Game Title: Cuphead
Initial Release Date: September 29, 2017
Developer: Studio MDHR
Publisher: Studio MDHR
Designer: Jared Moldenhauer
Platforms: Xbox One, Microsoft Windows
Every now and then a game comes along that is so eye-popping, stylistically gorgeous, that you just can’t put it down no matter how hard you try. In years past we would say that list of games would include “Mark of Kri,” “Comix Zone” (Google it kiddos), “Zelda: Wind Waker,” “Bioshock,” the list goes on. And now the list has another groundbreaking and original visual treat – we’re talking about “Cuphead!” The 1930s style animation is so captivating to play and interact with and the watercolor backgrounds are as immersive as they are beautiful. Seriously, the visuals in this game are such a sweet treat, our eyeballs have contracted contact diabetes. Pull up a gaming chair and get ready to drink up this review of Cuphead with our Trunk Gaming crew!
A word of warning for those gamers who are controller throwers, and you know who you are! You might want to duct tape the controller to your hands, because this game is toon-crushingly relentless. There are no checkpoints and no way to regain health. The design of this game is such that everything is random. You have no control over where something like a platform may be in the exact same point of the game you were previously playing. In other words, you might just get killed by sheer chance that things did not line up just right for you. Though this can be frustrating, it’s still a blast to play and the swanky style of this game kept us coming back for more.
There are three basic types of gameplay you experience in “Cuphead.” You have left and right platform gaming similar to “Super Mario Bros.,” if Mario was packing heat. The second style is like a throwback to classic arcade side scrolling spaceship shoot ‘em ups. The third and most exciting style of gameplay are the platform battles that feel almost like a fighting game at times, blurring the lines of what you would expect to see and play. You can unlock special abilities that you will need to play around with to accomplish different tasks. This can prove vital to moving along your gaming journey instead of the try, try again routine.
All in all, “Cuphead” is not only a visual treat, it’s also a gaming delight. We showed up for the visuals of this game, but we stayed for the gameplay and enjoyed every minute of it. This game will have you oohing and awing, laughing and cursing (more than once), but after all the animated smoke settles, you’ll find yourself wanting to go back again and again. We finished our “Cuphead” and can’t wait for a refill!