Cuphead is a fast-paced, boss-rush, completely hand-animated indie video game developed by StudioMDHR Entertainment. If none of what I just said is ringing any bells, all you need to know is that Cuphead is one of the most recent video games to be completely animated with just paper and pencil–and it’s magnificent.
In Cuphead, an anthropomorphic cup-headed fellow named “Cuphead,” to no one’s surprise, and his compadre “Mugman” lose a bet with the devil and must do his bidding as a result. Needless to say, the choices they made to end up in this situation weren’t very well thought-out. So, in order to go back on the deal and come clean on the other side, the two pals embark on one of the most outrageous adventures to ever grace paper and pencil. Here are just a few reasons why you should check it out, even if you don’t play video games! Click here to watch a quick trailer (trust me, you won’t regret it).
It’s absolutely gorgeous
This is one of those video games you could just sit down and watch someone else play for hours–and if you’re like me, you’ll want to… because this game is DIFFICULT to say the least. But that’s a different subject. The aesthetic aspect of Cuphead is what really sets it apart from other video games. The early 1900’s cartoon art style is easily recognized and brings back fond memories. While we watch and play on with nostalgia, the vibrancy of the colors and fluidity of the movement of the characters allure us and catch our eye. That’s what any good cartoon and/or video game strives to do, and Cuphead knocks that goal out of the park.
The bosses are absolutely insane
Both the design and mechanisms of each of the bosses in the game are totally unique and a trip to watch. The diversity in the overall design of the bosses is both rewarding and challenging to the player–you don’t feel like you’re fighting the same boss over and over again, but as a result you have to adapt to each and every boss as you progress through the game. If you want to check out some of these amazing bosses in action, click here. It’s a video of two players’ encounter with every boss in the game–spoiler warning!
The music will make you want to get up and cut some rug
If you clicked on the link directly above, you already know just how catchy the music is. It’s very reminiscent of an old 1920’s jazz show or a tune you’d hear in a “Betty Boop” or “Felix the Cat” episode. The direction the music takes in each boss fight has a consistent melody, but as the fight continues, the percussion gets louder, the harmony gets more abrasive–it maintains an upbeat and exciting tone to keep you pumped for the duration of each fight.
One of the best things about video games is that anyone–yes, I said ANYONE–can enjoy them. Even if you don’t play video games, you’re still able to observe another player’s journey through the game as if it was your own. Even if you aren’t an art major, a fan of cartoons, or an avid gamer–you can still watch just a minute of gameplay and realize the time and dedication it took for the artists to create such a beautiful and exciting game. The animation is 24 frames a second. That takes some serious commitment, and that’s also what works to the game’s advantage. It’s more human–it makes more sense to be hand-drawn. If the animators decided to animate it digitally, the desired 1900’s cartoon aesthetic would be undermined.
Maybe the best thing about Cuphead is its ability to entertain all audiences–old and new, gamers and non-gamers. I urge every one of you to check out Cuphead the video game. It truly is a breath-taking piece of art that brings you back to your childhood… while also throwing in a few mind-blowing bosses and an irrisitable soundtrack.