Parents' Guide to


By Neilie Johnson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

Charming retro-themed game presents maddening challenge.

Cuphead Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this game.

Community Reviews

age 8+

Based on 22 parent reviews

age 10+

Alright for any age just too hard for anyone under 10

This game is appropriate for all ages but its extremely hard so definitely 10 plus also the game is about going to the devils casino (gambling is shown in a bad light here so as long as your kids understand it's bad it's alright) and Cuphead and his brother Mugman lose their souls to the devil so maybe not appropriate for religious families. I also believe the devil uses a cigarette/cigar to attack you at the end but I'm not too sure as my son hasn't beaten it yet I have just herd it elsewhere. Just realised I forgot to mention how amazing the art style is its centred around 1920s cartoons and just looks spectacular.

This title has:

Educational value
1 person found this helpful.
age 7+

gameplay is good; thematically there are lessons that require mild care

The gameplay is good. Generally each scenarios is a shoot-em up battle with nothing more complex than early arcade consoles, lasting a few minutes. Beating each scenario is hard, but failing is a small setback--just try again requiring maybe up to 2-3 minutes--and practice perseverence. Artistically the game is a bit of a treasure with its retro drawn graphics. What makes it special is not being awed by stunningly beautiful images or immerse-ment, but quaint throwback production values. Thematically, the game delves into undeniable moral bankruptcy, and is somewhat of a learning opportunity. The premise of the game has the main characters visit the devil's casino, they thus lose their souls to the devil when one of them gets caught up by the allure of high-stakes gambling for easy winnings, and they enter an ambiguous agreement to get their souls back by being enforces collecting on souls of previous losers. Although the gameplay is fine for 6 and 7 year olds, the concepts definitely require subtle help to hint children into understanding that no characters are "good" and the characters are dealing with their own consequences after succumbing to trappings of the devil. In fact, I'd go so far as to say it's important for parents to talk about gambling and additions (smoking, drinking) as tools by which some people become victimized because without that message you run the risk of children missing the message and having the game merely normalize those environs by which corrupt industries and individuals victimize others.
1 person found this helpful.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (22 ):
Kids say (92 ):

This is, visually speaking, the most unique game made in years. Done in a graphic style that emulates the hand-drawn animation of the Max Fleischer studio of the 1930s, Cuphead is far and away one of the most beautiful games you'll ever lay eyes on. It's also one of the most maddening. Developer StudioMDHR Entertainment said they meant for it to be a challenge, and boy, did they succeed. Hearkening back to classic arcade run-and-gun action games, Cuphead is a string of merciless boss battles. Don't expect boring bosses here; you'll be fighting things like frogs, zeppelins, mermaids, boats, and candy houses, all to a swinging Jazz Age soundtrack. The fights, like everything else in the game, are packed with creativity and personality. It's a good thing, too, because without its stratospheric level of visual and audio appeal, Cuphead would alienate all but the most determined players. Impressively, the Switch version has been optimized to run just as well as the Xbox One and Windows PC versions, which is an amazing technical feat. In fact, some levels load as fast or slightly faster on the Switch than the more powerful systems.

Winning fights takes near endless patience, not to mention savant-level reflexes. And if you're thinking two-player co-op makes things easier, you're wrong. Two players on screen only doubles the chaos. Still, the most skilled and patient gamers get the glory, the unlockable color modes (two-tone and black-&-white) and the right to say they beat the game. The rest of us, well ... we get a taste of cool retro fun.

Game Details

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate