Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams

PC - Rating: 9/10

Oh sweet Shatner, this game is brutal! The Nintendo DS Giana Sisters game was a cute, simplistic and moderately challenging throwback platformer. Twisted Dreams is a relentless, brain twisting modernized update.

First off, the game is visually stunning. The richly rendered backgrounds and overall attention to detail is amazing. On top of that, the game’s primary mechanic is the ability to switch between aggro Giana and sweet Giana which, not only changes your abilities, changes every visual element in the game from dark to cheery and back again. Owls transform into devils and flowery blooms become wilted and rotten. The effect is seamless and jaw dropping.

That switching mechanic is the key to overcoming many of the more puzzling obstacles. The control does not come very intuitively and I would would often find myself fumbling and button mashing as I would try to time a switch just right. The main goal is to finish each level with as many gems as possible and with as few deaths as you can. The better you do the more stars you earn which, in turn, opens up boss levels. Death comes very easy and I rarely could finish a stage without racking up at least fifty deaths. Like I said, this game is brutal. I’m sure a twelve year-old might breeze through it, but my middle-aged reflexes weren’t quite up to snuff.

This was a game that I supported in Kickstarter, and, despite my sore thumbs, I’m glad I did. It has been one of the few crowd-funded projects I paid into that delivered within months of funding and has been more than generous with updates and DLC.

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