The long awaited and oft-delayed Cuphead from Canadian game dev studio StudioMDHR has just been released and it has not disappointed players. Seemingly appearing as an instant success by selling over a million units upon its release a few weeks ago, Cuphead‘s development actually took a number of years, mainly due to the fact that the artwork was painstakingly hand drawn in the tradition of 1930’s animation. It’s an absolute labour of love and it doesn’t stop at appearances: everything about Cuphead has the dark feel of the original cartoons that came out of Max Fleischer‘s studio and entourage. In short, this was no Disney. These were dark, often violent cartoons, with a subversive political message.
Cuphead is a run and gun (shoot ’em up) bonanza of animated eye candy and crazy boss fights and to say that Cuphead in brilliantly executed would be an understatement. Everything from the artwork, the way the animation moves, to the music (classic 30’s jazz and ragtime) make Cuphead feel like a video game from the past. And yet, it is late 2017. It’s the perfect homage.