Sphinx and The Cursed Mummy Review Switch – Unwrapping the Past
I was a huge Gamecube fan but somehow I missed Sphinx and the Cursed Mummy. Released at a time when 3D adventure/platformers were massively popular and was following developer Eurocom’s success with 007 Nightfire and Harry Potter. I can only imagine it slipped through the cracks as it came after Mario Sunshine, Wind Waker, Metroid Prime and Star Fox Adventures.
Sphinx and the Cursed Mummy is more like a Zelda game than any of the other, though I suppose that also makes it similar to Star Fox Adventures as well. Unfortunately, it has neither the polish or the quality of either title.
It’s still a decent game, for 2003, but in 2019 it’s a bit lacking. That being said, the Switch port plays well and will certainly provide some entertainment, especially for younger gamers.
Sphinx and the Cursed Mummy Review
In the game, you play as both the titular Sphinx and Mummy. Sphinx uses weapons, items and platforming skills to explore levels. Much of the game is spent playing as Sphinx and feels part platformer and part Zelda. Early in Sphinx and the Cursed Mummy, Sphinx gets his hands on the Blade of Osiris and uses this to hack and slash his way through all manner of enemies.
The Mummy, on-the-other-hand, is the resurrected Tutankhamen. Having been murdered in a fiendish plot to take control of Egypt, Tutankhamen’s Mummy form makes him the perfect candidate to survive the deadly traps of The Castle of Uruk. His sections are combat free and filled with traversal puzzles that eventually open up new areas for Sphinx.
Together, Sphinx and Tutankhamen are Egypt’s only hope.
Mummy, Just Killed a Man
As you’d expect from a platformer from 2003, the story is standard, morning cartoon fare, though it is surprisingly engaging. With no voice, acting players may struggle with all the text, especially as we’re now spoilt for incredibly cinematic games. That’s not to say Sphinx and the Cursed Mummy is any less interesting, it’s simply apparent it’s from another time.
Another instance of the game’s obvious re-release status is in the game world. Very basic in appearance and textures, the environments are also sparsely populated. There are only ever one or two enemies in each are and a handful of trees if you’re lucky. This game comes from a time when computing power wasn’t such that it could render a huge open world filled with creatures and foliage. It’s hard to look at Sphinx and the Cursed Mummy and think it’s a pretty game. It’s very bare, but it gets the job done.
It appears that the Switch port is a port of the PC version as it includes FOV sliders, anti-alias options etc.
Oldie But an OK-ie
While visually, Sphinx and the Cursed Mummy isn’t anything to write home about, the gameplay still holds up fairly well. Controlling both Sphinx and Tutankhamen is responsive and easy. The platforming sections are well designed as are the puzzles. It’s not a game that’s going to be a test of reflexes or brain power, but it’ll certainly keep younger gamers occupied for a while.
That being said, the save system is woefully outdated and the game does not include any autosaving whatsoever. You may find yourself needing to repeat large chunks of the game if you manage to die before reaching the next save. It can be terribly frustrating to have to repeat sections simply because you mistimed one jump.
A re-release of a Gamecube game from 2003 isn’t aiming to set the world on fire, which Sphinx and the Cursed Mummy isn’t going to do. However, for the price and the ability to play it in portable mode — my preferred method — Sphinx and the Cursed Mummy is a solid purchase.
Especially if you’ve got kids or a hankering for some early 2000s nostalgia.
Sphinx and the Cursed Mummy was reviewed on Switch using a digital code provided by the publisher.
Game title: Sphinx and the Cursed Mummy
Still looks pretty great for such an old game - 7.3/10
Gameplay and features are pretty dated - 5.4/10
Better played handheld - 6.8/10
Great for kids - 7.6/10