Cuphead Review

Cuphead. This is why you play video games.

Cuphead is the kind of game that reminds me why I love playing video games. Cuphead from StudioMDHR is a classic style run and gun game, featuring a branching level design with boss fights and platforming sections. The action takes place across the fictional Inkwell Isle, where Cuphead has to take on numerous bosses and run and gun levels, before finally facing the Devil and King Dice in order to complete the game.

The Look

Cuphead is beautiful. The design of the game is based on animated films from the 1930s. The animation for the game has been produced using traditional hand drawn cells and looks incredible. Each level is filled with incredible animated elements. They look beautiful and there is an incredible depth to the levels with each character having its own distinct identity. Each level demands you play it again and again not only to to complete the level but also to give you a chance to take in all of what is being shown on screen. The music also conjures up the feel of a lost animated classic with its jazzy vibe. 

This game is hard, it reminds me of old school coin hungry arcade games like Ghosts and Ghouls and Defender. The game gives you two options, Simple, which is your chance to explore each level with a stripped down version of the boss fights in front of you, and a second, Regular, which gives you a much harder challenge and the opportunity to collect a soul which is required if you want to fully complete the game. Cuphead is a huge test of your platforming and shooting skills. Each level requires patience and practice, the characters have set animation patterns but these vary slightly from play to play, so you need to have your wits about you when tackling each level.

The Challenge

Despite the challenge, you will return to Cuphead again and again. Each level assesses your play and awards you a skill ranking depending on how well you played, so gamers will want to achieve that elusive S rank.  Interestingly, in the run and gun levels it’s possible to achieve a P rank, P for pacifist. These levels encourage you to complete them without firing a single shot. Whatever your ranking, just beating a level will fill you with a huge amount of satisfaction.

Cuphead is the most fun I’ve had with a game in a long time. Sure the game had me cursing but it also had me crying out with absolute joy. I smiled from ear to ear as I progressed through the game and discovered more of its wonderful characters and explored the beautiful world that has been created.

Cuphead is available now on Xbox and Windows 10 as part of its play anywhere program. The game currently cost £16.74 and we highly recommend it. And once you’re done playing the game by yourself, Cuphead also offers you the option to play local Co-op, so get a friend round and see who will be cursing and laughing the most as you play this absolute gem of a game.


Geeky Brummie Rating:  A

Cuphead is available for Windows 10 and Xbox One for £16.74

Reviewed on Xbox One


    • OS: Windows 10
    • Processor: Intel Core2 Duo E8400, 3.0GHz or AMD Athlon 64 X2 6000+, 3.0GHz or higher
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Geforce 9600 GT or AMD HD 3870 512MB or higher

Studio MDHR:


Twitter @StudioMDHR


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