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Hotline Miami

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Critic Reviews 81% add missing review

Eurogamer.net (UK) (10 out of 10)

I guess that's the thing, really. So many games are really good at one or two things, or they're full of lots of good ideas that you respect individually, and their qualities arrive in your head with great fanfare, like a county parade trailing down your high street. Hotline Miami isn't like that. It only works as a whole, and it doesn't hit you like a flavour; it builds up in your system like an intravenous solution. If you took away the masks, or the blinking colours, or knocking over guys with doors, or the stuff about answerphone messages, or the DeLorean, or the wobble on the screen, or the super-fast movement, or walking back through what you've just done, you probably wouldn't understand why it stopped working, but it would definitely stop working. Fortunately, it doesn't, and that's why there's only one number to dial.

Oct 23rd, 2012 · Windows · read review

Giant Bomb ( )

Hotline Miami is a nightmare you won't want to forget.

Nov 5th, 2012 · Windows · read review

Ani-Gamers (4 out of 4)

I don't have the time or money to play video games like I used to. Of all the games released in the year 2012 that I can remember playing, one felt like I had accidently wandered into an intimate folk rock concert where I didn't know anyone (Sword & Sworcery, which I also reviewed), and the other was a novel in which I pushed buttons to flip the pages (Analogue: A Hate Story). I'm grateful to be reminded from time to time that video games can be about more than reading, hand-holding, and good feelings. Hotline Miami is easily my Game of the Year.

Dec 17th, 2012 · Windows · read review

RETRONUKE (9.5 out of 10)

Hotline Miami might be one of the most fun games i have ever played. It has action, great graphics, and an incredible soundtrack. If the challenging stages, fun weapons, and thumping dance beats don’t keep you coming back for more, i don’t know what will.

Jan 26th, 2013 · Windows · read review

OMGN: Online Multiplayer Games Network (9.4 out of 10)

Hotline Miami combines stellar gameplay, a fantastic, dark narrative, and one of the best soundtracks for any game this year. It’s a challenging experience that demands high commitment from the player but also continuously rewards him for his struggles and efforts with a driving plot and unlockables. It’s one of the strongest releases this year and one that will remain in the player's mind long after he has murdered his way to the top.

Dec 17th, 2012 · Windows · read review

Retro Spirit Games ( )

Overall Hotline Miami is violent beyond belief, sleazy and sordid, indeed all kinds of wrong. But is also a breath of fresh air and a hugely enjoyable game deserving of high praise. Sure it is not going to win over any of the doubters in the 'Are Video games Art?' debate, but it's bloody good fun and should be experienced by everyone.

Oct 27th, 2012 · Windows · read review

Entertainium ( )

Despite its technical flaws, Hotline Miami excels in its goal: it’s a challenging, lightning-fast paced gore-fest that harks back to the first Grand Theft Auto in both its graphical style and soul. This is an indie game through and through, no holds barred and makes no excuses of it. It’s an unique, gory and neon-filled blast that you shouldn’t miss.

Oct 25th, 2012 · Windows · read review

IGN UK (8.8 out of 10)

Hotline Miami’s momentum of mystery builds right up to its finale, where snarling cynicism is offered as a justification for why all this machinery of neon fuzz and thumping bass, bright blood and fractured identity was started up in the first place. Yet the justification is also disarmingly simple, the same reason why quarters were dropped into arcade machines built during the late ‘80s era Dennaton Games so clearly reveres. Why bother with Hotline Miami? Because it exists. Because it’s fun. Because it deserves to be played.

Oct 26th, 2012 · Windows · read review

IGN (8.8 out of 10)

Hotline Miami is a striking blend of fast ultraviolence, a dense, challenging story and brilliant presentation.

Oct 26th, 2012 · Windows · read review

GameSpot (8.5 out of 10)

Hotline Miami is a top-down shooter where you murder everybody you see. You require nothing more than an answering machine message and an address to butcher each and every soul within the game's pixelated, 2D walls. But you're never given a reason for your psychotic actions--the focus is on the joy of murder, and though Hotline Miami can be frustrating at times, its frantic gameplay and slick presentation make for some gloriously satisfying bloodshed.

Oct 29th, 2012 · Windows · read review

Svenska Dagbladet (SvD) (5 out of 6)

Den surrealistiska storyn, täta spelmekaniken, 8-bitsdesignen och det fylliga soundtracket skapar en estetisk och abstrakt enhetlighet som gör det möjligt att samtidigt förmedla en verklig poäng. Det är ovanligt och hedervärt. Jag tycker inte om att göra andra illa, men jag tycker om ”Hotline Miami”.

