Often, it can be hard for Indie games to really make an impression on the general gaming public. If it weren’t for such massive titles such as Thomas Was Alone, Don’t Starve and most recently, Undertale, I’d question whether or not these Indie studios would manage to break the mainstream.
Although this genre has been given much more attention in recent years, AAA titles and studios always tend to take the limelight, expectedly so, given the massive budgets they have at their disposal, and massive fanbases willing to drop money whenever they announce a new title in their respective franchises.
One such game that will attempt to show the world that you do not need a huge studio behind you, or millions worth of funding to make your game a household name is Studio MDHR‘s Cuphead.
Cuphead is a classic run and gun style game, similar to classic games like Metal Slug or Contra, but with a unique twist, the likes of which I haven’t come across in a video game before. It features 1930’s cartoon style graphics, which in my opinion are absolutely gorgeous. Studio MDHR have said the game is “Inspired by cartoons of the 1930’s, the visuals and audio are painstakingly created with the same techniques of the era, i.e. traditional cel animation (hand drawn & hand inked!), watercolor backgrounds, and original jazz recordings“.
You’ve got to admire the steel of these developers, attempting this style of game with these sort of graphics is very bold in this day and age, where most people seem to care about how life-like a game can look, or how realistic the physics are. Many people would be turned off by the art style I’m sure, but it’s certainly my cup of tea. Actually, I hate tea. My cup of.. Sprite.. no, that sounds wrong. Anyway..
The game itself is a tale about our newest hero, Cuphead and his trusty side-kick, Mugman. The story tells of how the pair gambled with the Devil, and lost. As a result, they must repay their debt by doing his bidding. An interesting premise to say the least, but the below trailer shows what definitely looks to be an exciting game, one that I’ll be picking up.
It has a Super Mario World style level system, you have an overworld, where you select what level you want to enter, and the level itself, where you have to blast your way through leagues of wacky enemies. The boss battles seem to look somewhat familiar from what we’ve seen in the trailers. They seem to have the systematic approach, where the same attacks are sent your way in a sequence, remember the sequence, defeat the boss. Although it looks this way in the trailers, we’re sure that the battle mechanics will go deeper than this.
Overall, I’m impressed with what we’ve seen this far, and look forward to what this game has to offer. I think that this art style mixed with the familiar retro run and gun style mechanic might just make this one stand out from the crowd, for all the right reasons.
I mean, just look at the below screenshots! Beautiful.
Cuphead will be available mid-2017 on Xbox One, Windows 10 & Steam.