Generally favorable reviews - based on 31 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 30 out of 31
  2. Negative: 0 out of 31
  1. Oct 13, 2017
    Come for the beautiful art, stay because you smashed all your controllers.
  2. Oct 11, 2017
    Every once in awhile a game comes along that inevitably inspires a new generation of gamers, artists, and designers, an inflection point that imprints itself on the genetics of the medium and help up as a gold standard for years to come. Cuphead is one such game, a quirky assemblage of novelties that comes together in a breathtaking fashion, with a charming exterior that belies one of the most challenging games of this generation.
  3. Sep 29, 2017
    Cuphead is a true piece of art of the modern day videogame. The game has lived up to the expectations and it is full of detail and quality in every aspect. From its soundtrack to its wonderful design, Studio MDHR has achieved glory with this masterpiece.
  4. Sep 29, 2017
    Cuphead offers a unique combination of art and sound, presenting one of the most funny and bizarre shows in the current game generation. Its gameplay and co-op can hold many fun hours and a strong replay-ability attribute. Recommended for everyone.
  5. Sep 29, 2017
    Cuphead's incredible style belies its magical complexity. It's so much more than a hard-as-hell shoot-'em-up with artistic flair. It's cerebral in a way that these kind of games rarely are. Cuphead's commitment to forcing the player to understand is commendable. Those who don't have the patience to learn won't get far. That's the kind of stand-your-ground moxie that makes this a hallmark of game design. My praise runneth over.
  6. Oct 12, 2017
    Cuphead will push you to your limits. It is tough, punishing and it doesn't hold your hand, on the contrary, it requires your full persistence and devotion to its mechanisms. In the end, the feeling of success after each victory is indescribable.
  7. Sep 29, 2017
    Cuphead is one of the most innovative and interesting games to come out of the indie space in the past few years. It was well worth the wait and will please anyone who likes a good challenge.
  8. Sep 29, 2017
    Cuphead is one of the best 2D run and guns we have seen in years. Everything in it is art at its max.
  9. Oct 19, 2017
    The playability of Mega Man X. The intensity of Contra. The challenge of Metal Slug. And the presentation of a whole generation of iconic animation films. Cuphead contains all these things and more, in a product that is not only an ode to a great but almost extinct subgenre, but which is also onto itself a unique work of art.
  10. Dec 14, 2017
    It is easy to tell that the developers studied the history of the genre through and through, delivering a stellar run and gun experience brought to life with unique old fashioned cartoon graphics. It may have it flaws, but when a game is this appealing it is easy to forgive.
  11. Nov 12, 2017
    An amazing looking game that will punish you. And you'll like it. [Issue#267, p.65]
  12. Oct 25, 2017
    Mix in classic action platformers with Walt Disney cartoons and the result is Cuphead. With so many different levels and enemies to deal with, and with beautiful visuals and smooth gameplay, every single cell in your body will be cheered up to death after you finally manage to beat one level and move on to the next.
  13. Oct 13, 2017
    Ever since the first extremely small teaser from the E3 of 2014 we anticipated that Cuphead would be a unique platformer. StudioMDHR managed to deliver on its promise giving us a breadth of utterly enjoyable boss fights. Of course, it goes without saying that the unique and beautiful visuals are a selling point on their own.
  14. Oct 11, 2017
    On the whole, it’s a fantastic game. Each and every boss fight is an experience that keeps you on your toes, never knowing what craziness to expect next. Cuphead’s use of style also feels far from novelty: the light, cartoon exterior conceals a dark subtext which fits perfectly with the grim realities that 1930s cartoons would often parody. Cuphead is a truly unique platformer, well worth a buy (and did I mention the bosses?)
  15. Oct 6, 2017
    Frustration and reward go hand-in-hand in Cuphead. Your fingers will feel the pain of extended play sessions, but your face will be fixed in a fierce (albeit slightly pained) grin.
  16. Oct 3, 2017
    But on a technical and artistic level, Cuphead is a stunning achievement in both gaming and interactive art, and unlike anything I’ve ever played before. Some of the game’s levels had me on the edge of sanity trying to best them, and I ended Cuphead with a few sore spots on my thumbs because of it. More importantly though, I had a smile on my face the whole time through it all.
