Is Cuphead one of your favorites? If that’s the case, you’ll appreciate this roundup of the best games that can be compared to Cuphead. Start working on your next project right now.
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The first few minutes of playing Cuphead will serve as a stark reminder to anyone who expects it to be a lighthearted family game. If you’re a fan of vintage run-and-gun games like Contra III, Mega Man X, and Gunstar Heroes, Cuphead is a must-have for your collection.
Cuphead’s unusual 1930s cartoon-inspired aesthetics are what genuinely set it apart from other games. Cuphead’s developer Studio MDHR believes that the most difficult part of the game’s design was hand-drawing every animation frame by frame.
In this section, we’ll be showcasing the finest current-generation PC and console games that use gameplay concepts similar to Cuphead and are visually stunning.
This list is constantly being updated, so keep an eye out for new additions. If you want more gaming recommendations, check out our other curated lists.
Sections and Subsections
1. Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove
Shovel Knightback, developed by Yacht Club Games and released in 2014, became one of the most acclaimed 2D platformers of its time.
On top of that, the game has some of the best platforming mechanics in recent memory, based around the titular hero using his shovel blade to bounce on obstacles and enemy skulls.
One of Shovel Knight’s most appealing aspects is its addicting gameplay that has you combine various devices and tools in order to kill enemies while traversing dangerous regions.
Plague of Shadows and Specter of Torment, two expansions that introduced new characters with unique skills, have contributed to this over the years.
2. Hollow Knight
This is a terrific game in its own right to emulate Cuphead’s headache-inducing difficulty. The 2D Metroidvania, released by Team Cherry in 2017, surprised many with its gorgeous visuals and high degree of difficulty.
As a sword-wielding knight, you set out to discover the secrets of the kingdom in the dark and perilous Hallownest.
Hollow Knight, on the other hand, depicts gruesome insects and gruesome landscapes in order to create a spooky and spooky atmosphere.
3. Enter the Gungeon
Enter the Gungeon’s twin-stick shooter gameplay brings the same level of mayhem and excitement as Cuphead’s 2D platforming.
It’s been described as a “bullet-hell rogue-lite,” in which players explore a procedurally-generated labyrinth filled with opponents that resemble bullets and a variety of lethal weapons.
As you progress through The Gungeon, the level of the game increases exponentially, ending in increasingly difficult boss battles.
Lock picking, a faster reload speed, a dodge with extended invulnerability are just some of the unique abilities that each character class has to offer in ETG.
4. Blazing Chrome
Blazing Chrome looks a lot more like the old-school run-and-gun games that Cuphead was heavily inspired by.
Additional co-op support for up to two players is available in the 2D platformer, allowing you and your friend to play together again. A tough female rebel fighter and her mohawk-sporting robot buddy will take the place of Cuphead and Mugman.
Terminator-esque future in which AI machines have taken over the globe and a tiny group of survivors remain in hiding is the setting of the game. Infiltrate and destroy an AI-controlled power facility with an arsenal of powerful weapons as part of a suicide mission.
5. Neon the Ninja
Like Cuphead and Super Meat Boy, Neon the Ninja is a tough platformer with a unique twist.
Playing this game is like playing a hybrid of Ninja Gaiden and Mega Man, with its colorful, punk rock-inspired 2D graphics, challenging yet rewarding skill-based gameplay, and responsive controls.
When an enemy is within range, you can use your ninja skills to sneak up on them and kill them while they’re unaware.
Similar to Cuphead, this game is largely a race against time to defeat the toughest opponents in each level. Multiple phases and unique game-enhancing abilities can be found in each boss bottle.
Furi, a boss rush game in the Cuphead vein, is another title that’s likely to challenge Cuphead aficionados. Despite its 3D presentation, its neon-bright colors and addictive gameplay will keep you coming back for more time and time again.
It’s up to you to save the world from an overpowering jail defended by a heroic hero.
Combat requires you to become familiar with your opponent’s attack patterns and to spot possible opportunities for a sword or pistol attack. Furi gives you a dodge skill similar to Cuphead’s parry, which is essential for surviving the assault of unblockable strikes bosses will hurl at you again and time again throughout the game.
7. Dust: An Elysian Tail
Dust: An Elysian Tail, a gorgeous Metroidvania game released in 2012 for Xbox Live Arcade, went unnoticed for a long time. As with Cuphead, the game has a distinct art style that contains meticulously detailed locations, characters, and cutscenes.
As a swordsman with amnesia who comes upon a sentient weapon called the Blade of Ahrah and its protector, an anthropomorphic flying fox-like creature named Fidget, the game takes place in a fantasy universe.
Your ultimate goal is to protect the natural world from bad powers by employing a variety of brawler-style combat techniques.
8. Titan Souls
Top-down action game Titan Souls has some of the most difficult boss fights ever seen in a video game.
You play a little hero who is entrusted with awakening and conquering each of the huge titans that have been slumber in the scattered ancient ruins of the mythical realm.
The difficulty is exacerbated by the fact that your character has only a basic bow and arrow, and that your foes are able to 1HKO you with ease. A sequence of terrible attacks encourages you to take your time and study each titan’s distinct attack patterns.
9. Bleed 2
Those who like Cuphead’s features and gameplay will find plenty to enjoy in Bleed 2. Fast-paced action with bullet-reflecting parries and a slew of difficult boss fights spanning numerous phases are all part of the package.
Bleed 2 has also had a lot of assistance from its developer, Ian Campbell, since its release. With new modes and features like daily challenges and randomly-generated levels being added since the game’s premiere in 2017, replayability has increased dramatically.
10. The Bug Butcher
To round out our list is The Bug Butcher, a violent shooting game in which you aim your shots vertically at monsters that continually jump and attach themselves to the ceiling.
Inspired by the iconic arcade game Super Pang, this is a design decision! TBB stands apart from the rest of the genre because of its unique gameplay.
A fun arcade-style shooter is the ultimate result, which stresses the use of power-ups and absurd weapons to eradicate an alien bug infestation that has taken over a research facility.