Can a video game with a graphics totally inspired to ’30s of last century, full of quotations and references to cartoon and comics characters but also to American movie and music icons of the beginnings of 20th century, turn into a resounding success eighty years later? Yes, it can and is just happened with CupHead.
CupHead over a million units sold
CupHead is the first video game developed by MDHR Studio which last October 13, after just a couple of weeks from its launch, sold already over 1 million copies, wich means grossed over 20 million dollars: for an indie developer is a good start, all the more so since a long gestation (the first trailer of the video game was already shown at E3 2014).
The game is described by its own creators as a “classic run and gun action game heavily focused on boss battles”, whose graphics was created with the same techniques of ’30s, i.e. through “traditional hand drawn cel animation, watercolor backgrounds, and original jazz recordings”. The result is nothing short of spectacular, according to our trusted tester, David Progamer.
A lot of quotations in the game
Among the explicit quotations in the game, the crew of MDHR Studio (independent video games developer funded by brothers Chad and Jared Moldenhauer, debuting with CupHead, a project whose development has hocked a team of 19 people) refer Gunstar Heroes (Seven Force!), Contra III, Contra Hard Corps, Super Mario World, and Thunderforce and Street Fighter III series.
But also to the least experienced eye won’t pass unnoticed quotations of characters ad Popeye, Betty Boop and Mickey Mouse. The boss King Dice is a tribute to Cab Calloway, the famous jazz singer of Minnie the Moocher, the Inkwell Isles are a clear reference to the Inkwell Studios of Fleischer brothers (who created Betty Boop, Popey, Superman and Koko the Clown, who was the first quotation of Cab Calloway).
If you succeed in spotting other quotations hidden in the plot and among characters, report them to us and we will add, of course!
Don’t lose your patience too often!
CupHead is therefore a game or a cultural project? The answer is both, so you can enjoy it for a long time, with a note: win the boss battles is not so easy as it seems especially since it is not so clear where you have to hit the bosses and where exactly are hitboxes of bullets and enemies. Which means wasting times, concentration and… lives! So try not to cast your controller against the screen too often and follow David Progamer advice: when you just can’t overcome a level, shut down and go out for a walk with your friends, talking of tricks and secrets.
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