Cuphead is an indie action-platformer game developed by StudioMDHR and was originally released in 2017 on the Xbox One and PC. This title blends beautiful cartoon graphics with addictive and challenging gameplay to produce a truly one-of-a-kind experience. Cuphead pits players against dozens of unique bosses that require immense skill to defeat, but with enough practice, you'll eventually earn the sweet taste of victory. Playable either or solo or with a friend, this tough-as-nails title can be frustrating, but those who endure through the difficulty will be rewarded with an immense amount of satisfaction. Through inventive visuals and classic tried-and-true gameplay, Cuphead ends up being one of the best indie games of all time.
Main Game Features
- Dozens of hand-drawn bosses and levels
- Full game available for cooperative play
- Weapon upgrades and open-ended level selection
Like many of the classic games that Cuphead pays homage to, the story is very straightforward with a classic hero versus villain story. One day, while living in the peaceful land of the Inkwell Isles, our hero Cuphead (and optionally, his brother Mugman) takes a trip to the Devil's casino. Their luck improves throughout the night, with the pair earning excessive amounts of cash and riches. The Devil, noticing their greed, presents them a tantalizing bet. If Cuphead can make one final dice roll, he'll win all the money he could ever want, but if he loses, the Devil will take possession of his soul. Unfortunately, the dice roll does not play out in Cupheads favor, forcing him to strike up a deal with the Devil to save his soul. In order to save his soul, Cuphead will have to travel across the Inkwell Isles, defeating bosses and preserving their souls for the Devil's use. With his objective clear, Cuphead (and Mugman) head out on their adventure.
Cuphead is essentially an entire game of boss fights, with a few run and gun levels littered in for good measure. Controls are simple and straightforward, with most of the difficulty coming from the game's tough stage layouts and boss patterns. There are two difficulties for each level, Regular and Simple, so if you're struggling at all, there's always an easier option. That said, you'll need to finish every boss in the game on Regular mode in order to beat the game. Players can access boss fights and stages in whatever order they see fit, as the game is broken up into three sections of Inkwell Isle, with a new section opening up once you've completed enough bosses. There are a wide variety of cool bosses and settings, so each fight feels completely new and unique.
While simply beating a boss is an achievement in itself, the game has a ranking system that judges your performance in each battle. You'll earn a rank based on how much health you have left after the fight, how long the stage takes you, and several other factors. You earn coins as you progress through stages, which can be used to unlock several fun alternative weapons and power-ups. In addition to the standard peashooter starting gun, you can unlock charge, homing, lob-shot weapons, and much more. Despite these upgrades though, you'll need plenty of skill if you want to overcome the game's exceptionally challenging stages.
Overall, Cuphead is one of the most satisfying action games of the past decade, with tons of imaginative art design and gorgeous visuals. Fans of retro games like Mega Man and Super Mario World will appreciate the authentic challenge that Cuphead provides, although things can get frustrating at times. Whether you're playing solo or cooperatively with a friend, Cuphead gives you the kind of tough-as-nails gaming experience that will make you feel like a god-gamer when you succeed. If you think you have the skill required to defeat the Devil and save Cuphead's soul, give the game a try!
- Gorgeous hand-drawn animation
- Addictive gameplay
- Great sense of challenge and reward
- Exceptionally frustrating at times
- Not welcoming to new gamers
- PC compatible
- Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP