Now there’s something immensely innocent about Cuphead. I think it’s got something to do with its charming 1930s watercoloured cartoon aesthetic. It’s very nice to look at. But there’s also this parallel immense frustration that really makes me want to stop playing. The mixture of the two though somehow keeps me hooked. I’m screaming and smiling all at the same time. Someone help me! I’m stuck.

Cuphead’s very short intro and tutorial sees the game’s protagonist upset the devil, who wants Cuphead’s soul. The devil, in exchange for Cuphead’s soul sets you off on a mission of collecting other people’s souls in exchange for yours. This is where things get HUGELY annoying.

The game is pretty much one boss fight after another, with a few run and gun segments in between. But it’s these boss battles that keeps this game feeling fresh. Each boss is different, and has different special abilities and attacks to keep you on your toes. Each boss also has a unique design, and the artwork of Studio MDHR is absolutely beautiful.

Boss battles are going to take you some time however, and you’re pretty much guaranteed to fail on the firs try of meeting said boss, maybe the 15th too. You’re going to need to memorise attack patterns and movements of ground attacks and projectiles so you can successfully jump and dash around the map, all while getting in your shots fired from your finger and thumb gun.

Throughout the game you will come across coins, and these can be used to visit the shops scattered around the main map. The shops sell crucial upgrades to your main weapon and special ability, as well as making movement better or your dash faster or even an invulnerability spell. Crucial that one, although doesn’t last long enough in my opinion. I wasn’t very good at this game.

There are two difficulty levels you can set the game to. Easy, being what they call easy but it’s really just hard. And regular, which is really just their name for insane. You’ll definitely want to start on regular though as a large chunk of the game is locked if you opt for the easy setting. And trust me, you don’t want to miss anything here. It’s such a beautiful game.

Cuphead is a game that definitely shouldn’t be missed. Even if you’re not into platform style titles, it’s mix of charm, frustration, anger, happiness and every other emotion that games from anything, makes Cuphead a truly unique experience. It’s on Steam now and it’s only £19.99 so get your copy today.

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Stef Murphy

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