a 80's movie soundtrack feel to it and goes well with the entire gameplay feel.

    In the end, I'm giving it a 8.5 (even tho I can only give it a 8 here) for trying something new and winning.

    P.S. Notice I never talked about graphics beyond 'over top shooter'? That's because graphic's is never something you should worry about. you don't need good graphic for a good game, the game could look like crap and still be awesome.
  6. Feb 19, 2013
    It's unique. You have to try to kill everyone on the floor without taking a single hit, otherwise you die and have to start that floor all over. So it's not exactly a top-down shooter/hack an slash game since you have to try to perfect each section without even getting hit, it's almost more of a puzzle game, but it's hard to place this down in a genre. The presentation is very ugly, but that's intentional, it adds to the style. The music is notable as well. If you're interested, it's worth checking out. Expand
  7. 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*

See all 172 User Reviews