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Good, Strong: Cuphead Overflows With 1930s Cartoon Style

He's got a head of steam

Cuphead splits me right down the middle. It's a run-and-gun game about one-on-one fights, which means it's about learning attack patterns, dodging enemies, and striking back through multiple waves to eventually destroy them. It's inspired by the likes of Contra and Mega Man, games which aren't really my thing.

It's also using hand-drawn cel animation, watercolour backgrounds and live jazz recordings to mimic the style of early, 1930s cartoons. In its videos, it looks like a controllable, early Mickey Mouse cartoon with a lot more fighting. It's exactly my kind of thing.

To continue the theme of animated GIFs selling me on games, check out Cuphead's Steamboat Willie-style idle animation:

I'm in love.

That Cuphead video is from October last year, and a post from November on the developer's blog goes into more detail about what kind of game they're making:

Cuphead is a classic run and gun that centers around 1-on-1 fights (2-on-1 in two player mode).

With Cuphead, we aim to evolve the genre by adding new features such as: super arts, infinite lives, a playable world map and hidden secrets. In addition to that, we will have refined controls, additional boss patterns on harder modes and balanced weapons to equip (that you don’t lose!). We plan to release 10-15 bosses per episode and end up with over 30 bosses.

They mean "super arts" in the fighting game sense, but they could also be talking about their animation. Which is super. And art...

Look at that GIF! There are more videos over at the Cuphead site, and the game is due for release later this year.

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Graham Smith avatar

Graham Smith

Deputy Editorial Director

Rock Paper Shotgun's former editor-in-chief and current corporate dad. Also, he continues to write evening news posts for some reason.