As a gamer who’s loved titles like The Legend of Zelda, Metroid, and Final Fantasy since the NES days, I cherish games that blend classic charm with fresh mechanics. Cuphead does just that. It excels with high-quality animations, challenging boss battles, and balanced gameplay. However, the randomness in later stages can test even seasoned gamers. Despite this, the joy and sense of accomplishment upon winning are immensely rewarding.

screenshot_0_RetroGamer84's Take on <em>Cuphead</em>: A Super Fun, Nostalgia-Inducing Masterpiece

Gameplay Mechanics

Cuphead is a quintessential run-and-gun action game focusing heavily on boss battles. The controls are tight and responsive, reminiscent of the precision demanded by classic titles like Mega Man. Each boss battle is a meticulously designed spectacle, requiring players to memorize patterns, react quickly, and stay on their toes. The randomness in some enemy attacks during the final battles can be overwhelming, making it frustrating to restart due to a “bad roll.” However, mastering these challenges is where the game’s real charm lies.

Visuals and Art Style

The first thing that strikes you about Cuphead is its stunning visual style. Inspired by 1930s cartoons, the game showcases traditional hand-drawn cel animation, watercolor backgrounds, and original jazz recordings that bring the game world to life. It’s a beautiful homage to a bygone era of animation. The fluidity of the animations and the vibrant colors make each level and boss fight a visual treat.

screenshot_1_RetroGamer84's Take on <em>Cuphead</em>: A Super Fun, Nostalgia-Inducing Masterpiece


The storyline in Cuphead is simple yet effective. Cuphead and his brother Mugman find themselves in debt to the devil after a night of ill-fated gambling. To repay their debt, they must travel through various whimsical worlds, defeating bizarre and colorful bosses to collect their soul contracts. The story serves as a perfect backdrop for the game’s action and adds a layer of urgency to each encounter.


Cuphead and Mugman are instantly likable protagonists, thanks to their charming designs and expressive animations. Throughout the game, players encounter a memorable cast of characters, each with unique personalities and quirks. The bosses are the stars of the show. Each one is distinct and creatively designed, offering a range of challenges that keep the gameplay fresh and exciting.

screenshot_2_RetroGamer84's Take on <em>Cuphead</em>: A Super Fun, Nostalgia-Inducing Masterpiece

Final Thoughts

Cuphead stands out in the modern gaming landscape. Its blend of nostalgic art style, tight gameplay, and challenging boss battles make for an unforgettable experience. Memorable moments include besting tough bosses after numerous attempts and marveling at the beautiful animations and backgrounds. The game demands skill, patience, and old-school perseverance, rewarding players with a sense of achievement few games can match.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

screenshot_3_RetroGamer84's Take on <em>Cuphead</em>: A Super Fun, Nostalgia-Inducing Masterpiece

Cuphead is a must-play for fans of classic run-and-gun games, challenging boss battles, and high-quality animation. However, be prepared for a steep challenge if you’re easily discouraged by high difficulty or unpredictable enemy patterns.

screenshot_4_RetroGamer84's Take on <em>Cuphead</em>: A Super Fun, Nostalgia-Inducing Masterpiece

Pro Tip for Beginners: Patience and practice are key! Don’t hesitate to switch up your weapons and charms to find the best combination for each boss. Learning each boss’s patterns and devising a strategy is crucial.

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Want to check it out yourself? Click here to see it on Steam.