  17. Oct 3, 2017
    A special, once-in-a-generation type of game. Cuphead would have flourished on its brilliant art-style and visual aesthetic alone, easily. Yet what truly sets itself apart from anything released over the past ten years is how well everything else binds together. A gameplay loop that constantly throws more and more unique ideas at the player; a soundtrack that energises the maddening antics of its visuals even further; a situation that is equal-parts chaotic as it is psychologically immersive. Though it misses out on being crowned a perfect game, believe me when I say that it’s not by much. Its faults may crop up at the most pivotal of moments, but even that takes nothing away from the generally electrifying sense of joy to be found from a game of this vigor and caliber. Cuphead truly is one to cherish.
  18. Oct 3, 2017
    Cuphead is a brilliant and masterfully crafted retro shooter. An amazing game filled with intricate bosses, incredible visuals and an addictive gameplay.
  19. Oct 2, 2017
    In an age where punishing difficulty is finally yearned for again, Cuphead is a worthy title to the list of the best ways to test your gaming mettle.
  20. Oct 2, 2017
    All in all, I didn’t like Cuphead in the slightest. I fell in love with it. The charm and care they put into this game brings back a nostalgia I haven’t felt in many years. Not nostalgia for the 1930s, as I wasn’t born yet, and I’m not quite that old to have watched American Golden Age Cartoons, but nostalgia for the challenging feel-good types of games I played as a younger self. While the stark challenge might not be everyone’s cup of tea, and 1930s cartoony art styles might not appeal to today’s anime crowds, what StudioMDHR has created is nothing short of a masterpiece. If there was ever a game to take a chance on, this would be it. Leave your silverware at the door and pick up a cup, you won’t be disappointed.
  21. Oct 8, 2017
    Extremely difficult platformer with a wonderful cartoon look, requires a lot of patience and offers rich rewards in the end.
  22. Oct 2, 2017
    Not just for the masochists, Cuphead is a demanding but supremely rewarding modern 2D shooter that looks and sounds fantastic.
  23. CD-Action
    Dec 19, 2017
    Cuphead is a stunningly looking, wonderfully animated interactive cartoon with three hours of jazz and ragtime playing in the background. Its gameplay however lacks the brilliance of the audiovisual layer. [12/2017, p.46]
  24. Game World Navigator Magazine
    Nov 7, 2017
    It’s a great hardcore game that can enrage even the calmest person on Earth. Cuphead is difficult and unforgiving, but at the same time you can’t help but come back to it over and over until you learn the patterns of yet another boss and finally manage to knock him on his back. [Issue#224, p.34]
  25. Oct 9, 2017
    Quality has its price, so it’s no surprise that the developers had to run into debts to finish their project. The result is gorgeous and a unique experience full of creativity and charm.
  26. Sep 29, 2017
    Cuphead’s deal with the devil eventually leads to hell, and so perhaps it’s fitting the conclusion should be so torturous. Though, honestly, even the residual headache has been soothed by the sweet, sweet salve of victory. When I think of my time with Cuphead, instead of frustration I’ll remember the dozens of tiny breakthroughs, when the impossible became possible, and a game that built an identity around difficulty helped me to feel, however briefly, undefeatable.
  27. Edge Magazine
    Nov 9, 2017
    Frustrations rarely linger in a game with such a bright, celebratory vibe. This is a love letter to the early history of two mediums - imperfectly written, perhaps, but deeply and sincerely felt. Charming, distinctive and impossible to forget, Cuphead is the kind of game you'll immediately want to talk about, yet be desperate not to spoil. Like we said, quite the paradox. [Christmas 2017, p.114]
  28. Oct 2, 2017
    Cuphead was well worth waiting for. It provided exactly what Studio MDHR said it would be – a boss rush with plenty of well-designed bosses and gorgeous presentation that mimics the Fleisher brothers’ art style. Depending on how used to 2D platformers with difficult bosses you are, there’s a decent amount on offer, though with limited side attractions beyond the bosses, it could all be done before you know it. It’s a swell ol’ time though.
