Before we knew it, December was upon us and all the games had arrived in stores in time for everyone to buy them as presents. We've got the reveal of our Game of the Year coming after Christmas, but for 24 days starting December 1 we'll bring you a new contender for the title. Please note that these games are in no particular order, but feel free to speculate on where they might appear in our final list.

Neon Kelly, Video Production Editor

Everyone always mentions Drive when they're talking about Hotline Miami. But as big an influence as that film clearly had, I'm more frequently reminded of American Psycho. Not just because of the obvious homicidal overlap, but because they both remarkably good at climbing into my head, and then refusing to leave.

I'm not going to start talking about the soundtrack, because if I do I'll froth at the mouth and rabbit on for 1000 words. All I'll say is that even if Hotline Miami were a farming simulator, it'd still be worth getting for its music. As it turns out Hotline Miami is one of the most provocative games I've ever played – a violent, twisted and deeply troubling creation. It has a flash smile, a black heart and a mind of its own. It scares the hell out of me, and I can't stop playing it.

Martin Gaston, Reviews Editor

One of the general trends in game design at the moment, I think, is that your big-budget boxed games are starting to promise you absolutely everything under the sun. Take Dead Space 3 and Splinter Cell: Blacklist, two games which their developers repeatedly promise will cater towards two fundamentally opposed ways of playing each game. I believe these claims will almost certainly prove to be false.

But in the (often far more exciting) indie and downloadable scene you've got games like Hotline Miami, a game about murdering people which executes its singular goal with ruthless efficiency. If you ask me such clarity of vision and purpose only strengthens the experience; Hotline Miami is a very, very good game about killing people, apart from the one crap (but thankfully brief) level which asks you to be stealthy.

Also in's Game of the Year 2012 Shortlist:
Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 | Draw Something | Hotline Miami | Need For Speed: Most Wanted | Spelunky | XCOM: Enemy Unknown

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User Comments

mydeaddog's Avatar

mydeaddog@ CheekyLee

Quicker executions are a big plus if you're going for high scores: the knockdown + headsmash combo is one of the best ways to rack up points, but it's time consuming and risky if there are lots of guys about. With the tiger mask, you can chain a few of these together quickly.

Furthermore, the Tiger mask also makes your punches lethal, which means you can take down dogs with your bare hands. The only downside is that it's actually slightly harder to knock people to the floor - you have to use doors or throw stuff at people. If you can learn to be adept at this, you'll get massive scores.
Posted 10:42 on 07 December 2012
dudester's Avatar


Its weekend deal on steam £3 and 49 of your finest pence to own. I may have to jump in at that price.
Posted 23:13 on 06 December 2012
Woffls's Avatar


Yeah it's WASD+Mouse... and maybe the space bar? Not sure. But yea, I'm not feeling the controls if I'm honest. I think a controller might be better, or a more visible reticle.
Posted 15:17 on 06 December 2012
munkee's Avatar


I can't wait to play this game. I'm also waiting for the Mac version (boot camping is a pain).

I'm a huge fan of audio/visual style in games and on some occasions that can alone can sell it to me. This game OOZES 80's, retro-cool. I'm also a huge fan of extreme violence in video games. Especially when its style over realism (Manhunt, I'm looking at you. One of my all-time favourite games).

I've seen that people have complained a bit about the controls. But, it looks like a control system that I would quite enjoy using. Am I right in thinking its a WSAD + Mouse setup?

Yup, this game is very high up on my 'must play' list.
Posted 13:38 on 06 December 2012
CheekyLee's Avatar

CheekyLee@ Woffls

I tend to spec for melee, and save guns for the ends of the levels. Friendly dogs is always nice, quicker executions seems pointless, lethal doors is quality, and run faster becomes somewhat essential.
Posted 13:09 on 06 December 2012
Woffls's Avatar

Woffls@ mydeaddog

I've managed to get around skipping the levels, which is good! I'm getting the impression that there's small details between each level that show the graduation from one state to whatever the end of the game is, so I'm thankful I don't need to skip anything. Although, if the in between bits occur as a prologue to each level then I guess skipping a level wouldn't mean I miss out on them.

What masks and weapons are you guys favouring? I usually go for lethal doors and a knife.
Posted 12:48 on 06 December 2012
mydeaddog's Avatar


It's a shame, as Hot & Heavy is one of the best levels. But I'm sure they'll sort it out.

That said, I don't think you'd miss too much to skip it.
Posted 12:37 on 06 December 2012
Woffls's Avatar

Woffls@ mydeaddog

Aye I read about that but didn't want to skip anything in case I missed details to ponder over :)

Might do this today actually before I forget. Not like I have work to do.
Posted 11:47 on 06 December 2012
mydeaddog's Avatar


If you don't want to wait, you could edit your save file to open up the later levels. Here's a guide:
Posted 11:42 on 06 December 2012
rbevanx's Avatar

rbevanx@ reynoldio

You are not the only finding it hard. Are you using a joypad as well by any chance?
Posted 11:42 on 06 December 2012
Woffls's Avatar


I was really enjoying Hotline Miami until a bug prevented me from getting past level 10 because I'm on Windows 8. Incidentally the bug is to do with windows breaking and the sounds crashing the game. I will contribute my full thoughts once I install Steam on the work server (running W7) and finally finish it.

And yeah the soundtrack is god-tier.
Posted 11:40 on 06 December 2012
CheekyLee's Avatar


Hotline Miami is absolutely incredible, and in my opinion does more to further the cause for "Games are art too" than any of the more obvious contenders have managed to do. Why? Because it stops and makes you walk back through the pile of dead bodies. That moment where the tension is done, the relief is palpable, and the silence is eerie ... suddenly is imbued with a mild horror at what YOU just did.

Nothing I have played has given me cause to think to that same degree.

Also, soundtrack of all time. OF ALL TIME! The track Neon picked above is quite breathtakingly beautiful, and the rest of them re equally great. It is a game that is absolutely enhanced by the soundtrack, evoking the spirit of the times perfectly.
Posted 20:19 on 05 December 2012
reynoldio's Avatar


I'm massively rubbish at it, but totally appreciate its place in the list. Maybe one day I'll learn...
Posted 18:34 on 05 December 2012
mydeaddog's Avatar

mydeaddog@ chelskiboy247

Agreed, it's sublime. Not just the tracks from the levels, either; I love the tune used on the title screen - Horse Steppin' by Sun Araw:

YouTube Video
Posted 15:37 on 05 December 2012
chelskiboy247's Avatar


I love Hotline Miami. It's certainly one of my favourite games of the year. That soundtrack...
Posted 15:32 on 05 December 2012

Game Stats

Release Date: 26/06/2013
Developer: Abstraction Games
Genre: Action
Rating: TBC
Site Rank: 782 105
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