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Game review by
Neilie Johnson, Common Sense Media
Cuphead Game Poster Image
Charming retro-themed game presents maddening challenge.
Popular with kidsParents recommend

Parents say

age 11+
Based on 14 reviews

Kids say

age 9+
Based on 27 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

Message about the value of redemption. Also, kids face consequences for disobedience.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Heroes are disobedient kids who redeem themselves and others through violence.

Ease of Play

Thumb-numbingly hard platforming levels, boss battles.


Frequent comic cartoon violence. No blood, gore, but some bosses are scary-looking.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

References to gambling, alcohol, smoking.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Cuphead is an action platformer based on the surreal cartoons of the 1930s. Its focus is violence, but it's all shown to be the silly cartoon variety. It contains scenes of gambling and mild references to alcohol and smoking. Players should also know that the game is incredibly difficult, which could frustrate players.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byAnonmyous S. October 4, 2017

A masterful work of art!

Lets start with the graphics. It has been soooooo long since a game like this has come out and I was EXCITED! The hand-drawn visuals are on-point. You travel ar... Continue reading
Adult Written byNOAHER D. December 20, 2017


Has smoking and gambling wouldn't encourage, most kids cant beat it anyway
Teen, 13 years old Written byaaaaaaaaa2 October 13, 2017


Yes, it's a bit hard. Yes it has a bit of smoking and drinking and stuff. But it never goes overboard with either of those two. It's super fun and the... Continue reading
Kid, 9 years old October 7, 2017

great game

really good game the animations are good. and easy gameplay

What's it about?

CUPHEAD stars a mischievous kid (with a cup for a head) living in a place called Inkwell Isle. He foolishly enters the Devil's Casino where he finds out -- as most gamblers do -- that the House always wins. He can't pay, so the Devil demands his soul in payment; he also says he'll let the kid off if he can collect the souls of other Inkwell Isle residents. This sets the stage for a series of shooter-style, multiphase boss battles interspersed with a few run-and-gun sequences. Successfully clearing the latter earns you gold, which you can use to buy useful weapon and skill upgrades.

Is it any good?

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, it's 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. 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.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about violence in games. Is the gameplay OK because the action is clearly cartoonish, without any blood or gore? Why is this kind of action OK compared to other games?

  • Talk about animation history. What era does Cuphead hearken back to?

  • Discuss how game difficulty affects fun. Do you enjoy a challenge?

Game details

Themes & Topics

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Our editors recommend

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