Giana Sisters Review

By , on February 12, 2010

Giana Sisters
Download on the AppStore
4 out of 5


  • A classic from gaming history revisited.
  • Lots of content and challenging levels.


  • Game flow is can be interrupted by old school "cheap death" level design.


This is a classic from the vaults of gaming history revisited for touch devices and while not the best platformer available it does have a genuine pedigree to live up to.

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After the market crash for games in the early 80s, the rest of the decade was dominated by the rise of Nintendo and 8-bit gaming. Super Mario Bros clones were common, but none went so far as The Great Giana Sisters in 1987 who had to pull their game from the shelves, but all is not dead for the Giana Sisters as Armin Gessert and Bad Monkee resurrect their franchise for the App Store.

Giana Sisters is a basic platformer and uses four basic virtual buttons to move left and right, jump and shoot fireballs. A more innovative version of the controls places the direction buttons at each side of the screen and turns the unused movement button into your jump button. Responsiveness is a concern for the controls with the virtual pad refusing to accept quick or multiple button presses at inconvenient times. It's also far too easy to collide with the environment which kills the momentum of your jump and drops you to your demise.

The game is luscious with updated 2D graphics that represent the artwork from the original Amiga version of the game in high detail. The basic similarities to Super Mario Bros are still evident, but there's enough here to enjoy on its own. Interestingly the game uses sounds that are barely updated from the original version and the music requires an eclectic palette to enjoy.

Action and platform fans will enjoy the significant amount of content in Giana Sisters, including the classic mode, but with so many basic flaws it's not a game for everyone.


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