STORY / GAMEPLAY
You play as Giana, a girl that has a strange dream and finds herself trapped inside a strange and mysterious world where everything looks completely different. Gravity seems light enough -sometimes making someone feel like flying- and there are odd buildings and structures everywhere. Deserted castles seem to hide lots of secrets while frightening and hideous creatures spawn here and there. This nightmare gets even worse as Giana can't leave this world unless she finds a huge, magic jewel. While searching for this very jewel, Giana collects blue dream crystals to replenish her stamina that depletes from the evil creatures and also to be able to go to the next level. The way she collects those crystals is similar to the Mario series: She hits with her head all those brick platforms and they in return grant her with crystals. Note that sometimes those bricks may hide enemies that will attack the girl once they are free! Enemies can be defeated by jumping on them or shooting them after obtaining the relevant power ups. The "Fire Wheel" transforms Giana into a punk-looking girl with the ability to smash unbreakable bricks. "Lightning Bolt" will award Giana some "Dream Bubbles", a kind of single projectile shot. "Double Lightning" gives Giana the ability to shoot missile-like projectiles while "Water-Drop" can protect her from fire. The gameplay gets tougher as you proceed and sometimes is frustratingly hard to avoid or pass through moving obstacles. So, it needs good practice and patience.
Now, due to its huge similarity with Super Mario, at least in terms of level design and gameplay, Nintendo pressured a lot the Great Giana Sisters' developing team using warnings to take legal action, so the game was voluntarily withdrawn from the market.
GRAPHICS / SOUND
The game's visuals are cute (very similar to Nintendo's Mario) and colorful, although they lack some background details. Well, for its age (this is a 1987 game), The Great Giana Sisters looks and plays great! The sprites move smoothly on-screen which makes the game particularly playable. As far as the sound, the C64 version has some wonderful SID tunes and plenty of nice in-game sound effects.
GAMEPLAY SAMPLE VIDEO
On our video below you may watch the Commodore 64/128 and the Amiga OCS versions of the game.
The Commodore 64 version is at 00:21.