Few video games are as gorgeous as “Cuphead,” an upcoming Xbox One and PC game.
Just look at this:
That winking, sinister-looking cigar you see above is one of the game’s many bosses. And that frustrated-looking guy with a cup for a head? That’s actually not the eponymous “Cuphead,” but instead is his trusty partner “Mugman.”
The game is so gorgeous because it’s hand-drawn — something few games pull off, and no games pull off as well as “Cuphead.” But what’s the game about? What do you do in “Cuphead”? Let’s dive in.
First things first: What you don’t do in “Cuphead” is deal with the devil. Don’t! Seriously. He’s The Devil!
More seriously, “Cuphead” is a 2D side-scroller — remember “Super Mario Bros.”? That’s a 2D side-scroller. “Cuphead” is reminiscent of games from the Super Nintendo era (early-to-mid-’90s) in terms of how it plays.
There’s a lot going on here, I realize, so allow me to break it down:
-Both Cuphead and Mugman are playing through this level, moving from left to right — you can see Cuphead walking along the ceiling, while Mugman is hopping around on the ground.
-Usually, both Cuphead and Mugman (or just one of them) is walking along the ground.
-Cars are moving along from right to left, both on the bottom of the screen and along the ceiling.
-A crazy duck with wheels appears to be a type of boss or enemy character.
-There’s a twinkling playing card in the middle of the screen — maybe a power-up of some type? That’s unclear.
Rather than jumping on the heads of your foes (a la “Super Mario Bros.”), Cuphead and his compadre Mugman have handguns. I mean that literally — their hands shoot bullets.