4.0 out of 5


  • Beautiful Style
  • Crossplay on Xbox One and PC


  • Coin collecting levels aren’t as fun as boss levels

Xbox One, PC
Studio MDHR
Studio MDHR
Run and gun
File Size (Minimum)
Release Date (NA)
Sep 29, 2017
Purchase From

Filed Under

Cuphead is a game that doesn’t demand perfection, but it begs just that from it’s players. You play as a cartoon cup or his sidekick mug with the objective to not lose your soul to the devil.

Cuphead is a side scrolling shooter, think Contra, but is mostly boss based. Each level has you fighting a boss that progressively gets harder and changes it’s fighting pattern as the level progresses. Figure out what the boss’s pattern is and you’ll finish him off in no time. Make one mistake and that could be the end for you. Bosses take hundreds of hits, take several forms and change attacks as you progress. You get a few hit points and if you fail you restart the level. You do have a choice to restart the level at any point in time.

You also have the choice to play in simple vs. regular mode. I must admit that I played several levels on simple as there were fights I got frustrated with and just wanted to progress. Should you chose to play simple mode the boss will not show you all of their forms. You may only see two of three phases, but this doesn’t detract from the game. If When you fail there is a boss progress bar. This is a nice touch. The game will give you an idea of how far or close you were to finishing the fight. It’s a bit different than the standard health bar we may be used to, but it works.

In between these boss fights are side scrolling levels where you are able to collect coins and upgrade you weapons or health. These are fun levels, but do not compare to the boss fights. I wouldn’t go so far as to say that they feel tacked on to lengthen the game, but you can skip them if you choose to do so.

The controls are not intuitive. Thankfully you’re able to remap each button to your specific need. This includes all of your attacks and parries. Speaking of parrying, this is an important, but not necessary part of the game. Each time you complete a parry your super meter grows. You’re allowed to do a special move with as you progress, but it gains faster if you parry. If your super meter is full you have a max super move that changes depending on which firing mechanic you have equipped.

Cuphead is a beautiful game. There’s no other way of putting it. It looks and sounds like a cartoon from the 1930s, think Steamboat Willie. Everything is hand drawn and it feels like you’re playing a classic cartoon. The music only ads to the atmosphere. Old timey sound effects and jazz fill the soundtrack of this game.

While Cuphead is not a party game you can play two player and levels move quickly, maybe 2-3 minutes. You could pass the controller around to best your friend’s score. If you’re a perfectionist, enjoy a challenge and strive to get “S” level ranking then Cuphead is the game for you. The game is tough, but it’s never unfair and it’s certainly a joy to look at and play.

Cuphead is available on Xbox One and PC, developed by StudioMDHR

Cuphead - Gameplay Footage (Xbox One)
Cuphead Gameplay #2

About Tim Williams - Contributor

When Tim isn't working he's spending time with his family, playing games and occasionally streaming on twitch.

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