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Traditional animation meets gaming in ‘Cuphead’

'Cuphead' uses cel animation to bring classic cartoons to gaming.


Imad Khan

Internet Culture

Posted on Jun 18, 2014   Updated on May 31, 2021, 2:49 am CDT

Have you ever wanted to walk into a 1930s cartoon? If so, Cuphead is here for you. Previewed briefly during the Microsoft Xbox Press Conference last week at E3, the game looks visually striking and unique to boot.

Studio MDHR, which developed the game, is aiming to launch in 2015 on Steam and Xbox One. It’s a great catch for Microsoft, which is trying to build a catalogue of unique and interesting games beyond the Call of Duty and Halo fare. The studio also hopes to release the game on the Sega Master System. Yes, the console that was released back in 1986. It would be the complete package, with a box, cartridge, and game manual.

The game follows the same style of early animation. Studio MDHR is taking the time to use actual cels and is inking by hand to create that classic effect. The music for the game is also live recorded Jazz, none of that MIDI stuff.

The game stars Cuphead, or Mugman if you and a buddy want to tackle the game co-op. It’s a run-and-gun shooter, kind of like Contra from back in the day. Unsurprisingly, Cuphead is a nominee for the International Games Festival.

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*First Published: Jun 18, 2014, 3:25 pm CDT