by Luke Weiner ’20
In a market filled with gaming companies that try to milk every single cent out of their players, “Cuphead” is an absolute blessing, at an affordable price of only $20.
On the fictional Inkwell Isle, Cuphead and his brother Mugman are on a winning streak at the devil’s casino. Cuphead and Mugman are so caught up in the game that they end up betting their souls to the devil and lose. The brothers beg for mercy from the devil, so he makes a deal with them: they must collect contracts from other creatures who have lost their souls to the devil across Inkwell Isle.
“Cuphead” is honestly like nothing that I have ever played before. The game features beautifully hand-drawn graphics based on 1930s cartoons. These graphics have a lot of attention to detail while still staying minimalistic, which makes the game much more appealing to the eye. “Cuphead” also features excellent imagery without dwelling on any particular image for too long. The beautifully-crafted pastel watercolor backgrounds of lollipop trees and cotton candy clouds in the level “Sugarland Shimmy” are a perfect example of this phenomenon.
“Cuphead” is infuriatingly hard, which actually is a reason to love it. To beat one of the many ruthless bosses in this game, a player must be constantly shooting while simultaneously dodging, jumping, and ducking away from all the crazy stuff the boss throws. My favorite instance of this is when the player has to dodge all of the tears of a crying onion. “Cuphead” is a game that doesn’t hold your hand; It grabs you and throws you in the deep end right from the get-go. It is the type of excellent challenge for the experienced gamer that more game studios should try to replicate.
If you want a beautifully designed game that will push your patience to the limit, then “Cuphead” is right for you. If you’re more of a casual gamer, this game will be frustrating at first, but if you keep at it, it will ultimately improve your gaming skills.