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Sphinx and the Cursed Mummy

Game review by
David Chapman, Common Sense Media
Sphinx and the Cursed Mummy Game Poster Image
Clever gaming relic shambles, stumbles with tech issues.

Parents say

age 8+
Based on 1 review

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

The game features themes of good versus evil, teamwork, and overcoming obstacles by playing to your strengths and abilities.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Sphinx is a classically heroic character, fighting for the benefit of others and trying to help those in need. The Mummy, on the other hand, proves that heroism can be something found in even those less likely to see themselves as such.

Ease of Play

The game is simple to pick up and play, with both Sphinx and the Mummy having unique play styles. Sphinx is more action oriented and the Mummy is more stealth and puzzle based. Controls still feel a bit rough, though, especially with the game’s frustrating camera often causing issues in gameplay.

Violence

There’s a fair amount of action, particularly in Sphinx’s portions of the game, using a variety of skills and attacks against different creatures and enemies. The Mummy’s portion of the game focuses more on avoiding combat, but there’s still plenty of violence as he uses his immortality to trigger deadly traps and other hazards. Despite this, there’s no blood and the game’s art style leans more towards a cartoonish presentation.

Sex
Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Sphinx and the Cursed Mummy is an action/adventure game available for the Nintendo Switch. The game is a remastered port of the original game released in 2003 for the Xbox, PlayStation 2, and GameCube. Players alternate between action-oriented stages as Sphinx and more puzzle/stealth stages as the Mummy. There's a fair amount of violence, both in Sphinx’s fighting and the Mummy’s constant “deaths” from traps. But there's no blood or gore in the game’s cartoonish art style. Otherwise, there's no inappropriate content in the game.

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What's it about?

SPHINX AND THE CURSED MUMMY is a tale of magical adventure inspired by the rich mythology of Ancient Egypt. When Set unveils a scheme to take over all of Egypt, it’s up to the hero Sphinx to find a way to defeat the god of chaos and save the land from his wrath and rule. Along the way, Sphinx is joined in his efforts by the Mummy, a reluctant hero trapped in an undead state. The two team up to defeat Set, with Sphinx fighting the Set’s minions in the world of the living and the Mummy sneaking his way through the land of darkness. While Sphinx must rely on his agility and combat skills, the Mummy must rely on stealth and, well, being dead, to navigate past deadly traps and obstacles. It’s only by working together that this duo has any hope of saving Egypt from its impending doom, returning the land to its former glory and restoring the balance between darkness and light.

Is it any good?

This action game gets new life on the Switch, but its classic issues make this game shamble instead of stand on its own two feet. Sphinx and the Cursed Mummy is one of those adventure games that's a throwback to an earlier time of character driven adventures. Back in the early days of the PlayStation 2, Xbox, and GameCube days, action/adventure platform games were a dime a dozen. Every once in a while, though, one would stand out a bit above the rest. Such was the case of Sphinx and the Cursed Mummy, an interesting gem that had its share of critical acclaim, but never quite struck a chord with gamers. Now, more than fifteen years after the game’s debut, it’s been dug up from the past, dusted off, polished up, and given a new home on the Nintendo Switch. But is this a game that deserves a spot in your Switch museum, or is it a relic that that should have stayed buried?

When Sphinx and the Cursed Mummy first came out, its biggest draw was the difference in how the two main characters play. While Sphinx plays like any standard action game hero, the Mummy is more like a crash test dummy, setting off traps and using his immortal nature to his advantage. It’s a unique and oddly satisfying experience that made for a fun experience back in the day. Unfortunately, the game simply hasn’t aged well. Some sluggish controls and wonky cameras that might have been frustrating but forgivable in the past are simply irritating today. And although the visuals have a little added HD polish, it still looks (and plays) quite a bit dated. While there’s still fun to be had here, it’s buried about as deep as any of the Egyptian tombs that inspired it.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about violence in video games. Is the impact of the violence in Sphinx and the Cursed Mummyu affected by the cartoonish art style? Would the impact be intensified if the visuals were more realistic? What about measuring the real-world consequences of actions versus how they are portrayed in games?

  • How do historic settings like Ancient Egypt inspire creativity in games? How can games with historic settings encourage interest and research in historic events or time periods?

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