Sadly, when Sphinx and the Cursed Mummy released back in 2003, I missed out on getting to enjoy it and only heard about how much fun it was from friends who had either played it or seen it played on the consoles in Walmart or GameStop (EB Games at the time.) Luckily, THQ Nordic recently received the rights to the game, and have ported it over to PC, for Steam users to enjoy. Sphinx and the Cursed Mummy is an action-adventure game that blends 3rd Person action combat with puzzle and stealth elements.
In Sphinx and the Cursed Mummy, you are put in the shoes of Sphinx, a demigod who sets out to recover the crowns of Egypt to stop the plans of the god Set. Accompanying him is his reluctant ally Mummy, who is more subtle and suited for stealthy situations. Sphinx is more combat-oriented and over time gains skills that strengthen his combat abilities and his movement and platforming. One benefit of this port is that there are multiple graphics options and resolutions that make Sphinx and the Cursed Mummy look fantastic.
The world of Sphinx and the Cursed Mummy is very imaginative. The worlds you visit are unique and colorful, as well as the variety of characters you will find yourself meeting. Both Sphinx and the Mummy have different play-styles, for instance, Sphinx can move, climb, and fight, while the Mummy can crawl, sneak and do other more puzzle-oriented things. The Mummy’s areas tend to involve things like crawling through passages, finding collectibles, and avoiding being seen. Sphinx’s areas tend to have a few similar elements, but are more combat-focused, with platforming being a sort of overlapping idea.
That is not to say that Sphinx will not be called upon to do some puzzle-solving, as much of the game revolves around various puzzle elements found in 90’s (and early 2000’s) action-platformers. For example, you may have to find a boon/blessing from a god that allows you to traverse lava or hot steam areas. Another example may find you swinging from ropes to get to new areas, climbing rock faces, or collecting coconuts to feed to a creature in order to launch yourself across a large gap.
As with most 90’s style platforming action games, the camera for Sphinx and the Cursed Mummy is absolutely horrible. I had so much more difficulty fighting with the camera than I did with most other aspects of the game. There are also a few places where the controls get a little bit clunky, but I feel as though that is more from the fact that this wasn’t a remake; it was simply a port of the original. However, Sphinx and the Cursed Mummy does a great job at pulling off the atmosphere it is going for. It uses the dark bits of Egyptian mythology well, while making the game suitable for younger players as well as older ones. When not exploring dangerous environments, you may find yourself in hub cities where you can buy things with Golden Scarabs and interact with NPC’s.
Like most games of its kind, Sphinx and the Cursed Mummy is full of collectibles and side content. There are mini-games to enjoy, and a progression system in place that allows you to return to various places once you have new capabilities, in order to tackle new areas and challenges. Honestly, if you want a piece of nostalgia from the early 2000’s that was ported over well, I would give Sphinx and the Cursed Mummy a try. You really will not be disappointed with what you find here. I also have to applaud Eurocom and THQ Nordic for working so diligently at fixing the bugs that were present at launch. The game isn’t perfect, and it still has bugs, but they are hard at work fixing any that arise. It isn’t often that ports like these are successful due to the difference in hardware, but Sphinx and the Cursed Mummy is a fun jaunt that you won’t be disappointed in.
A Steam Review Copy of Sphinx and the Cursed Mummy was provided by THQ Nordic for the Purpose of this Review.