Back in 2004, Eurocom introduced the world to one of the most creative new IPs with Sphinx and the Cursed Mummy for the sixth generation of consoles. It was incredibly unique and contained a fictional take on Egypt. Unfortunately, many looked over the title and ended up becoming a diamond in the rough. Luckily, THQ Nordic has given gamers another chance at discovering this game on the Nintendo Switch.

Sphinx and the Cursed Mummy Review

A Journey Through Egypt

When this game first released, I remember begging my parents to let me rent it from Blockbuster that weekend. As it first booted up, I was thrown into a world engulfed with Egyptian iconography and a huge world to explore. Loading up the remaster made me experience that same feeling as it still held that nostalgic feel the PlayStation 2 era had to offer. The graphics were noticed right of the bat, but for good reason. They don’t look clunky or full of polygons, as often seen while revisiting games from that generation. Now it’s obviously a remaster, yet one that happens to hold up surprisingly well, at least visually. Areas aren’t incredibly detailed like Assassin’s Creed: Origins, however, they still display the beauty of Ancient Egypt through an early 2000s lens. There are plenty of different areas that showcase multiple aspects of the world, such as the desert, pyramids, and towns, and they all are very pleasing to look at.

While the graphics do hold up, certain aspects of the game do not. Save points are scattered throughout the map, except they aren’t readily available. Trying to find an area to save progress is usually found at the beginning of the section and really nowhere else. Because of this, when death does occur players are forced to start from the beginning, resulting in a lack of progress. Controls aren’t as tight as they could be either. During platforming sections, it is tough to estimate jumps and where a platform’s true edge is, which makes certain sections much more frustrating. Lastly, there isn’t a minimap to tell where you’re going, so be prepared to get lost while trying to discover the world at hand.

An Immersive Storyline

What makes this game stand out among other Action-Adventure games is its lengthy and immersive storyline. At a bit under 15 hours long, players should be prepared to invest their time into this title. When first hearing about the story, no doubt it sounds a bit generic, yet once emerged in it there’s more than meets the eye. Take control of Sphinx as he attempts to find the stolen crowns of Egypt in order to stop the evil Set from taking over the world. Along the way, he meets a Mummy that can solve puzzles, as Sphinx battles through enemies. As the story progresses, things do get complex but it takes a while to get there. Since it does take place in Ancient Egypt, many of the characters are noticeable to any familiar with the history around it. King Tutankhamen and Imhotep are just to name a few.

Sphinx and his friend, the Mummy, are on this journey together, so they have to rely on one another to get through various sections. Each of them has different things to offer. Sphinx is much more action-oriented and exploratory, while the Mummy is focused on stealth and puzzle-solving. The game is roughly a 75/25 split in favor of Sphinx’s character. As a result of this, when the character switch occurs, it allows the game to stride forward instead of dragging on. With a game spanning over 10 hours, there need to be at least a few gameplay shakeups and fortunately, this title does so.

Although the two characters help keep the game interesting, they carry a fair share of issues in how they play. When controlling Sphinx, his combat is fairly lackluster. It’s very button-mashy without containing any combos, dodges, or parries. Trying to use a shield to defend is also incredibly tedious since you’ll have to maneuver through a menu before usage, so don’t expect to use it unless stationary. The Mummy, on the other hand, plays very similar to Sphinx, except without any weaponry. It does utilize the fact that it’s dead quite well in that it can absorb elements like electricity and fire to solve problems. He can slow down the game at times, yet he is necessary and his puzzle sections grow to be complex and huge. The main issue that both characters do share is the lack of knowing where to go. No minimap or objective are shown, making plenty of areas feel confusing and complex. It needs to be kept in mind that this an older title and doesn’t tell users where to go, making exploration and discovery key. Although, this aspect of the game grows old quickly and could benefit tremendously from this inclusion.

Sphinx and the Cursed Mummy Review

A Solid Port

Sphinx and the Cursed Mummy runs very well on the Nintendo Switch system. Not once were there any bugs, slowdowns, or framerate dips during my playthrough. Gameplay felt smooth and never had too much on-screen at once. Additionally, the title never crashed or forced the system to rev-up its internal engines. Transitioning from docked to handheld mode carried no extremely noticeable shifts either. Both versions were fluid and contained the same graphics without sacrificing performance issues. It’s a very solid port that is made better on the Nintendo Switch, thanks to its graphical improvements over the original, and of course, playing it handheld.

Sphinx and the Cursed Mummy Review

Eurocom’s 2004 release can now be enjoyed by a wider audience, thanks to this port by THQ Nordic. It’s a very enjoyable game that engulfs itself in a large world engulfed by the culture of Ancient Egypt. With two characters who offer different styles of gameplay, the lengthy journey to end can be rewarding and fun. Although its setbacks are largely contributed to it being an older release, such as save points and a lack of a minimap, there’s is still plenty of fun to be had. Sphinx and the Cursed Mummy is by far one of the most criminally overlooked games of the sixth generation, but thankfully, players are fully able to rediscover this hidden gem.

Thank you to THQ Nordic for providing us with a review code!

Sphinx and the Cursed Mummy Review (Nintendo Switch)
Sphinx and the Cursed Mummy is an enjoyable experience from start to finish, but not without a few issues along the way.
Overall Score7.5
  • Egyptian Setting
  • Plenty of Different Areas
  • Switches in Gameplay
  • Camera Problems
  • Tedious Backtracking
  • Not Enough Save Points
Reader Rating: (1 Vote)

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