I’m surprised you clicked on this article. Chances are, you don’t even know what the hell Sphinx is. Well, it’s one of the best games you’ve (probably) never played and it deserves the Nintendo Switch sequel that was teased not long ago.
Sphinx and the Cursed Mummy is an action adventure game with platforming elements that came out in 2003 for PS2, Xbox and GameCube by Eurocom and published by THQ. A lot of Zelda, a bit of Mario and the work of incredibly talented developers brought this Egyptian fantasy world to life. Each character you play as has their own style and at times the game feels like two in one. But it works. The game has a unique identity and doesn’t deserve the term ‘Zelda-clone’, that barely scratches the surface of the game’s essence.
An immersive world
Gameplay is spread between playing as the demigod Sphinx and the young Prince Tutenkhamen of Luxor, who turns into a mummy not long after the beginning of the game. On one hand you have swordplay and boss fights with Sphinx, intermixed with some puzzle solving and platforming and on the other you have the Mummy sections, with heavy influence on puzzle solving and sneaking instead of combat. The game can be unforgiving at times, with its save points spread really far from each other, but it is fun nonetheless. I can’t do it justice, it’s really something you have to play to understand. The beautiful 60 FPS world sucks you in and replaying it after all these years makes me realise how ahead of its time it was.
The time is now
With Super Mario Odyssey, it seems that good quality platformers could make a return in the mainstream. In addition to that, the recent success of Breath of the Wild shows that not all action-adventure games have to be dark and gritty in order to be well-received. They just have to be good; and Sphinx has that ability.
THQ NORDIC, IT’S IN YOUR HANDS
The current owners of the Sphinx license are THQ NORDIC. They have teased the return of some older licenses but thus far, we have not seen any proof of Sphinx 2 being developed. According to the Sphinx Wiki, “The CEO of the company, Lars Wingefors, hints at an entry for the upcoming Nintendo Switch, stating that the IP is,”well suited” for the interface of the console”. The best candidate for a Sphinx sequel is the Nintendo Switch. On Switch, I believe a game like that has the most potential to shine, whether as an eShop title or a full-blown boxed release.
I can only hope that the smaller-scale games THQ NORDIC has been releasing for the Switch will perform well. Maybe then we can get a sequel that will conclude the amazing story that ended with a cliffhanger more than 10 years ago.