  29. Oct 2, 2017
    It would have been easy to dial down the overall difficulty (and I wouldn’t have complained), but that wouldn’t have been Cuphead, either. Stick with it, is all I can say. We don't often get something that will make you laugh and grind your teeth in such close proximity.
  30. Sep 29, 2017
    Cuphead has been a longtime coming, and it's great to see that it lives up to its initial promises. It's beautiful to look at, and with a pitch-perfect soundtrack, it flawlessly captures the era its developers so clearly revere. It's also an intense action game that pulls no punches. It could benefit from a few tweaks, and two-player co-op doesn't feel like the valuable addition you might imagine, but Cuphead remains a rare, unique game that truly stands out.
  31. Oct 10, 2017
    Playing Cuphead on the easier difficulty reveals that the game’s challenge level is the only trick up its sleeve. Take that away, and all we’re left with is an uninspired and monotonous run-and-gun that just happens to be the most visually-striking release of 2017. Yes, Cuphead’s presentation is magnificent — it’s just a shame that StudioMDHR couldn’t come up with an interesting game to pair with it.
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  1. Sep 29, 2017
    The game is also gorgeous to look at. Cuphead takes up a hand drawn art-style evocative of early Disney or Max Fleischer cartoon and is simply delightful to watch.
  2. I found myself punching the air in jubilation after difficult bosses. And they’re all bloody difficult – but I wouldn’t have it any other way. If that sounds enticing rather than off-putting to you, then I can unreservedly recommend Cuphead. If not, then simple mode might still make the game worth visiting for those who just want to enjoy the delightful aesthetic, though it’s far from the full experience. [RPS Recommended]
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 856 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 87 out of 856
  1. Fuz
    Oct 1, 2017
    This game is artistically incredible.
    It takes its art direction from the old '20s Disney cartoons. Everything is beautiful and incredibly
    This game is artistically incredible.
    It takes its art direction from the old '20s Disney cartoons. Everything is beautiful and incredibly well animated. Drawings, colors, effects... everything is perfect. Music is fantastic too. It's a pleasure to behold.
    It's also very fun to play. It's mostly based on boss battles, but there are some classic platform levels.
    Controls are thight and responsive (playing with keyboard) and, while the game is VERY hard, it never gets frustrating.

    Absolutely fantastic game.
    Full Review »
  2. Oct 3, 2017
    the graphics are fantastic. the music is great. controls are good. the overall artistical design is awesome. they did an insanely good job onthe graphics are fantastic. the music is great. controls are good. the overall artistical design is awesome. they did an insanely good job on that. probably one of the most beautiful games i've ever played. it's astonishing.
    but... but it's too hard. I like a challenge, but it's too much. there are 2 difficulty settings, but even in simple the game is unforginving and frustrating, and also in "simple" mode you don't earn contracts items from the bosses, forcing you to play "hard" if you want to really complete the game. also, the "run and gun" levels are extremely hard, they're not very interesting to play (level design is very bland and unimaginative) and you can't change the difficulty settings for them.
    I really wish this was a "Mario" game with this artistical direction. a classic platform with this artistical direction and Mario's attention to detail and level design would have been a masterpiece for the ages. let's hope in a cuphead 2 for that.

    again, artistically is incredible, but it's not fun to play.
    Full Review »
  3. Dec 8, 2017
    The huge pulling force of this game is obviously the art style. Beautifully animated and unlike anything I have seen in a game before. TheThe huge pulling force of this game is obviously the art style. Beautifully animated and unlike anything I have seen in a game before. The music is also top-notch.

    But sadly that doesn't stop this game from lacking in the most important: gameplay. It's just not fun. The game is basically a series of really difficult boss fights in a row. You loose a bunch of times against the enemy until you figure the pattern out, beat it and then move on to the next one. In between you sometimes get an average platforming level. It's quite grindy and quickly becomes pointless and boring. The world also feels lifeless, as everything is static and there's no real story or characters introduced.
    Full Review »