The Great Giana Sisters have an interesting gaming past. Designed in 1987 as a multi-format answer to Super Mario Bros, they’ve survived Nintendo law suits and decades of platform generations and they still keep coming back stronger.
Twisted Dreams on Switch is a remaster of their last game from 5 years ago, bringing the sisters closer to their Mario roots than ever before. Thankfully, the game is something quite different from the standard platformer that the series started out as and it a very welcome addition to the Switch’s catalogue.
Giana Sisters follows the tried and tested story of rescuing a kidnapped sibling, this time Giana’s sister, Maria who is lost in another dimension, an alternate dark version of their world. While Giana has the ability to deal with her enemies and jump over obstacles in a ballerina style spinning jump, she also has the advantage of being able to transform into a punkish version of herself in the other universe through the wormhole to deal with the enemies and levels it throws at you through the use of a fire ability that sees her roll into a ball of fire.
The change from cartoonish friendly world to demonic dark levels at the press of a button works fantastically well here. The enemies transform from mildly threatening brightly coloured ones to freakish nightmares in the dark world. Why change? Levels and doors open up as you change from one world to the other and the trick is in finding out when you need to switch.
The basic gameplay tries to push you through the levels at a faster pace than in a Mario game, it feels more like Sonic at times, but Collectable gems offer replay value with the 2 worlds offering plenty of hidden areas that you’ll need to spend time finding. Thankfully there are more than enough levels here for you to enjoy, including all the DLC that has built up over the time since the original release.
It’s not all good news, though. Sometimes the difficulty can feel hampered by the need to meet certain criteria to get a good ranking. The number of deaths and time limit to complete the levels are your main aims but ranking can still be low even if you managed both of these. It’s also important in unlocking the extra difficulty levels, meaning multiple replays are usually required. In the time since the initial release, it’s also been superseded by better platformers with similar features. That said, Giana Sisters Twisted Dreams still holds up as a great platform adventure and the art style and music alone are worth experiencing.