Metascore
85

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

User Score
8.4

Generally favorable reviews- based on 792 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
    100
    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
    90
    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
    90
    A drug-induced coma of violence, strategy, death and rebirth. [Jan 2013, p.67]
  4. Nov 9, 2012
    87
    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
    85
    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
    80
    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
    30
    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 187
  1. Jan 22, 2014
    10
    This harsh gritty top down arcade style shoot'em up, is one of the greatest indie games ever made. Everything in this game is flawless, the art, the music, the controls, and the story. Let's start with the art style, the game has an interesting mix of retro pixel art mixed with some bright colors and trippy visuals later on in the game. The its hard not to keep looking at the screen because the art just has you so mystified. Next is the music. The music is so wonderful, its a mix of 8-bit old school video game style music, with techno and its so dark and catchy. The music matches the game perfectly. Third the controls. Not much to say, easy, simple , fluid. But most importantly fun, they get really fun really fast. The fast pace of the game perfectly match the fast controls, and easy learning curve but longer mastery curve. Last the story. The plot is given in bits and pieces, and very cryptic. But when its all over all the pieces come together and you loose your mind. You really feel like YOU the player just witnessed some one loose their mind. Everything about this game adds not only great replayability value its so much fun for under ten dollars (even cheaper if you wait for a sale on steam). All in all this is a great game. Expand
  2. 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 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?
    Expand
  3. 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 Expand
  4. Jan 21, 2014
    9
    Let me break it all to you guys, this game is for those who enjoy: 1) GTA I & II, 2) Psychodelic/Progressive Music, 3) Arcade rush, 4) Arcade Graphics

    Pure 80's/90's awesome.
    Expand
  5. Jan 3, 2013
    8
    THE GOOD: Genius in it's simplicity and visceral in it's execution (pun intended) Hotline Miami is intentionally old skool (sic). Reminiscent in game play of the great Gauntlet and Alien Breed games of yesterdays, Hotline as been given some modern hyper stylings as blood and scenery gets chewed up as you make your away around the game. Action is quick and unrelenting as one misstep against the outnumbered enemies equals instadeath. I loved the graphics and music. 80's 8-bit text bounces and waves around the screen, while neon sprites and corridors make me wish I was colour blind. On occasion the game will throw some Super Nintendo Mode-7 spins and fades intentionally trying to give it that retro look. To keep things from being too samey,characters appear to have multiple animations, which made me feel that each kill was unique (pan of boiling water is one of my favorites so far). Audio and music is strong and suits 100% this title. In the mix are over 35 weapons and 25 unlockable animal masks, which each gives a slight game play change (greater punch reach, more ammo etc.). Guilty of being simple and fun.

    THE BAD: Very little of Hotline Miami can be described as 'bad'. The gameplay itself can take a little getting used to as melee weapons have a certain range and gun aiming takes some practice but this is all part of the charm. Although being reckless is recommended and gives you a bigger score, I keep finding myself planning my movement around the level. Often I'll stop and see what the enemy is carrying before I burst in with a pipe (only to be welcomed in a hail of machine gun fire). Thankfully the restarts are quick and allow you to get back into the action. Due to the graphical style on occasion I'll be caught out by an AI character sat down and blended into the background but this all part of the charm and learning curve. | I would have liked to have seen larger levels, more variety of enemy and a multiplayer co-op element would have sealed the deal and scored a 9+ from me. Rumors of a sequel are already floating around, so fingers crossed for more of the same with some extras.
    Expand
  6. May 7, 2013
    8
    Hotline Miami is definitely one of the most unique and fascinatingly brutal games to come out in a while. It lures you in under the guise of a retro experience, but once it has you in its long, greasy, blood-stained hands it will keep you there until the credits roll. Its nonstop, run-and-gun game play keeps the player invested and open to trying new ways to complete each of the game's extremely challenging levels. The visual style is fantastic, presenting itself in a dirty VHS tape, late 80s vibe that is equal parts Scarface and Vice City. Also, the game is better played with a controller, as touchy mouse controls make aiming and fighting significantly harder in my opinion. Expand
  7. Feb 17, 2014
    0
    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.
    Expand

See all 187 User Reviews