Nov 8th, 2012 · Windows · read review

3D Juegos (8.2 out of 10)

Simplemente espectacular. Hotline Miami es un interesantísimo juego descargable gracias a su impactante puesta en escena, adictiva jugabilidad y lo enigmático de su argumento. Es verdad que podría haber sido algo más largo, que la IA de los enemigos debería estar más pulida, o que su apartado gráfico no saca todo su potencial; pero el delirante viaje que propone a través de la mente de un asesino es tan condenadamente bueno, que su compra es muy recomendable.

Oct 31st, 2012 · Windows · read review

Imperium Gier ( )

Kilka twistów fabuły (naprawdę warto się na niej skupić), psychodeliczna muzyka (dzięki której być może ktoś sięgnie po jedną z najlepszych opublikowanych w tym roku płyt), lokacje pulsujące hipnotycznymi kolorami – to wszystko sprawia, że do Hotline Miami pasuje jeden z najbardziej wyświechtanych przymiotników lat 90. Ta gra jest po prostu „lynchowska” w każdym, wielokrotnie nadużytym znaczeniu tego słowa. Kończysz ją ze świadomością, że uczestniczyłeś w jakimś cokolwiek porytym eksperymencie psychologicznym, sprawdzającym wrażliwość na olbrzymią ilość zdecydowanie brutalnych bodźców i niekończące się porażki. Jakie wnioski wyciągniesz z tego eksperymentu – to już zależy tylko i wyłącznie od ciebie, niewątpliwie jednak warto się sprawdzić.

Nov 9th, 2012 · Windows · read review

Pixel Perfect Gaming ( )

Hotline Miami has an old school charm that is very addictive. Even the techno sound track will have you grooving along as you murder your victims. Hotline Miami captures that retro appeal that no 3D game could ever accomplish. Its simplistic nature proves that it doesn’t have to be 3D to be a good game.

Oct 23rd, 2012 · Windows · read review

Hardcore Gamer Magazine (4 out of 5)

Hotline Miami is an outstanding title that manages to stand out despite both retro-styled games and overhead shooters being crowded genres. While I wish it supported controllers, particularly twin sticked-ones, the default control setup works well once you put some time into it. It’s an easy recommendation for those who love overhead shooters, games with creepy tones or retro styles and enjoy either dubstep or synth music. The soundtrack is one of the game’s greatest assets, and would be worth buying on its own regardless of interest in the game itself. Anyone used to a WASD control setup will want to play this ASAP, while those who aren’t may be better served to wait for a sale.

Oct 23rd, 2012 · Windows · read review

Adrenaline Vault, The (AVault) ( )

It never gets quite as pretentious or blunt about things as Spec Ops: The Line does, but Hotline is slyly self-conscious about its madness. Its garish style is part 80s period piece, part commentary on violence. As much as I admire Hotline, it’s hard to coalesce my feelings about it. I have a similar reaction to Tarantino films. I adore how they’re put together, but I feel terrible by the end. Somewhere between Little Green Bag and the camera closing in on a terrified Mr. White, I realize that a switch has been made. I offer a similar qualified recommendation for Hotline Miami: Be careful what you wish for. You just might get it.

Jan 21st, 2013 · Windows · read review

Jeuxvideo.com (16 out of 20)

Mieux vaut être prévenu, Hotline Miami n'est pas un titre à mettre entre toutes les mains. Vous risquez fort, en effet, d'être rebuté par son extrême violence, son look rétro et son gameplay intransigeant. Mais si vous êtes un joueur nostalgique accro au sang, au pixel et au challenge, vous ne pouvez pas passer à côté de cette perle à l'état brut qui pourrait bien vous faire perdre la raison.

Oct 30th, 2012 · Windows · read review

Atomic Gamer (8 out of 10)

Hotline Miami is difficult and violent, but it's not aggravating when you lose, and it's very rewarding when you win. The art style and crazy theme are like almost nothing you've seen in games before, and the simple but frantic action will keep you coming back for more. Sure, developer Dennaton Games could have added to this concept in many ways, but this is their first retail game together, and it's already jam-packed with brutal combat - and the $10 price tag on Steam sure doesn't hurt, either. Just be aware of the technical issues, and maybe wait until you hear of fixes if you're concerned about them. If you're a fan of neo-retro games that push the boundaries of good taste and challenge the idea of what "sane" means, then Hotline Miami is a must-have.

