The 2012 Game-Wisdom Awards: #9

Role-playing survival game is willing to take risks

Hotline Miami

Our #9 game is another Indie title, this time showing just how much style and violence can be fit into a 8 bit title.

 #9: Hotline Miami –

Hotline Miami was a contradiction in both form and function. The basic graphics hid the over the top violence and overall style of the game. While the simple control scheme set up the player for a high stakes run through floor after floor of armed thugs with the challenge of survival and high scores.

Very few games, much less 8 bit games were able to define themselves as “stylish”, but Hotline Miami delivered.  Along with easily one of the most impressive soundtracks this year with a story that will leave you guessing.

While the game was on the short side, it has enough there to tell the story that it wanted. Granted, critics may not like either of the game’s two endings and the game leaves you with more questions than answers. However, the fact that people on the message boards were having multi-paragraph discussions on the meaning of the game, showed that it resonated with a lot of people.

Hotline Miami‘s gameplay was quick, concise and brutal. For people still learning the game, the gameplay was a tense affair as you attempted the clear the rooms as safely as possible. But for expert players, the game became a score chase as they attempted to get through as quickly with the best score.  This turned the game into an almost simplified version of The Club: where players shot their way through each level for points.

What’s interesting is that Hotline Miami was more popular then the developers could have foreseen, with first promise for more DLC turned into a full blown sequel.  The idea of a sequel has myself and a lot of other people excited, as now that the developers know that people are interested in Hotline Miami, it will be interesting to see how far they’ll take the concept now.

I’ve been saying for years now that the Indie market has become a place for unique titles and Hotline Miami definitely ranks up there. As a game with a style and subject matter that really couldn’t appear anywhere else that came out of nowhere to wow the market. While it can be polarizing, Hotline Miami is one of those games that deserve at least one play-through.

Hotline Miami

Up Next: Return of a Classic

Click here to return to the main page.