Project Giana is now Giana Sisters, a Kickstarter project releasing this month
While the beginning of the year may have been filled with a lot of Kickstarters raising money, I think the new story soon will be projects that are actually finishing up their games and releasing a final product. That looks like the case for a Kickstarter project called Project Giana by Black Forest Games. Only a month after appropriating some funds from Kickstarter and setting back to work, the team has now named the project to Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams and plans to release the game one way or another on October 23rd.
Project Giana was actually an effort to revive a forgotten title from the late 1980s called The Great Giana Sisters. The title was originally sold on Commodore 64, Atari ST and the Amiga systems. The original game was very much just a clone of Super Mario Bros., the first level was practically identical to the famous 1-1 level for instance, so when Nintendo threatened legal action the game was pulled from store shelves. This sent the game into obscurity for quite some time. Black Forest Games was able to aquire the rights to the license and pulled together a team of passionate developers looking to revive the series.
Armed with a fun soundtrack that is also redone by Swedish heavy metal band Machinae Supremacy, the game is now far from its 8-bit roots. Although the aforementioned soundtrack is not only fun, but its also inspired by the original game. Game composer Chris Hülsbeck, who created the original soundtrack, has returned to create more music for the game. The game uses both the classic 8-bit style version of the soundtrack as well as the heavy metal version simultaneously by letting players switch at will the world they are playing in. One dark world with the bit-tunes and the other lighter and brighter world with the heavy metal version. Switching between worlds also switches up the type of jumps one has access to and switching worlds on the fly is required to get all the way through a level. It makes for some rapid playstyle that feels fresh-yet-familiar.
I played a preview build of the game and let me say that it looks incredibly sharp, the music between the two worlds melds together extremely well and the gameplay is solid. All 3 parts are basically what the team sold their KS project on, so I think anyone who helped fund the game should fell great for pitching in and getting a quality product up. Although listed as more of a Super Mario Bros. type of game, it feels much more like Sonic: The Hedgehog to me with its layered levels and quick-dash moves. The duel world mechanic gives it a flavor of its own of course.
Currently the game has a Steam Greenlight page and is looking to get accepted. You can help it out by checking the page out here and giving them a quick “Yes”. The developers have confirmed that even if they do not get Greenlight acceptance they will be releasing it as a DRM-free copy of the game one way or another, probably on their website. I’ll be looking forward to grabbing a copy of the game as soon as it is available, Steam or no Steam, as this is a very solid title so far.