Stylistically, Cuphead harkens back to the early era of 1930's World War II-style animation. It gives the game a vibe that at any moment Betty Boop, Mickey Mouse, or Popeye could show up out of nowhere in the middle of a battle and break into a song and dance routine. Designs of both our porcelain-headed heroes and the various anthropomorphized inanimate objects and creatures build a world of wonder and let the art tell a story. They're bouncy and rubbery and it feels like everything is dancing along to the jazzy big band soundtrack regardless of the purity of their intent.
Along with all the hand-drawn animated characters, the backdrops are all watercolor paintings. Anyone that's ever picked up a brush and attempted to make a watercolor painting can tell you that it's no easy task to make something even close to decent with the medium. To make an entire game's worth of various environments that run the gamut through land, sea, and air is a noteworthy task in and of itself.
If the reception and success is any indication, the long nights, and sore, cramping hands were worth it for the two brothers who run StudioMDHR and their small, but
Be sure to keep up with the rest of The Shacknews Awards as we celebrate the Year of the Games: 2017.