Oh, sister where art thou? The Giana Sisters have had a long-storied history dating back to the Commodore 64, but in the newest iteration of Black Forest Games stellar platformer, the dreams have arguably never been more twisted. Will Giana and her two dream personas win back her missing sister, or will she be lunch for a heinous dragon? This is our Giana Sisters Twisted Dreams Owltimate Edition Review.
In the dangerous Dream World, Giana holds a special power, to be able to swap between two personas in two separate but similar dream worlds. Each persona has different abilities, and as the action, platform puzzler gets more intense, melding these worlds to complete your goals is a must. There are no complicated combos or hidden upgrades that players are forced to find. The difficulty doesn’t lie in the complexity of the Giana Sisters, but rather the deceptive simplicity. Players are required to collect gems of different colors with additional opportunities to find large blue gems that unlock some artistic photos in the Gallery. Players will learn very early that the simplicity of these tasks is exacerbated by the various ways their skills will be tested to find and obtain every last crystal.
In Giana’s Punk form, she has the ability to bounce around and attack enemies with the force of a cannonball. In her Cute form, she has the ability to twirl in the air, slowing her descent so she can direct herself to gems, platforms, or to just simply maneuver out of the way of danger. Throughout the levels, both are needed to varying degrees, with additional complexities added the further into Gianas dreams players go. Good examples of this are the closed vertical corridors that require players to bounce quickly from wall to wall in Giana’s Punk Form and the gem puzzles that require you to twirl with Giana’s Cute Form, but twist the dream world during flight or you could miss many important gems.
Giana Sisters Twisted Dreams Owltimate Edition employs perfected platformer gameplay with beautifully crafted world designs to make a truly compelling side scroller. In addition to the legacy game that has been around for several years, the Owltimate Edition also incorporates the Directors Cut and five new stages that players haven’t seen before. Despite the initial game to be difficult enough, Black Forest Games has doubled down on the difficulties with a Hard Mode, a Hardcore Mode and an Uber Hardcore mode. Once players have completed several stages on Hard, they can unlock levels in the Time Attack and Score Attack missions, which will give platformer fans more than enough to keep them busy for hours if they so desire.
Graphically, the Switch handles the Giana Sisters Twisted Dreams Owltimate Edition perfectly, with options to utilize both the left thumbstick as well as the left directional buttons to traverse the world. I often found situations where I had to use both, as the thumbstick seems unreliable at times, as even a slight miscalculation on your thumbstick position could be the difference between life and death. Luckily in the Hard Mode, death is more of a setback, whereas in the Hardcore mode, they remove all checkpoints, and in Uber Hardcore, if you die, you start back from level 1. Despite these extreme difficulty options, even playing through on the normal mode is worth it due to the plucky gameplay, the outstanding musical score, and that excitable feeling that you’ve accomplished something you rarely get from games that shirk all difficulty in favor of mindless satisfaction. There are very few must have sidescrolling platformers, but if you are a platformer fan and haven’t had the chance to try out Giana Sisters Twisted Dreams before, put this on your list as a must buy.