Oct 25th, 2012 · Windows · read review

Games TM (8 out of 10)

Unfortunately, our review experience was severely hampered by bugs. Progress glitches, crashes and freezes repeatedly dogged the flow of the game, and it took multiple reinstalls just to get past the fourth level. A shame, too, as when it works - and, for many, it appears to do so just fine - Hotline Miami is a brooding, twisted fantasy that is as strong mechanically as it is stylistically. Another indie treat for 2012.

Nov 22nd, 2012 · Windows

GamesRadar ( )

Under Hotline Miami’s graphically limited 16-bit appearance lies a powerful game that lets you examine what it means to play violent video games. While it may lack a certain technical finesse, Hotline Miami manages to take players down a road not many games do. It’s as much fun to play through the game as it is edifying to reflect on what we’ve done, and for that, it is quite powerful.

Oct 31st, 2012 · Windows · read review

4Players.de (77 out of 100)

Der erste Blick auf Hotline Miami bewirkte bei mir große Freude darüber, dass meine Zeitmaschine endlich funktioniert und ich exklusiv einen Blick auf die Alpha-Version des ersten Grand Theft Auto werfen durfte. Die grobe Pixel-Präsentation ist... gewöhnungsbedürftig. Und das aus dem Keyboard einen nachweislichen Retro-Liebhabers. Aber hier ist die krude Kulisse Mittel zum Zweck, sie passt hervorragend in das absurde Design und ergibt in Kombination mit dem minimalistisch, aber doch nachhaltig pumpenden Soundtrack eine ebenso ungewöhnliche wie unheimliche Atmosphäre. Das Spiel könnte man zunächst als plumpe Schlachtplatte abtun, ein Alien Breed ohne Aliens. Und genau so kann man es auch spielen. Aber seine eigentliche Wirkung entfaltet es nur, wenn man nach den Regeln spielt, wenn man Türen in Gesichter stößt, am Boden liegende Köpfe zerschmettert und ein Stockwerk Schrittchen für Schrittchen von den namen- und gesichtslosen Feinden säubert.

Nov 1st, 2012 · Windows · read review

GameStar (Germany) (76 out of 100)

Bockschwer, hässlich wie die Nacht und dennoch eine Spaßgranate. Wie ein Getriebener absolviere ich Mission um Mission, will mehr über die Beweggründe meiner Spielfigur erfahren und plane mit angespanntem Nervenkostüm, wie ich den letzten Gegner eines Stockwerks erledigen könnte. Hotline Miami hat es geschafft, mich von Anfang bis Ende vor den Monitor zu fesseln. Sicher: Man kann sich an der schwachen Grafik und der fehlenden Abwechslung stören, verpasst dadurch aber ein in sich stimmiges, atmosphärisches Actionspiel, das weitaus durchdachter und intelligenter ist, als seine surreale Blutfassade auf den ersten Blick offenbart.

Dec 13th, 2012 · Windows · read review

Geeks Under Grace (7.1 out of 10)

Hotline Miami is the kind of novelty game that will occupy one's interest for a time long enough for completion, but piling bodies up to the ceiling and painting rooms red with bodily fluids is fun only up until the enchantment of quality controls, rhythmic soundtrack, and grotesque objectives fades.

Mar 10th, 2015 · Windows · read review

Gamekult (7 out of 10)

Malgré sa vue top-down et ses missions données par téléphone interposé, il serait réducteur de considérer Hotline Miami comme un simple clone des premiers GTA. L’hommage est certes évident, mais son ultra violence va bien au-delà, son scénario est plus torturé et son gameplay s'avère ingénieux, débridé et unique. Son mélange de puzzle et d’action sanglante en fait un die-and-retry exigeant pour adultes avertis, qui ne plaira pas à tout le monde mais satisfera pleinement les joueurs se plaignant des titres trop simples, parcourus le cerveau en veille. Une mise en garde toutefois : une utilisation prolongée risque d’échauffer les sangs et il sera plus prudent de jouer avec une bassine d’eau glacée à portée de main pour y plonger la tête régulièrement histoire de faire retomber la pression. Dommage donc qu’il soit parfois entaché de bugs bruts de décoffrage, qu’on espère voir résolus au plus vite.

