Cuphead may have taken the indie gaming scene by storm, but its "introduction" to the iOS App Store is what everyone in the smartphone world is talking about. There is no official Cuphead game available for iPhone, and that's what is so surprising — a fake version was approved and released for iOS devices, and at this scale, incidents like this just don't happen for Apple.
At first glance, the Cuphead iOS game looks pretty legit. The artwork is the same as the official PC and Xbox One version, the file size is a believable 1.9 GB, and the developer name seems correct. Download the game, and you wouldn't think twice about it since it boots up just as the legit version would. The fake features multiple save slots, cutscenes from the game, as well as on-screen controls. It works.
Which is why, originally, TouchArcade reported this scam was actually an official port of Cuphead. And why would they have reason to doubt it? A fake app this elaborate doesn't usually get past Apple. These types of incidents are usually seen on Android in the Google Play Store, and not just with games. The fake version of WhatsApp was downloaded over a million times last month, for example.
We even point out in our "Best Smartphones for Gaming" guide that iOS has the quality-control advantage over Android. Sure, iOS has its issues, such as the fake MyEtherWallet app that appeared last week. However, a fake game as functional as this Cuphead scam is bewildering, to say the least.
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When reading TouchArcade's reporting, you can see the writer is pretty shaken up by the experience. We don't blame them. Show anyone familiar with Cuphead this "iOS port" — heck, tell anyone "hey, check out this game" — and you'd be hard-pressed to find a reason not to think this app was legitimate.
You almost want to give whoever made this "game" props, except that this whole dilemma is extremely concerning. You can only assume Apple is about to step up their approval process even further now to avoid seeing an event on this scale ever again. However, if their recent track record for software bugs is any indication, we may be seeing more App Store Cupheads in the near future.
If you're interested in seeing how this fake app appeared in the iOS App Store, check out the archived link to see how it easily fooled everyone.