Studio MDHR’s upcoming 2D run-and-gun fighting platformer Cuphead is practically on the verge of achieving a retro singularity. Visually the game stands out immediately for its gorgeous, hand-drawn animations in the style of 1920’s and 30’s Disney cartoons. The developers aren’t cutting any corners, creating all sprites with traditional cell animation over watercolor backgrounds with an instrumental jazz soundtrack.
The gameplay, though, appears to be no less studied and lovingly crafted. This new trailer from E3 shows off what it looks like in action:
Cuphead is a classic, side-scrolling run-and-gun, focused on 1-on-1 (or 2-on-1 in multiplayer) boss battles. The two brothers making up up the team behind the game are diligent students of the genre: rather than just cashing in on easy retro appeal skinned with a cool aesthetic, they are passionately into the nitty gritty of fine-tuning hitboxes and developing unpredictably responsive enemy AI.
Inspirations cited include classics like Contra III, Super Mario World, Mega Man X, Street Fighter III, and Gunstar Heroes. Increasing the difficulty gives the bosses new sets of attacks and patterns, and a playable world map full of secrets allows for new weapons and powers to give you plenty of tactical options and replayability.
If everything remains on schedule, Cuphead will be released for PC (via Steam) and Xbox One sometime in late 2014.