Milwaukee has made its fair share of appearances in film and music, but it remains largely unrepresented in the world of video games. There’s the generic Milwaukee level in Rampage, we suppose, but that’s about it. (Please tell us the 8,000 examples we’re forgetting in the comments below.) But now, thanks to indie video game publisher Devolver Digital, Milwaukee is finally making a splash on the pixelated screen. Are you a fan of retro top-down shooter Hotline Miami? Then you’ll love the game’s just-released official bootleg, Hotline Milwaukee.
“Brutal, fast-paced, stealth action and a whole lot of blood,” reads the game’s description. “From your garbage person apartment in historically interesting and relevant Milwaukee, pick up the phone, and answer the call—of murder.”
So yeah, the game is less of a love letter to our fair city and more of a “lol milwaukee”/Ryan Reynolds kind of thing. Beyond the title and the level screen (there’s the art museum!), the game has nothing to do with Milwaukee. It’s just a lo-fi reimagining of Hotline Miami, which is still kind of…wait. Is the level screen a subtle nod to the People’s Flag of Milwaukee? It has to be, right? The sun, the stripes, the 8-bit aesthetic? Oh god, what have you done, Devolver Digital?
Anyway, Hotline Milwaukee is part of an eight-game Devolver bootleg collection that also includes Ape Out Jr. (a parody of Ape Out) and Super Absolver Mini: Turbo Fighting Championship (a parody of Absolver). You can buy them all for $5.