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If the Fleischer Studios Made a Videogame in the 1930s, It Would Look Like Cuphead

Next year looks like it might be a vintage year for fans of cartoony indie-produced games.

Not only can we look forward to Cloudface, we can also anticipate Cuphead, a game that will be “hand drawn and inked in the 1930s style.”

The developer Studio MDHR has the classic animation look pegged, from lush watercolor backgrounds to authentic pie-cut eyed, rubbery characters who look straight out of a Fleischer/Iwerks short. This is how they describe the game:

Cuphead is a classic run and gun that centers around 1-on-1 fights (2-on-1 in two player mode). With Cuphead, we aim to evolve the genre by adding new features such as: super arts, infinite lives, a playable world map and hidden secrets. In addition to that, we will have refined controls, additional boss patterns on harder modes and balanced weapons to equip (that you don’t lose!). We plan to release 10-15 bosses per episode and end up with over 30 bosses. If all goes as planned, we will defeat the current “Guinness World Record for Most Boss Battles in a Run and Gun Game”[25 total].

Studio MDHR is developing the game for PCs. After the PC version is released, they plan to port to Mac/Linux platforms and “hopefully consoles (PS4, XBoxOne).”

(Thanks, Corey Siskavard)

  • Roberto Severino

    Whoa! I’m really impressed. It’s one of the best attempts I’ve seen yet to try to recapture that kind of animation.

    • Chris Sobieniak

      I do sorta wonder what was the deal with the scanlines thrown in this? I see where they were going with in having the colors slightly off-registered as if the separate strips needed to produce the color either suffered from shrinkage or other technical problems overtime, but giving it a filter of a CRT monitor seems a tad over-doing it in my book. It’s like you’re watching a perfectly good DVD or Blu-Ray of one of the Popeye 2-reelers on your tube TV when you could see it clearly on a modern set without any of those embedded limitations.

  • Johnny

    It looks great. I’ve always wanted a game that looks just like this but I never figured it would get made.

  • Frogjerky

    I absolutely adore the artstyle and animation, but from the sound of it, it’s going to just be endless one on one boss battles? Megaman Powerbattles wasn’t exactly the highlight of the series and this style lends itself perfectly to a full on platformer/action game.

    • Chris Sobieniak

      Yeah I guess I was expecting something along the lines of a platformer myself (especially if they could evoke the look of the 3-D turntable-style backgrounds that way).

    • sashatemp

      I find a lot of indie games or games from small studios to be platformers so I think this is a pleasant departure from that

  • Platynews

    This looks much better than Fleish & Cherry in Crazy Hotel…

  • SlawDogg

    What fun! I found the art and movement totally captivating. Keeping the story line going in an interesting way will be the next challenge.

  • Karl Hungus

    WOW! Game changer.

  • popyea

    Holy shit, those backgrounds are pitch perfect.

  • Shmorky

    This actually looks like the 30s style they’re trying to emulate. People hardly EVER get it right! Good job.

  • Ron Yavnieli

    Wow….just…I mean….Wow…Yes….More please….Yes….Wow…Awesome.

  • Geoff

    Looks amazing! I’m really excited for this; I just hope they make an app version, as that’s really the only way I (have time to) game these days.

  • AC

    Alright so I’m very picky on 30s since it’s my favorite era and I must say…


  • anon

    i wonder if they’ll allude to more than just the style of the Fleischer 30’s cartoons? it could be eat to see a level based on classics such as minnie the moocher (fight a ghost walrus?), nimbos initiation (avoid death traps and beat up members?) popeye meets sinbad (althouggh the boss looks to be referencing sinbad perhaps) among others

    looks amazing and ill be sure to pick it up once it comes out, its nice to see a game with such a great style