Metascore
85

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

User Score
8.4

Generally favorable reviews- based on 751 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 181
  1. 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
  2. Jan 17, 2014
    10
    Hotline Miami is the type of game that you sit down, play, and figure out three hours later that you are still playing it. The game's replay-ability, story, and fantastic gameplay are wonderful to experience, but the reason Hotline Miami deserves a ten instead of a nine is the music. The soundtrack alone gets a ten. 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. Feb 20, 2014
    9
    This thing hit all the right spots. It's retro and it's new, it's challenging and it's fun, it's serious and it's not, it's linear and it's subversive, it's atmospheric to the point of mysticism and it's actually crude reality. All the elements of the game from the graphics to the music to the plot to the gameplay mix together so well it's, pardon the pun, criminal. Plus, for an indie 2d game this has some shockingly realistic combat mechanics! Think about it: this is exactly what would happen if you burst into a building full of mafia thugs.

    ...minus the retry button.
    Expand
  5. 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'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.
    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 181 User Reviews