Runneth Over: Cuphead Is Now A Full Platformer

The last time we saw Cuphead it was at E3 2015 and the game, styled like an early 20th century cartoon, was all about defeating devious boss characters. Now E3 2016 looms and the game has returned, only now it’s not just about beating bosses but about jumping and bopping heads across traditional platformer levels. And it still looks amazing.

Or what I mean is, its art style looks amazing. I love the idea of a platformer designed to look like an old Mickey Mouse cartoon, and there’s something more impressive technically about the animation in this than there is about a thousand high-poly faces in some action blockbuster.

That said, I’m not sure I want to play the game any more now than I did before. I’m no fan of the kind of retro boss fight-laden games Cuphead was aping before, and now it looks like a traditional-to-a-fault Mario-style platformer. I may have jumped on as many heads as I can stand for one lifetime, without some other interactive distraction to enliven the experience.

Cuphead is due for release later this year and given the timing of this trailer it seems safe to assume we’ll see more of it next week during E3 proper. Here’s a hand set of links for keeping up with the E3 2016 schedule.


  1. ROMhack2 says:

    Cuphead is a game? I thought it was just E3’s perennial mascot

  2. Da5e says:


    See, I’m not a fan of remastered versions of games, but one that I’d love to see is Alien Soldier, that absurd boss-rush by Treasure that was very nearly reviewed by almost some critics back when it was released. It’s probably not going to happen, because Treasure excitedly released Ikaruga and RSG in shiny HD formats and then went very, very quiet again; Cuphead looked like it was going to fill that boss-rush hole for me.

    Now it just looks like a tedious Metal Slug-clone with awesome visuals. What sad times are these, etc.

    • Eclipse says:

      the boss fights are still there and they are awesome.
      And I’m a huge Alien Soldier fan as well, AS had albeith very short phases with normal enemies as well.
      But even if this is not going to be like Alien Soldier anymore it can still be something like Gunstar Heroes.

    • Chillicothe says:

      I gotta say, that’s a very specific ax to grind there, friend.

  3. SpitefulHammer says:

    Looks like it plays more like Contra than Mario…

    • Fenix says:

      Yeah、headed to the comment section to say this. But I have to say the game looks super generic and as interesting as the visual/feels are, I dont think they alone can elevate Cuphead above the average game.

      Like, if the rest of the game is like what this trailer, it’s going to be at least 20 times worse than Trine.

      • sabrage says:

        On the contrary, Trine was equal parts bore and chore.

      • Eclipse says:

        Trine is a really pretty game with awful gameplay, this one.. I actually tried it and the boss battles were VERY fun, I hope they keep the platforming section short or do a better job with that, but it’s going to be much better than Trine just for the boss battles alone

  4. Turkey says:

    Hopefully there’s a clever twist on every level or I could see it getting old pretty fast.

  5. RaoulDuke says:

    It doesnt bode well that the level design/gameplay seems repetitive just during that short video.

    I love the style and animations, but maybe they should’ve stuck with a “boss-rushing” game, even thought I just assumed it was a platformer before now anyway.

  6. escooler says:

    While it certainly looks the part the animation does not seems to gel. The loop are alright, but it feels like well animated loops been pulled around on a sprite. Theres no character to the leaping for the jumps, with seem to be lacking any kind of streachyness or squashiness. No really weight to the characters. Its a shame…But it looks amazing.

  7. savagegump says:

    It seems my impressions are the same as most. The art style is great and looks like its been done really effectively, but the gameplay doesn’t inspire me much. I didn’t really enjoy those kind of generic platformers back when they popular (too repetitive and frustrating) and I’m even less inclined to play them now…

  8. Vacuity729 says:

    I really can’t see the appeal of the visual style at all. I suppose it’s good it’s getting made for those who like it, but I guess it’s not my cup of tea. Fortunately, there are a plethora of wonderful games that really do tickle my visual-style bone, so life is still good.

    The action in the video seems very repetitive to me as well, so I suppose I’m not going to feel like I’m missing out on anything by passing on by.

  9. lokimotive says:

    Oof, this looks really bad. I was kind of afraid of this given the previous gameplay that was shown which seemed to favor style over substance; this just seems to confirm that. The problem isn’t that it’s a platformer, per se, it’s that the gameplay doesn’t seem to have absolutely any character whatsoever. You move from left to right removing obstacles in your way, and then you’re done. There’s no incentive to explore a level, hell there doesn’t seem to be a possibility to explore the level. Ugh. Just ugh.

    • froz says:

      Not every platformer has to be about exploring (see rayman, which has some brilliant level designs that are still corridors). However, what is shown on the video is just extremely bland design.

      • lokimotive says:

        That’s true, though Rayman rewards speed and precision, and this doesn’t really seem to offer that either.

  10. screeg says:

    Gawd, I just wish they’d release a feature length cartoon!

  11. jorjordandan says:

    What people don’t realize is when this game started development in the thirties, that was actually a modern look

    • pepperfez says:

      If they’d won the case against that damn plagiarizing mouse things would have gone much differently for old Cuphead.

  12. DanMan says:

    I also hope they’re not going for the hardcore-as-f*** type of gameplay. We’ve had plenty of them lately with Ori and all the other Indie platformers. I want this to be like: link to

  13. Josh W says:

    That looks a busy mess, they should take a look at something like Pid, which matches that kind of music by taking it’s time. Those levels look like playing them right gives absolutely no feeling of rhythm, it could just as easily be randomised, seen as a number of randomised platformers are already beating them on that front.