LQ: 9.7


Brain grade: 9.6
Fun score: 9.8

Game Type: , ESRB Rating: Everyone 10+ Platform/Console: , , , , , LWK Recommended Age: 10+ Thinking Skills Used: , Academic Skills Used:

 Nintendo Switch Steam PS4 XBox One  PC MacOS

Cuphead is a 30’s animation style-inspired game where the main character, an anthropomorphic cup battles his way through several different lands in order to save his soul from the devil. The game centers around Cuphead and his brother Mugman, who stray too far from home and end up gambling in the devil’s casino. After losing a random game of chance, the devil says that he is going to take both of their souls as payment. But the two brothers beg for mercy, causing the devil to give them a task. If they can collect all of the soul contracts from the debtors who have run away, he will spare them. So armed with a finger that shoots projectiles and some jumping and dashing moves, Cuphead begins his quest to collect all of the soul contracts. 

The bosses that Cuphead runs into are as difficult as they are stunning to look at. Each one has its own unique style of fighting and requires adaptation to ensure that you are victorious. 

Cuphead can either be played solo or co-op with the second player taking on the role of Mugman. The game features a small amount of reading so younger players may need assistance with reading text on-screen.

Cuphead helps kids practice and improve the following skills:

Working Memory: Recalling and retaining information in our minds while working. 

Each boss in Cuphead is its own exercise in difficulty, meaning the player needs to recognize their patterns of attack and keep that information in their head while constantly moving and shooting to avoid being hit. Cuphead only gets three measly hit points so it is essential that the player avoids getting hit by recognizing when a certain attack or projectile will be coming their way. Players who struggle with working memory may find that they need to try each boss fight several times before they are able to decipher the patterns and avoid taking too much damage. 

Flexibility: Adapting and adjusting to changing conditions and expectations.

Because each boss battle is unique in their own way, the player needs to constantly adapt their method of fighting in order to be successful. Even if they know the pattern in which each boss sends out their attacks, they still need to be able to adjust to moving away from projectiles, jumping onto moving platforms and avoiding taking damage all while dealing damage to the enemy. Players who struggle with flexibility may find that they need to battle the same boss several times because they have gotten stuck in one type of fighting style.

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