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Miraculous: Rise of the Sphinx Review

Children deserve better.

In many ways, of course, but pertinently when it comes to video games, kids deserve better. Miraculous: Rise of the Sphinx is just the latest in an ever-growing line of games based on children’s franchises that has no redeeming qualities whatsoever. This is a terrible game, existing only on the merits of the animated series that came before it.

We’ve seen it before. We’ve talked about it in previous reviews of kids games. They’re not all the same, of course. Some developers actually do take care to make games for children thoughtful, engaging and, at least for the most part, well put-together. Not in the case of Miraculous: Rise of the Sphinx. This is just plain awful from beginning to end. Well, we didn’t make it to the end. We couldn’t put ourselves through it. We just couldn’t. And we doubt you or your kids will, either.

Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug & Cat Noir is a children’s TV series born in France and since translated to many other languages. In the UK and US, you’ll find it on Disney+, and if you look on any toy shelf in any toy retailer or supermarket, you’ll likely spot various plasticky toys based on the franchise. Miraculous: Rise of the Sphinx is the first console videogame (hopefully the last) to be based on the show, an adventure about a pair of schoolkids who transform into superheroes. The game, of course, revolves around the main characters – Ladybug and Cat Noir – both in their human and superhuman forms. Expect a bit of exploration and dialogue, but for the most part this is a 3D platforming game.

Miraculous: Rise of the Sphinx Review

The platforming itself is actually serviceable. Whether you’re in charge of Ladybug or Cat Noir – you can switch between them on the fly – they’re smooth and responsive, each with a double-jump, making them swift and spritely when jumping from rooftop to rooftop. The level designs are passable too: they all take place in Paris, but different obstacles make each level feel unique. One will see the city littered with giant books to climb upon, for example. And another is music-themed, filled with giant instruments such as guitars and drums.

That is, unfortunately, where the praise for Miraculous: Rise of the Sphinx has to end. In between levels, you’ll take on the human personas of the hero pair – Marinette and Adrien – as they wander around their neighbourhood. There, you’ll talk to friends and acquaintances to progress a story, but you can expect badly-written dialogue, poor grammar, a lack of voice acting and a narrative that will only interest those completely devout to the TV series and its characters. The neighbourhood is frustrating to explore, with entrance and exit points leading to new areas so poorly placed that you’ll constantly feel lost. The visuals are bland at best, too, a far cry from the clean and colourful CGI of the series.

But all of that is nothing compared to the game’s combat, the most woeful of all gameplay elements. Yes, we could have happily got on with the basic platforming, where the characters actually feel responsive to our inputs. But when it comes to combat – of which there’s far too much of – it feels sluggish and delayed. Try to dodge an enemy attack and it’s probably already happened before the dodge animation occurs on screen. Find yourself up against multiple enemies at once, and you’re in for a frustrating time. Despite supposedly having a decent arsenal of moves, most feel pointless other than hammering your standard attack button.

There’s very little joy to be found in playing Miraculous: Rise of the Sphinx, and that’s such a shame. For youngsters who love the series, the idea of getting to take control of their favourite cartoon superheroes should be an exciting one. And yet, all that they’re left with is a disappointing mess of a game, albeit one with some familiar characters. Young fans will probably still lap it up, because they don’t know any better. But lacklustre visuals, lazy design and perhaps the worst combat we’ve ever encountered in a video game really should not be considered good enough for the generation that holds our future.

Miraculous: Rise of the Sphinx Review – GameSpew’s Score

This review of Miraculous: Rise of the Sphinx is based on the PS5 version of the game, via a code provided by the publisher. It’s available on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Switch and PC.

You absolutely should not buy this game, but if you do feel so inclined, you can check latest prices here.

Editor in chief // Kim's been into video games since playing Dizzy on her brother's Commodore 64 as a nipper. She'll give just about anything a go, but she's got a particular soft spot for indie adventures. If she's not gaming, she'll be building Lego, reading a thriller, watching something spooky or... asleep. She does love to sleep.