Sphinx and the Cursed Mummy

Format: Xbox
4 005209 052160
Age Restrictions: 12+

Set in an ancient Egyptian inspired environment Sphinx and his sidekick Mummy embark on an epic quest exploring new worlds, uncovering dark secrets, interacting with hundreds of fantastic creatures and discovering new abilities. Travelling the world via magic portals to foil the evil plans of a mysterious foe, players must travel on a journey that will require all their wits and agility to ensure good triumphs over evil...

Sphinx and the Cursed Mummy is a fine looking game which is based loosely on ancient Egyptian mythology (Tutankhamun, Nefertiti and Imhotep are just some of the characters borrowed from this time period).

You start the game as Sphinx and must climb the surrounding terrain in order to track down a mystical sword. But it's not going to be a piece of cake. There are fire breathing plants and lava flows to negotiate and you must also decide whether it is wise to risk jumping into a monster's mouth on the promise of it helping you?

Once you've completed the first level with Sphinx, you get to play as young Tutankhamun. In this level you must wander around your family's palace collecting items for your aunt. Both the first and second levels are designed to let you get used to both characters and their special moves. While Sphinx is great at jumping around and scuttling up ropes, Tutankhamun can crawl and sneak into areas that Sphinx can't.

There are tons of neat little touches that make playing this game feel like taking part in a Disney/Warner Bros. hybrid cartoon. The best comical touches are when you play as the mummified Tutankhamun - getting catapulted across the room, being set on fire or electrocuted. While these don't sound funny, Tutankhamun behaves amusingly. For example, while on fire he blows on himself and waves his hands around trying to put out the flames.

The puzzles are simple enough, and the gaming areas are never too large that you have problems remembering where to go when you need to revisit an area. There are also areas that are worth investigating more fully. The museum in Abydos is worth wandering around. There are creatures there which you will meet in later levels and it's wise to find out a little about them before you encounter them for real.

There are also many mini games included which allow you to earn more money as well as gain new skills. Compete in an assault course where the walls move towards as you dive through open doorways and windows to reach the end; play a game of follow my leader with different coloured lights; or play pairs with a blowpipe.

Sadly, the one element that lets this game down is the lack of any voices. When characters talk you simply get subtitles - which detracts a lot from the game. Some of the characters, like Tutankhamun's older brother are screaming out for sinister voices and without them the characters are not as believable. The game developers would have got away with it if it weren't for the fact that there are some fairly lengthy video sequences which seem a little strange without voices.

That mumble aside, Spinx and the Cursed Mummy is a beautifully crafted, well polished game with a great sense of humour. This is certainly one game that will keep you entertained for some time.

Darren Rea

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