Miraculous: Rise of the Sphinx – Review

I was first exposed to the wonders of Miraculous a few years ago when shopping for toys for my daughter, and to my surprise, finding the slender, latex-clad superheroine that is Ladybug cluttering shelves in toy shops and TV adverts. But who is this photogenically pretty, mixed-raced high-schooler? A few years later I had my answer. When you give a popular French comic book artist a big budget and say, ‘go nuts and make us a new superhero TV show’, Miraculous was born.

Now in English and with remarkably excellent 3D animation, Miraculous slowly chronicles the adventures of two rookie superheroes, Ladybug and Cat Noir, as they deal with their own teen issues when out of costume, such as their blossoming feelings for each other, self-esteem, and Parisian beauty standards, all while defending Paris from the villainous Hawk Moth, who has the power to create super villains to bolster his ranks.

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Perhaps one could argue that Miraculous’ ever-growing roster of heroes and villains are knock-offs of existing Marvel and DC characters (albeit with some gender-swapping) but there’s also a refreshing high-school teen drama beneath which when combined with the magical powers and character growth, make for a collection of elements which could transfer incredibly well into a game, as we’ve seen before in the likes of Persona and Blue Reflection.

Whilst this game iteration of Miraculous has a few of Persona and Blue Reflection’s optional dating mechanics thrown in which boost your relationships with a handful of friends, the fan-service stops at the tight-fitting costumes, light flirting and a camera which likes to awkwardly zoom in for regular bum and crotch shots. No, you won’t be finding those nude shower/bath scenes from Blue Reflection here. This is aimed at a younger audience after all.


The game jumps into the action around the third series of the show and won’t touch on any character backstories or introductions, so some prior knowledge of the characters is highly recommended. Rather than have a single, developing storyline, the game mirrors the episodic feel of the show by focusing on a different villain in each level.

The overlying villain is Hawk Moth as always, who will exploit the emotional weaknesses of local Parisians in order to ‘Akumatize’ them, sending a magical butterfly to possess and manipulate them while granting them superpowers relevant to countering their weaknesses and fuelling their desires.

Most villains are returning baddies from the show, including Mr Pigeon, Were-Dad, Gamer, and of course, series mega-bitch Chloe Bourgeois. There is a new villain in the mix too, unveiled in the final couple of chapters; a pet project of Hawk Moth and partner Mayura, the giant Sphinx butterfly.


Miraculous handles more like Lego games by having you navigate linear levels and brawl through simple enemies while including some very light puzzles which allow you to damage bosses who make a return from the show. You’ll also find particularly large 3D levels here with a fixed camera angle which feels very restrictive. Navigating the environment can be cumbersome, though there is an arrow pointing you in the right direction.

We’ve also got the addition of some mild RPG mechanics too which actually seem a little out of place, since rather than accumulating experience through combat, there are large numbers of glowing orbs littering each level (these don’t exist in the show, of course) which can be spent on upgrading either character’s attack, defence, HP, or unlock new skills.

When you face the bosses in the game, such as the show’s recurring moron, Mr Pigeon, it becomes less of a button masher and more a game of timing. As a result, each boss has a particular way on how they must be defeated, including collecting new powers along the way to help. There’s also an element of parkour as you jump across the rooftops of Paris which is relatively smooth. Further, the game also supports 2-players which is another option for you.


The camera isn’t the only way the game feels outdated as visually it looks like an upscaled PS2 game, and whilst some characters look better than others (what the hell did they do to Chloe and Adrien?) it’s a major step down from the quality of the show and really highlights just how small the budget must be, compared to what it deserves. This is only further proven with the limited playable character roster and lazy still-panel cut-scenes.

The game is at least reminiscent of Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug & Cat Noir, so kudos to the developers for trying to recreate this universe with all of its characters intact and a faithful Parisian reconstruction, however, there’s a general step down in quality all around. The environments are quite bland and lack attention to detail, plus the frame-rate occasionally shutters, particularly when transitioning between scenes.

A somewhat redeeming factor is the return of the authentic voice acting from the original cast (including VA legend Christina Vee of Shantae and Neptunia fame as Marinette/Ladybug) and that catchy soundtrack. Are the solid music and voice acting enough to elevate the game? Well… not quite.


You’re only really getting seven levels here which you’ll need to replay several times to find every last collectible (and on higher difficulties) to earn the game’s trophies. This gets incredibly frustrating and repetitive. Sadly, you can’t unlock everything in a single playthrough. Add to this the game’s final trophy which no one in either online forums or YouTube videos has managed to work out how to unlock yet, and you’ve got an unrewarding game with a quite possibly unachievable platinum trophy.


While fans of the show may be overjoyed with this long overdue video game incarnation, the game unfortunately suffers from the transitional curse of the TV/Film to video game format, which misses the mark more often than not. Regrettably, developer Magic Pockets’ Miraculous: Rise of the Sphinx game is a very clunky experience.

It’s easy to write off Miraculous: Rise of the Sphinx as a low budget cash-in of the brand releasing just in time for Christmas, and you’d be right since each and every component of the game is delivered with a bare-minimum approach, and yet I can’t bring myself to hate the game quite as much as I probably should, simply because, despite the lack of effort, it still manages to capture the magic of the show at times with its charming characters.

Where the show has fans of all ages, including older fans who grew up with the ‘magical girl anime’ genre, Miraculous: Rise of the Sphinx is a game that only really targets younger players who tend to be a lot more forgiving of performance shortfalls. Even so, it lacks the polish of other games and as a result becomes quite repetitive and even frustrating which is something my daughter agrees with me on. In the end, this game based on the popular TV series could have been a far more engaging experience. Just because a game targets children doesn’t mean it needs to cut so many corners.

Waiting for a patch or two to hopefully fix some of the juddering performance issues wouldn’t go amiss, but I can’t see revisiting the game being a priority for the developer. If this is your first experience of the Miraculous franchise, then you might want to wait for a heavy discount before purchasing. Not a complete disaster, but certainly a major letdown.


  • Decent voice acting
  • Catchy theme tune


  • Sloppy visuals
  • Repetitive gameplay
  • Performance issues

Miraculous: Rise of the Sphinx

Below Average

An overdue move to the gaming scene for the cartoon duo, which sadly leaves a lot to be desired.

Gary Green
PS5 version reviewed.