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An indie game by the name of Enchanted Portals is on its way to a potential release on Nintendo Switch and PC. A trailer was released Tuesday on YouTube, announcing that a Kickstarter for it will open on Oct. 24. Many gamers were quick to notice that the graphics and gameplay looked strikingly familiar, drawing a comparison to none other than top-selling platformer Cuphead.
Cuphead, released by StudioMDHR, is an indie game known for its 1930’s cartoon-inspired art style, whimsical music, and challenging gameplay. Just two weeks after its release on PC and Xbox One, it sold a million copies worldwide. As with any other successful title, Cuphead has seen its fair share of ripoffs and scams.
Many pointed out that not only does Enchanted Portals use a similar art style reminiscent of 1930’s cartoons, but the trailer footage also shows similar gameplay mechanics and boss fights. Many fans have been quick to point out the similarities and are expressing their frustrations online, accusing Enchanted Portals of ripping off the popular indie title for a quick cash grab.
A video game called Enchanted Portals has had a lot of people call it a ripoff to Cuphead and I have to agree with that consensus. This game feels almost plagiaristic as it has the same mechanics and the art style Cuphead achieved so well. This game is not off to a good start. pic.twitter.com/4YllrWeru4— Animated Antic (@Animated_Antic) October 9, 2019
“A video game called Enchanted Portals has had a lot of people call it a ripoff to Cuphead and I have to agree with that consensus. This game feels almost plagiaristic as it has the same mechanics and the art style Cuphead achieved so well. This game is not off to a good start,” Twitter user @Animated_Antic wrote.
Enchanted Portals: Can I copy your homework?— Street 🎃 [QuantumGC] (@streetgrind_) October 9, 2019
Cuphead: Sure just make it look different so it doesn't look like you just copied it.
Enchanted Portals: Sure thing.
BOYYYY if this isn't borderline plagiarism.... pic.twitter.com/xjcvd434Kv
Look I wanna give Enchanted Portals the benefit of the doubt but... I can't, either can most of the community. It literally looks like they're trying to cash in on both look and gameplay of the pre-existing Cuphead, and that's not great.— TRAFON (@RiseFallNick) October 9, 2019
Fine line between inspiration and ripoff. pic.twitter.com/jaSoNrD2Ov
Twitter user @RiseFallNick posted a screenshot with a six-week-old comment from the creators themselves in which they don’t hide their influence from Cuphead.
“We are avid fans of Cuphead and were inspired by it to create something similar, but we’re trying to give it a different spin and making it our own thing,” the creators wrote on their official Facebook page.
While many are angered by the similarities, others are simply disappointed at what they deem wasted potential.
Obviously Cuphead didn't create the rubber hose art style or run and gun gameplay, but this is so damn similar that it's disappointing.— Drake (@TrailerDrake) October 9, 2019
The animation looks solid and it would be great to see these guys do something less derivative with that talent. https://t.co/eVnmDGAZTd
“Obviously Cuphead didn’t create the rubber hose art style or run and gun gameplay, but this is so damn similar that it’s disappointing. The animation looks solid and it would be great to see these guys do something less derivative with that talent,” Twitter user @TrailerDrake wrote.
Alex is a recent graduate of the journalism school at the University of Texas at Austin. She has written for the Texas Observer, the Austin Chronicle, KUT, and ORANGE Magazine.