Oct 24th, 2012 · Windows · read review

GameSpy ( )

It is a rare game that dares to question why it sends us on homicidal rampages. Hotline Miami does it cleverly and subversively by casting us as a schizophrenic hitman who compulsively kills a small army of thugs for reasons even he doesn't understand. Even though it makes very little literal sense, the surreal, hallucinogenic story gives a lot more to ponder than the typical Grand Theft Auto scenario of being a bad man who kills everyone in my path to building a criminal empire. If this were a less punishing, frustrating game, I might even have loved it.

Oct 30th, 2012 · Windows · read review

Absolute Games (AG.ru) (30 out of 100)

Похоже, авторы не смогли определиться, что же они хотели сделать: «стелс»? тактику? аркаду? Броская, эпатажная оболочка скрывает лишь бедность, грубость исполнения и непродуманность.

Nov 13th, 2012 · Windows · read review

Gameplay (Benelux) N/A

Vertolk de rol van naamloze killer die in zijn appartement wacht op zijn volgende opdracht en dan zonder vragen te stel- len naar een locatie trekt om daar iedereen brutaal uit te moorden. Let wel, je tegenstanders zijn geen doetjes en kunnen je met één welgemikt schot tot een bloederige vlek op het tapijt herleiden, en dat maakt Hotline Miami net zo intens om te spelen. Pak het stealth aan, schakel een aantal tegenstanders uit met brutale meleemoves (inclusief koevoet en honkbalknuppel) of pistolen met geluidsdempers, en knal als het niet anders kan met shotguns en machinegeweren de rest overhoop, want schoten trekken de aandacht. Sterven zal je, en zelfs meerdere keren per missie, maar dankzij het checkpointsysteem zit je meteen weer in de actie en kan je van de nozems die je omgelegd hebben brutaal de schedel kraken. Sfeervolle topdown retro-graphics en een uitstekende soundtrack ronden deze ultragewelddadige trip, die in een paar uurtjes is te voltooien, af.

Nov 28th, 2012 · Windows

Rock, Paper, Shotgun N/A

You could argue that HOTLINE MIAMI is brilliant, vital, a tactical and aesthetic masterpiece as well as a pixel-art odyssey of ice-cold violence. It is. And that soundtrack. Action to beat, in perfect, twisted harmony.

Oct 23rd, 2012 · Windows · read review

Player Reviews

Vibrant colors, hallucinations, animal masks and lots of blood! Welcome to Hotline Miami!
by Stijn Daneels (84)

The Good
First of all, happy New Year! I wish you all the happiness, love, success and good health that a year like 2015 has to offer. My personal New Year's resolution for MobyGames? Continue making reviews! I have a ton of great games I will be reviewing this year. And this baby is first!

I bought Hotline Miami from Steam during one of its fall season sales last year. The game's art style and content gave me a good first impression and after watching TotalBiscuit's WTF episode dedicated to the game, I wasted no time getting this game.

Hotline Miami takes place in 1989 Miami wherein you play a nameless thug (we fans call him Jacket) who takes jobs via telephone. These consist simple tasks such as "cleaning a house of vermin," "fixing a leak in another apartment" or "doing some babysitting." Simple translation: enter a building and slaughter everyone! Return home, answer your phone and get your new job.

I'll go and say right of the bat that this game is extremely violent. That may not say much as many games and the mainstream media nowadays do not sheer away from blood and gore, but I'm not kidding! Decapitations, dismemberments, sliced throats, bellies ripped open with guts hanging out of the gaping wound and corpses sliced in two. You also have gruesome finishing moves. Knock someone to the ground and bash the back of his head into the ground (leaving his brains leaking out of his skull), or stab his heart out with the sharp end of a broken pool cue. There is nothing glorious or over the top about this game's violence. It is realistic, gory and not for the faint of heart!

The game has a top down perspective, very similar to the first two GTA games. This perspective, combined with the game's dark atmosphere and realistic, high level amount of violence remind me a lot of the little known point and click adventure named Dreamweb. A great game I reviewed last year, check it out if you want to.

The game levels include apartments, bars, shops and even a police precinct. They all really feel like real-life locations. The disco level, for example, has a entry hall, restrooms, tables, a bar and of course the dance floor with bright flashing lights. There is litter scattered everywhere in the levels and I even remember finding a manager's office that was a mess with documents all over the place and even an opened drawer with a handgun in it. In addition, since we are in the 1980s, you can expect to see big CRT TV screens, mullet haircuts and in the protagonist's apartment, you can even find a video game console that looks very similar to the Nintendo NES.

