Best Indie Games of 2017 – #1: Cuphead

Fantastic 1930s cartoon inspired Cuphead wins our Game of the Year!

We hope that our list of the best indie games of 2017 has surprised you and made you fall in love with games that hadn’t yet encountered.  Our choice of best game of 2017, however, probably isn’t much of a surprise.  There couldn’t really be any other choice.  Since it’s release in September this year, a mere three months ago, Cuphead has exploded with overwhelmingly positive reviews, won multiple awards, and even had an Honest Trailer made by Smosh Games.  Check out our article on Cuphead multiple wins at The Game Awards for more.

Cuphead’s success can at least partly be contributed to its wonderful and original artwork and soundtrack.  Not only have developers StudioMDHR perfectly recreated 1930s cartoon style graphics – but they have done so in the same authentic way that these cartoons used to be produced.  The cel animation is all hand-drawn, with water colour backdrops, and the accompanying jazz sound track was produced specifically for the game.  The result is simply astonishing, and recreates what I can only imagine as being the same thrill as watching the old Looney Tunes or MGM cartoons back in the 30s.


Cuphead is very boss battle focused.  Each of the many different end of level encounters feel and look unique, such as Baroness von Bon Bon, above.  This encounter assualts you with all manner of classic sweets and snacks, such as giant gobstobbers reimagined as a pac-man sort of creature, and flying, self-detonating waffles.

As if there wasn’t enough nostalgia already, the co-op mode in Cuphead guarantees even more.  I’m reminded of playing old Mega Drive games before the term couch play was even a thing, such as Altered Beast or Kid Chameleon.  If you haven’t yet played Cuphead, call a friend, ask if they can come over and play for the weekend, and relive your childhood gaming in a way that only Cuphead allows.

You can get Cuphead on Steam with 15% off currently for £12.74 / $17.20.  It’s also available for Xbox One for £14.22 / $16.99 in the winter sale.  Unfortunately for PS4 players, it doesn’t seem likely that there will be a release as Microsoft have indefinite exclusivity, however don’t give up hope, as the StudioMDHR do still own the intellectual property.  Hopefully Cuphead 2 (please let there be a Cuphead 2) will be available for all platforms.

Thank you for reading our list – but don’t go anywhere just yet – we’ll soon be bringing you our list of our most anticipated games of 2018.

Finally, happy new year from everyone at the Indie Game Website!