How To Be A Complete Jostle Bastard

Hotline Miamean

That neon dancefloor of murder had it coming, much as I loved it. There are many ways one could take a knife to Hotline Miami, that bastion of mainstream-friendly indie cool, but Pippin Barr’s superbly-named crowd-bothering game Jostle Bastard plays it wry rather than sneering.

You’re a bastard. You jostle people. Your jostling makes them mad, as one might expect. I’ve been jostled, man. I’ve been there. I know the horror of it. Now I am become jostler, jostler of worlds. Can I jostle everyone before the cops come for me? Can I jostle efficiently enough to get the top bastard rating? Will I get revenge-jostled if I jostle too hard, too often? Jostle!

Meaningless datestamped pseudo-flashbacks are about as nasty as Jostle Bastard really behaves towards Hotline Miami, but the incoherently abstract scene-switching and gibberish scoring holds more playful barbs. And, of course, there’s the violence and player behaviour question. Is the jostle mightier than the sword? What is the dividing line between irritating bastard and offbeat hero? Can pleasure or entertainment be derived from jostling? Should there be consequences for such bad behaviour, and how heavy should they be? These, and many other questions, are ones I’ve just made up. Just play the thing, right?

The process of creating Jostle Bastard, and the tricky question of satire vs just being a dick about something, has been documented over on Unwinnable, which this free browser thinger was initially created for.

And remember: jostling is optional.


  1. SillyWizard says:

    Finally! A game for the frotteurist!

    • pippinbarr says:

      A tangled web-in-a-circle! This game is based on code for Ludwig Von Beatdown, a demake of Johan Sebastian Joust, by people who also came up with a game called Edgar Rice Frotteur!

  2. The Random One says:

    This is really interesting game thing. But I had to stop when someone charged into my room for revenge but we couldn’t jostle each other because a chair was stuck between us and I couldn’t move.

    Pippin should make a sequel in which a nationwide bout of jostling cause everyone to build more and more elaborate jostle-proof houses until only the jostliest people in the world can survive. It’d be called The Jostle Doctrine.

    • pippinbarr says:

      Nobody said revenge would be easy, you know…

      Massively multiplayer would be amazing, though… Imagine the sound as millions of jostlers jostled… and were suddenly silenced. By the police.

  3. haowan says:

    Continuing the great tradition of naming games VERB BASTARD for any given verb

  4. SquidgyB says:

    Aaaah… memories of the only game ever to let me piss in a plant pot.

  5. Aberaham says:

    The very definition of lazy graphics.

  6. DrScuttles says:

    This game is like some kind of sweet revenge power fantasy for all those horrible times on the bus or the tube or I dare to pass through any part of Oxford Street and get jostled by bastards. Now I am the jostle bastard.

  7. vecordae says:

    Interesting fact. If you don’t jostle at all, this becomes low-fi “man who can keep a steady job and go nice places” simulator.

  8. Shazbut says:

    “Now I am become jostler, jostler of worlds.”


  9. Geebs says:

    How in the holy name of fuck is Hotline Miami “mainstream friendly”?

  10. bstard says:

    Is this a reference to the Greek epic of our time, How to be a complete Bastard, by Eddy (Edmondson)? The only work to big for a Nobel price. (deleted IMO).