The game is also very challenging. The levels are chuck full of enemies armed to the teeth and a single hit kills you right on the spot. A dog bite, a knife slice, a gunshot or a shotgun blast, they all lead to a quick, painful and premature death. The enemies are just as fast as you are and will hunt you down aggressively. If they have lost track of you, they will go separate ways in search of you. Also be careful of windows, as they allow both you and your enemies to shoot through them. I really can't stress it enough! Carelessness will be mercilessly punished with your character lying on your back with a bullet in his head!

Therefore, you have to think ahead and carefully make your way through the rooms and corridors of the levels. You can use stealth (and I personally recommend it) and silently dispose off your foes with melee weapons or your bare hands. You can also blast your way through each level, but this will alert nearby enemies. Weapons are scattered all around the place and you can unlock new stuff by beating the level's high score. Your tools of the trade include pistols, shotguns, knives, baseball bats and many more. In addition, you can also use the environment to your advantage. Throw a foe into a wall and kick his head in or pick up a pot of boiling water and throw it into your enemy's face. Getting fresh ammo, however, is only possible by finding a new weapon. You can however, always throw your empty gun at a foe, stunning them. You could say that game has a slight survival horror element into it. Expect that it has no horror in it, only survival of the fittest!

Before every mission, you get to choose an animal mask with gives you a particular perk. Such as a starting weapon, deadly fists of fury or faster movement speed. You unlock new masks by playing through the game as well as finding them hidden around the levels. Finally, after finishing a level, you get a high score and a grade ranging from C- to A+ depending on your overall performance. It gives the game a high replay value and despite its hard difficulty, the game is very addicting. Every time you die, you cannot help but ram that R button to try again.

I also love the game's presentation. The game combines vibrant colors and upbeat, 80s style guitar and synthesizer music with a disturbing, ultra-violent theme. This sharp contrast gives the game a very unique and compelling feel. Furthermore, the game has no voice acting whatsoever. All dialogue in the game is through text messages. The sound effects that the game does have are excellent. The guns sound very beefy and the sounds you hear while smashing someone's head in with a baseball bat are gruesomely crisp.

The Bad
Overall, there is little I did not like about this game. I would say that the only "bad" thing about this game is its unforgiving difficulty. This game doesn't mess around, make even the slightest mistake and you are dead. Particularly the later levels rely a lot on trial and error. Expect that R button to be buried into your keyboard after you have finished this game.

The Bottom Line
A unique and highly challenging game that I warmly recommend to everyone! Hotline Miami is a perfect example that awesome games are possible without having to rely on bombastic graphics and special effects, voice acting or a Hollywood blockbuster sized budget. Less = more is definitely the game's philosophy. It has a lot of value for a price that low (8,50 Euros, but that price often gets discounted). Its sequel will be out on Steam in a few months (I really can't wait for this), so spend some cash on this game. It more than deserves every bit of acclaim it has already received and will receive after you have played it. So go try it out and keep your letterman jacket, Tony Tiger mask and 80s style phone close to you. You may never know that someone gives you a ring to ask to DJ tonight at the local Miami disco, dressed to kill!! Have fun and enjoy the new year!

Jan 1st, 2015 · Windows

Crazy, Dark, and one helluva ride
by HeavyMetalGamer (9)

The Good
In this day and age of gaming, games like this pass under the radar, luckily this game had success. What I love about the game is the theme, and how dark and crazy the story is. The difficulty of the game is another great feature, at times this game is tough as hell, and it will kick your ass. There are times when I was playing, I thought damn I am going to beat this level quickly, and then I would make one stupid mistake and I would be dead. The music for the game really sets the atmosphere, the music almost seems soothing, but at the same time you are going around slaughtering bad guys, it just fits.

The Bad
I wish there was more missions, sure the game has a ton, but I wanted more, luckily there is a sequel coming soon.

The control layout on a keyboard were a bit confusing at first, but once you get the hang of them, you should be fine, the good thing is, there is controller support.

The Bottom Line
Hotline Miami is dark violent, and pulls no punches, it is tough, but you will become addicted to the game.

Jun 3rd, 2014 · Windows

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Contributors to this Entry

Critic reviews added by Atomskyu690, Alaka, firefang9212, lights out party, Cavalary, Alsy, Jake AM, Opipeuter, PCGamer77, Joel Segerbäck, JudgeDeadd, Tim Janssen, Patrick Bregger, SiberiumSkalker, Cantillon.