6. Kero Blaster
From the mind of Pixel (creator of Cave Story) comes Kero Blaster. You take control of a frog who’s out to save the day from invading black creatures that threaten to take over the world. Like other best run and gun games like Cuphead, the game is all about 2D platforming and blasting at moving enemies. You’re also able to upgrade your stats and weapons as you take on tough bosses. Stylistically, Kero Blaster combines bright pixel art with catchy 8-bit retro tunes. However, unlike Cuphead, changing shooting directions is trickier, requiring you to let go of your fire button before switching your aim. Nonetheless, the game is grounded in tight controls that you’ll soon get used to. Overall, Kero Blaster is an authentic tribute to old-skool game design. It’s short, sweet, and easily one of the best run and gun games like Cuphead out there.
7. Jets’n’Guns Gold
Technically, Jets’n’Guns Gold is a fly and gun game, since you won’t find any actual running nor platforming. However, fans of Cuphead’s aerial missions will love this polished release. Akin to old-skool plane shooters, this side-scrolling game is all about blowing up baddies with powerful weaponry (70 different kinds!). 16 massive boss fights await you, all with varied movements and attacks. Similar to other games like Cuphead, Jets’n’Guns’ levels are highly diverse, bringing you across lush jungles, deep space, and many more locations. You’re also able to customize your loadout with hundreds of possible combinations. The soundtrack is filled with hard-hitting guitar riffs that ramp up the game’s intensity. In short, Jets’n’Guns Gold is perfect if you’re keen on a more focused flight action game that still offers a ‘die until you make it’ shooting challenge.
NOTE: You’ll also want to try Ikaruga – a vertical shoot’em up just as challenging as some of Cuphead’s aerial stages.
8. The Shank series
The Shank series ramps up the brutality with its deliciously gory hand-drawn art style and satisfying kill animations. You take control of Shank – an ex-mob hitman with an axe to grind (sometimes literally) against goons and challenging bosses. Compared to other best run and gun games like Cuphead, these games rely heavily on brawler / melee attacks that reward you with awesome bloodbaths. Nonetheless, handguns, rifles, shotguns, and other weapons are still a big part of the kill carnage. In addition, multiplayer is especially strong, offering unique stage designs and boss fights that require close two-player cooperation. In short, the Shank series presents two of the best run and gun games like Cuphead around. Not to be missed!
9. Alien Hominid HD
Akin to other best run and gun games like Cuphead, Alien Hominid HD is a hand-drawn masterpiece all about challenging your reflexes. Upgraded from its original Flash release, this HD version puts you in control of a titular hominid who fights off waves of secret agents whilst taking on bigger bosses. You’re armed with a wide arsenal of weapons, power-ups, and attack moves that gradually unlock across sixteen well-designed stages. Similar to Cuphead, you’ll die often in Alien Hominid HD, inspiring you to practice your dodging skills and attack combos. Despite being an older release, the game – like the classics it pays tribute to – still remains fresh and addictive.
Like the Shank series, Broforce is all about over-the-top action and killing everyone on sight. Think Contra combined with exaggerated 80s action movie references. You’ll get to control different bros, each with his own unique weapons and attacks. Run and gun action abounds as you swiftly dodge projectiles, explode environments, and shoot down battalions of baddies. Similar to other best run and gun games like Cuphead, Broforce is consistently challenging, but remains ultimately fair. In addition, you’ll find the sound, music, and level designs to be extremely polished. Even better, the game comes with a full editor that lets you create your own fully destructible stages. You’re also be able to team up with other players for maximum chaos. All in all, you’ll most surely want to give Broforce a try, despite the game’s artistic differences from Cuphead.
Other Games Like Cuphead (Not necessarily run and gun titles)
Sundered : Plays more like a Metroidvania than a traditional run and gun game. However, you’ll assuredly enjoy the abundant platforming action, upgradeable weapons / stats, and challenging enemies. Sundered also showcases gorgeous hand-drawn graphics and animations.
RunGunJumpGun : Super retro run / fly and gun game with tons of intensity. Contains tough boss fights and excellent music. Worth a try!
Hollow Knight : Less running and gunning, more hack-and-slash. An indie Dark Souls-esque darling brimming with classic 2D action, platform jumping, and upgradeable powers. A modern boss-filled masterpiece!
FURI : Not a 2D run-and-gun game. However, FURI is still difficult and, like Cuphead, is made up mostly of boss battles. One of the most mentioned games like Cuphead on Reddit!
Know of any other best run and gun games like Cuphead? Leave your suggestions in the comments section below and we’ll add them into this list!
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