OTXO review

by on May 9, 2023
Reviewed On
Release Date

April 20, 2023


Back in 2012, we weren’t drowning in indie games like we are currently. There were usually a few massive indies each year that gamers and critics alike adored though, and one of these games was Hotline Miami. This sinister top down murderfest required the fastest of reactions and the patience of a saint, but those who persevered were rewarded with a fantastic experience from start to finish. Despite its success, there aren’t a whole lot of games that have tried to follow in the footsteps of Hotline Miami. Well, that was true until OTXO came along.

The protagonist of OTXO finds himself washed up on the beach in front of a mysterious mansion, and frustratingly has those classic memory issues we all know and love. There is one thing he remembers though, and that’s the fact that there’s a girl in the mansion that he needs to find. Armed with a gun and an objective, he decides to kick his way through some doors and find the one he’s looking for in a suitably brash and reckless fashion.

A screenshot of OTXO

Making your way through each area of OTXO is fairly straightforward, and involves you murdering everyone located there and making sure you don’t die. One of the analogue sticks moves your murder boy around and the other aims the gun he’s holding, which once it’s lined up with an enemy you’ll start firing. You can also roll to move quickly out of danger, kick to destroy doors and deal with close up foes, and most importantly slow down time.

When you activate your Focus time slows to a crawl, and you’ll be able to line up shots without a care in the world and weave between machine gun bullets with ease. You obviously can’t use this ability forever, but it recharges quickly enough that you never feel the need to save it for a rainy day. There is simply nothing more satisfying than using Focus to take out a room of guards without losing a drop of health, it never ceases to make you feel like a badass.

All the Focus in the world won’t save you from dying eventually though, and when you do you’ll be plopped back on the beach and forced to start all over again. OTXO combines the frantic action of Hotline Miami with those Roguelike elements we all know and love, with randomised levels, Permadeath and a whole lot of purchasable upgrades that’ll change the way you play.

A screenshot of OTXO

When you first enter the mansion you’ll start at the bar, where you can buy drinks that provide these power ups. The first drink is always free (which I wish was the case for all bars) but after that you’ll need to use the cash you get for all the murder. I was really impressed with the variety of these upgrades, and they’re so inventive too. One upgrade gives you an attack dog, another makes 25% of your bullets home in on enemies, and my absolute favourite summons a cool cowboy occasionally when you use your Focus to help blast those baddies.

To make sure you have enough booze in your system, you’ll want to maximise your money in the areas between bars. This is done by killing enemies as quickly as possible and making sure your combo meter doesn’t drain away, which is easier said than done. You’ll need to play in a much more risky manner to pull off a long combo, but when you manage to it feels like bloody magic.

There are plenty of other interesting elements that help keep OTXO fresh while you replay over and over again. The pool of guns can be made larger by using a gashapon machine, and you can choose to remove as many weapons as you want from the selection entirely if you don’t like them. There are also bosses you’ll have to worry about, which admittedly caused the majority of my deaths with their relentless screen filling attacks.

A screenshot of OTXO

There wasn’t a whole lot I didn’t like during my time with OTXO, but it does have a couple of issues. The main one is the lack of enemy variety. Standard men with firearms makeup at least 90% of the foes you’ll end up killing, and although they’re fun to fight it can start to feel a bit samey. There’s also a weird camera movement issue that happens when you switch your aim to the opposite direction. This action causes the whole screen to move a touch in that direction, and it’s really jarring to have everything shift out of nowhere.

OTXO is a fast paced murderfest, with a whole lot of interesting power ups and guns for splatting your enemies. There’s not a great deal of enemy variety, but when you’re slowing down time and blasting baddies it’s hard to care too much. It took a long time for another game to capture the magic of Hotline Miami, but OTXO has managed it.


Frantic arcade action
Fantastic power ups
The Focus power is so good
Being able to choose the guns in a run is interesting


A lack of enemy variety
Some camera issues

Editor Rating
Our Score


In Short

OTXO blends Roguelike elements and Hotline Miami to create a beautiful bloodbath that just feels great to play.