For gamers, complexity and challenge are what the art form is all about. But for cartoon buffs, the allure is that a challenging game looks like a Fleischer or Warner Bros. cartoon (okay, Leon Schlesinger, if you want to get technical), circa 1933. And pretend the gaudy three-strip technicolor wasn't Walt Disney's exclusive domain.
As one discerning critic puts it: "So this game is basically what happens if you mix a Mario game with a Touhou game and jam it together with a Betty Boop cartoon."
Like other games known for their difficulty, dying in Cuphead isn’t simply "Th..Th...That's all folks!", it’s a chance to educate yourself in the ways of the game, finding out what the angry monster you're fighting can throw at you, what its moves are.
Cuphead, it turns out, was a long time in development, as "The Verge" reports:
When work first started on Cuphead, a new game that marries side-scrolling gameplay with 1930s-style American animation, Maja Moldenhauer went ahead and ordered a whole bunch of animation paper. Since the game was to be completely hand-drawn, in an attempt to emulate the process from the time, the paper was an integral tool. Moldenhauer, who served as an artist and producer on the game, thought that her initial paper order would be big enough to get the team through the development of Cuphead, and then get started on whatever the studio’s follow-up project ended up being.
That didn’t happen. Instead, that huge stack of paper only lasted about a third of the way through Cuphead’s creation. One of the reasons was the game’s scope, which dramatically expanded midway through development, resulting in multiple delays and a lot more animation. ...
So. You like rubber hose animation? That good old squash and stretch? And killing big cartoon creatures who lurch out at you? Look no further than one of the new, hot video games, the one called Cuphead.