August 24, 2016
Boxing frogs. Giant mermaids. The Devil. Put these components together, and it sounds like a twisted concoction of a psychedelic nightmare. Except of course, this isn’t actually a real nightmare, but a teeny portion of Cuphead’s wacky visuals.
Produced by StudioMDHR, the trippy, 1930’s cartoon-inspired game is basically a run-and-gun game, with a 2-D backdrop that is similar to Super Mario, or Metal Slug for that matter. There’s a whimsical feel to the gameplay – old school jazz is blaring in the background, while your character evades enemies and shoots them with plasma blasts from his finger. It’s kind of like Alice in Wonderland but on steroids.
In an interview with TIME Magazine, lead artist Chad Moldenhauer revealed that he and his brother Jared (the co-producer) grew up watching whatever their parents grew up watching, which was essentially stuff from the 1930’s. This, coupled with their love for games like Contra Hard Corps, Super Mario World and Street Fighter III, served as an inspiration for the arresting, surrealistic design style of Cuphead.
Everything – from the visuals to the audio – is tirelessly produced from the same techniques of the early 20th century. That includes hand-drawn and hand-inked animation, watercolour backgrounds, and even original jazz recordings! Talk about dedication here.
But Cuphead isn’t all about innovative, vintage graphics. The gameplay has plenty of depth to it too. Gamers can expect a whole raft of fun features, like visiting peculiar lands, getting new weapons, learning super moves, and discovering hidden secrets. Giant, screen-filling bosses will test your skills to the limit, while there’s also a two-player local co-op mode, where players can play as both Cuphead and Mugman!
Cuphead is scheduled to launch later this year on Xbox One and PC. Visit the official website at cupheadgame.com.
Now watch Cuphead’s quirky trailer over here: