Sphinx and the Cursed Mummy – Review
Follow Genre: Puzzle platform adventure
Developer: Eurocom (original), THQ Nordic (re-release)
Publisher: THQ (original), THQ Nordic (re-release)
Platform: PS2, Xbox, Gamecube (original), PC (re-release)
Tested on: PC

Sphinx and the Cursed Mummy – Review

Site Score
8.5
Good: Funny, full of personality, retro feel but modern look
Bad: Puzzles can be a bit illogical
User Score
9.0
(2 votes)
Click to vote
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Rating: 9.0/10 (2 votes cast)

Sphinx and the cursed mummy is an HD remake of the excellent puzzle platform adventure released in 2003 for PlayStation 2 and Xbox, Originally by Eurocom & THQ, and re-released by THQ Nordic. Not much has changed in the game except for the graphics, and the graphics look great! The classic mechanics might be a bit hard to get used to, but the game in itself is excellent, and an absolute blast from the past! Sphinx and the Cursed Mummy - Logo

Story

The story begins where You, as Sphinx, together with the impatient Horus, get sent out by your master on a dangerous quest to retrieve the powerful sword of Osiris. You succeed, but your passage back home gets prevented, and you end up teleported to the Palace of young prince Tutankhamen. It’s Tutankhamen’s birthday, and the whole palace is making preparations. Playing as Tutankhamen you’ll meet your pretty bride-to-be Nefertiti, and discover your nefarious brother has prepared an evil plot, which eventually transforms Tutankhamen into a mummy. However, thanks to the intervention of Sphinx, Tutankhamen and his evil brother get teleported away from the ritual before it is completed. Nefertiti sends Sphinx on a mission to save her beloved Tut, and then Sphinx is sent on his way, first to receive more instructions (and plot!), and second to the cursed temple, where Tutankhamen is now trapped as a mummy. You’ll get to sneak around as Tut to solve puzzles and collect several objects to help Sphinx out, who is coming to your rescue.

Sphinx and the Cursed Mummy screen 1

The story is pretty straightforward: two guys, one heroic and one silly, are trying to thwart the plans of an evil villain. However, the story features fun characters and a really cool setting, and will certainly keep you entertained for 15 or more hours.

Graphics

The graphics are very cartoony and colorful. The characters look great, with big eyes and faces which give them loads of personality. The animation is absolutely fantastic, and each character has a unique way of moving around. Sphinx moves acrobatic and agile and looks like a hero, while Tutankhamen moves clumsy and silly and often makes you laugh. There are a lot of cutscenes during gameplay, done seamlessly in the exact same style as the rest of the game.

Sphinx and the Cursed Mummy screen 6

Sound

The looping background music is very good end sets the tone for the area (or physical state) you are in. You talk often with NPCs, but conversation aren’t narrated. However, there is a short voice-like sound at the start of conversations, which fits the characters personality. Fighting has really cool sound effects: the more damage you have done, the more epic your hits sounds. Many objects in game also have a unique sound effect, which helps noticing them.

Gameplay

Sphinx and the Cursed Mummy is a classic puzzle platform adventure. Expect to jump from platform to platform, climb ropes and shimmy on narrow edges. Fighting and many story sequences will alternate with the acrobatic platforming and puzzle solving. This game can be played with either keyboard or controller, but a controller is certainly recommended!

Sphinx and the Cursed Mummy screen 4

You get to solve a lot of puzzles in different areas to progress the game. Most puzzles involve platforming, climbing, pulling levers, and moving objects around to find keys or other objects. There are a lot of mini-quests to complete during your playthrough, usually you’ll have to find a number of objects which will reward you something that progresses you on your main quest. Completing side-quests and puzzles will earn you items that give you special abilities or objects to move around faster. To solve puzzles you often need to use enemies or certain objects to your advantage, sometimes in such an obscure way which might take you a while to figure out for each puzzle. For instance, flaming enemies are not always wise to kill, because they might be needed to burn objects until one of these objects reveals a key.

During the game you’ll switch between the two playable characters, you’ll start out as Sphinx, but often play as Tutankhamen as well. Both have similar skills and abilities, but they feel completely different because of their personalities and animations. You’ll be fighting a lot as the nimble and strong Sphinx, while as the delightfully silly and clumsy Tutankhamen you’ll mostly sneak around in dangerous places. Sphinx has a powerful sword and shield to use to his advantage, and several tools to help him get around using his athletics. When Tutankhamen has transformed into a mummy, he’ll use his death as a tool: he can circumvent all kinds of traps designed for the living, and use death to his advantage! By being squished by a trap he can use his flat body to simply run through tiny narrow openings, and by being electrocuted or set aflame, he can use the electricity or the fire on other objects!

Sphinx and the Cursed Mummy screen 2

There’s a fun side-game where you can collect monsters you encounter, and add them to the collection of a museum where they go on display. Eventually you’ll be able to collect every monster in the game. There are also challenges where you can beat your own high score, like finishing a swimming course.

You won’t be able to save at any point in the game; just like in many games of old, there are save points available along the way, and there are not that many of them. So, if you are planning to quit the game for a while, make sure you’ll reach a save point first to save your progress! However, if you fail to make a jump and die a horrible death, you usually spawn pretty close to where you died.

Sphinx and the Cursed Mummy screen 5

Conclusion

Sphinx and the Cursed Mummy is an excellent game, and this re-release looks absolutely sleek on modern machines without losing the charm of the original game. The fact that you can only save at save points, and that save points are very sparse, is a typical old-fashioned feature which can be difficult for modern players to accept. However, the fact that almost nothing has been changed compared to the original game, just the graphics, is great for everyone who loved the original. Players who still remember the great puzzle platformers like Zelda, Tomb Raider, Soul Reaver etc, will absolutely love this game! The nice cartoonish graphics, the great story and silly characters will certainly charm you!

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Rating: 9.0/10 (2 votes cast)
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Sphinx and the Cursed Mummy - Review, 9.0 out of 10 based on 2 ratings
Anmaja
Anmaja


I'm a LARP writer, freelance teacher and everlasting PhD student, and an avid gamer. Nowadays I game mostly on PC, but I love my retro playstation 1 & 2 as well :) I like watching anime, movies and series, and read books & comics whenever I have time!

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