Hotline Miami for Linux Review

key review info
  • Game: Hotline Miami
  • Platform: Linux
  • Gamepad support: No
  • Reviewed on:
  • Written by:
  • Show system requirements
Hotline Miami

Hotline Miami is a 2D top down shooter that has all the necessary qualities of a much more complex game, but at the same time it's also the epitome of an indie production title.

There are a lot of 2D games out there, and during the last few years there's been a flurry of indie titles that have flooded the gaming market. Most of them aren't worth your time, but a few have proven that there is money to be made and fame to be won with just an idea.

It's difficult to categorize the game. Putting it in a simple niche called 2D top down shooter is actually a limitation. The gameplay quality and the storytelling makes it one of the best indie games ever made and one of the highlights of 2012.

Story and Gameplay

The story in Hotline Miami might seem a little fuzzy at times, and discussing it at length would remove the surprise factor for anyone reading the review. In any case, you play as an unknown man who receives missions to kill people and retrieve items.

So far so good, but the levels you play are not in chronological order and the main character is plagued by strange visions of people discussing his fate. He also starts seeing people that he killed, and everything is topped by the music and the atmosphere.

The gameplay is actually very hard and punishing, and you will learn not to destroy your keyboard and mouse in every level. You will need to apply stealth on some occasions, brute force in others, but the end result has to be the same: everyone must die before you exit the level.

You also have to be very careful with the weapons you are using. Simple ones like bats, knives, swords, and the like will cause very little ruckus and you'll be able to move undetected. Unfortunately, a drug den is usually populated by people with guns and you'll have to be very quick and deadly. You will fail at it, a lot.

Given the 2D perspective and the graphics, you would think that this is not a violent game. You would be wrong. The gore meter, if there is such a thing, would go through the roof.

You will slice people in half, bash them with baseball bats, with your bare hands against the pavement, cut them with knives, hurl boiling water at them, shoot them, drown them, and even use doors to incapacitate them.

The Good

Even if all of the above might seem a little overkill, Hotline Miami is probably one of the most interesting games you'll play. The story seems to be directed by a Tarantino fan, the action rivals any major budget game, and to top it all off, the music is simply insane.

Hotline Miami would not be an amazing game without the music. It's so good that you will want to download and listen to it when you're not playing.

Another plus is the punishing difficulty of the game. You can kill pretty much anyone, with the exception of a few boss fights, with a single blow, but they can do the same. You're going to restart often, but that's a good thing.

The Bad

Even if the control scheme might seem ideal with the keyboard and mouse, most deaths are going to be because of the controls. Missing an action or a doorway, just by a little bit, will get you killed and you will need to restart.

The Good

  • Intense action
  • Gripping story
  • Amazing music
  • Needs more strategic planning than lets on

The Bad

  • The control scheme will not help you


I would like to say that Hotline Miami is one of the best games on the Linux platform, but that's true for any platform. It’s the kind of game that will remain in your mind for a long time and you will use it to compare other games. And none of them will rise to that challenge.

story 10
gameplay 10
concept 10
graphics 9
audio 10
multiplayer 0
final rating 9.5
Editor's review

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