GAME NAME: Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams
DEVELOPER(S): Black Forest Games
PUBLISHER(S): Black Forest Games
PLATFORM(S): Wii U, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC
RELEASE DATE(S): September 5th, 2013
For a gamer like me that grew up in the 80’s playing 2d side-scroller after 2d side-scroller, the renaissance of 2d gaming that has taken place over the last few years by indie developers is like like a dream turned to reality. Playing Black Forests Games’ gem Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams reminds me why I fell in love with video games in the first place. Each level had me hooked and I couldn’t stop playing. Giana Sisters as a franchise has quite a history. It started out in 1987 on the Commodore 64 and was known as a Super Mario Bros. rip-off. Since then they remade the game on the DS and then made this new version on PC, PSN, Xbox Live Arcade and now the Wii U. With Twisted Dreams, the Giana Sisters franchise proves that it isn’t a Mario clone and can exist in a crowded 2d platforming genre on it’s own.
The story starts when Maria gets kidnapped and taken to a dream world by a dragon. From here, Giana (the stories Title character and heroine), must go into the dream world to save her. While in this dream world Giana takes advantage of her unique ability to transform to rescue her sister. It is your standard rescue the damsel in distress, but you play as the sister and the gameplay is anything but standard.
In the game, players transform between a “cute” world and a “punk” world. This ability, which has an awesome effect with both visuals and sound, is the core element to Giana Sisters’ gameplay. You must avoid hazards and enemies all while collecting gems. The amount of gems you find is how you are ranked for each stage and you can replay each stage to try to beat your previous score. Other abilities such as a hover and dash attack help with collecting the gems as you make your way through each level. Giana Sisters, while short in length is not short on modes. There are time trial modes and harder difficulty modes to go along with normal and easy difficulties.
The visuals while in the “cute” world have a Trine 2 meets The Shire (from Lord of the Rings) feel. All of this though can transform of the fly when transferring into the “punk” world. The crossover visuals are stunning! You will see trees die, enemies morph from cute to devilish all in front of your eyes with just the touch of a button. This is by far one of the coolest effects I’ve seen in a game in a long time. But, the transformations don’t end there. Even the music changes from a rock feel to more of a dark orchestrated feel of the fly. This touch is what separates Giana Sisters from the pack.
As you can see, I really enjoyed this game. I really would recommend this game to anyone as it is a great game with a rewarding challenge. I look forward to Black Forest Games next game, whether it be a sequel of a new IP, I’ll be highly anticipating it. Go pick up this game now on whatever platform you own, you will not be disappointed!
**Review Based on Wii U Version