Cuphead Review | Death Is Only The Beginning

After 3 long years in development, after being announced being E3 2014, StudioMDHR Entertainment's very first game is finally out. The game features, as you guessed it, a literal Cuphead. You play as Cuphead, while your partner plays as Mugman in local co-op, in a side-scrolling shooter. Cuphead's storyline is rather straightforward with the protagonists getting into trouble and forced to do the devil's deeds. With the overarching story established, the plot takes a back seat to the game's main focus - combat. *Spoiler warning*

It's-a Me, Contra!

The gameplay is pretty similar to the Contra and Metal Slug series, and rightfully so as the creators of the game were influenced by several others such as Contra III and even Super Mario World. You will face countless other boss of various shapes and sizes, each with their own pattern to overcome. As such, the learning of each bosses' mechanics, to find out their weaknesses, is a must.

The game will also see you dodging incoming projectiles, similarly to other Bullet Hell games. Not to mention, boss fights are extremely challenging, and you should be prepared to die - repeatedly. *Dark Souls flashbacks* Thankfully, it is somewhat forgiving as hours of progress will not be wiped due to how short each map is. The feeling of achievement when you finally take down a boss is also extremely satisfying, and definitely adds a certain charm that are lacking in many games nowadays.

Gorgeously Hand-Drawn

It features a retro art style that is closely similar to the early Mickey Mouse, with the world beautifully and surprisingly hand-sketched to look like you are peering into a CRT TV animation. The use of film grain and sound effects also adds to the immersion. The unique background music in each map provides a retro vibe, even the sound effects such as the firing of your weapons sounds like sweet ol' tap dancing. Additionally, thanks to the choice of retro art style, the game is not graphically demanding. Not only are there no noticeable drops in framerate, it will also run on any potato PC you can find at home.


All in all, Cuphead is a must have for those who enjoy taking on platforming and being challenged with Bullet Hell mechanics, while reminiscing the good ol' days with vintage-styled cartoons from the 1930s. Cuphead is out now on the Xbox One, Windows 10 (Xbox Play Anywhere) and Steam (PC).

More screenshots can be seen below:

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