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The Great Giana Sisters

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Critic Reviews 80% add missing review

64'er (15 out of 15) (100%)

Die Grafik von „The Great Giana Sisters“ ist spitze, der Sound von Chris Hülsbeck ist unverkennbar. Die Steuerung der kleinen Giana ist gewöhnungsbedürftig, aber dennoch faszinierend. So wird man zunächst in den ersten Levels etwas Schwierigkeiten haben. Doch sind sie dann erst einmal geschafft, packt einen die Spiele-Lust.

Apr 1988 · Commodore 64

Zzap! (96 out of 100) (96%)

One night, when little Giana from Milano was tucked up in her bed and sleeping fast, she had a mysterious dream. Through the swirls of a dark, deep dreamscape she suddenly found herself in a strange land of traps, tricks and malevolent creatures.

Jul 1988 · Commodore 64 · read review

Lemon64 (9 out of 10) (90%)

A game which full deserves its semi-legendary status. It is the quintessence of a platform game, and should be picked up by anybody who has a liking for this genre, and those who don't have as well, because then they'll get one. This game could very easily have been ruined by sloppy work in either the sound or graphics department, but luckily, it hasn't. Instead, quite a bit of solid computing handicraft is shown in these fields as well.

Dec 1st, 2001 · Commodore 64 · read review

Computer and Video Games (CVG) (9 out of 10) (90%)

That's it really, a bloody good game, and if it didn't get Game of the Month, it's only because we were loath to give it to such an obvious filch.

Jul 1988 · Amiga · read review

Computer and Video Games (CVG) (9 out of 10) (90%)

That's it really, a bloody good game, and if it didn't get Game of the Month, it's only because we were loath to give it to such an obvious filch.

Jul 1988 · Commodore 64 · read review

Eurogamer.net (UK) (9 out of 10) (90%)

In gameplay terms is wasn't anything new to those gamers rich enough to own a NES (with its vastly overpriced games), but to most teenage C64 owners of the late '80s, it was an essential release at the point when the best developers had already started to migrate to the 16-bit systems and leave the dear old machine behind. These days, though, with such a wealth of top retro classics available this feels like a bit of a footnote in gaming history, but let's not forget what was a special game for all the right reasons - rip-off or not.

Oct 26th, 2007 · Commodore 64 · read review

ASM (Aktueller Software Markt) (10.2 out of 12) (85%)

GIANA SISTERS macht süchtig! Wer einen C64, Amiga oder ST besitzt, der ist selbst Schuld, wenn er sich dieses Spiel nicht besorgt. Es gehört einfach in jede Sammlung.

Jan 1988 · Commodore 64 · read review

Games Machine, The (UK) (82 out of 100) (82%)

The Commodore game features some very nicely stylised graphics and good in-game tunes. Making much better use of the machine, this version provides a lot better value-for-money and even does without the disk access required by the Amiga.

Jul 1988 · Commodore 64 · read review

Amiga User International (8 out of 10) (80%)

I would have liked to see some more variety in the levels, most of which are just new arrangements of platforms and pits. This is understandable on the single-load 64 game but I am sure the Amiga could handle a few more features. Even so, Giana Sisters is a game that scores on gameplay rather than flashy graphics or sound and will have a lot more staying power for it.

Sep 1988 · Amiga · read review

Power Play (8 out of 10) (80%)

Den Dr. Bobo-Gedenkpreis für die originellste Idee wird Great Giana Sisters kaum gewinnen, obwohl dieses Spielprinzip für C64, Amiga und Atari ST relativ neu ist. Die Grafik ist hübsch und für die Qualität der Musik bürgt Chris Hülsbeck. Das Wichtigste ist auf jeden Fall das Spielprinzip, denn neben den bekannten Extras wimmelt es in dem Spiel nur so von gut versteckten Geheimnissen.

Feb 1988 · Commodore 64 · read review

Commodore User (8 out of 10) (80%)

Despite the fiddly joystick problem we can't get away from this one.

Jun 1988 · Commodore 64 · read review

Power Play (8 out of 10) (80%)

Giana Sisters ist eine gelungene Umsetzung und somit eines der besten Amiga-Spiele. Ein Extra-Lob gebührt dem tollen Titelbild im Interlace-Modus.

Apr 1988 · Amiga · read review

Commodore Force (80 out of 100) (80%)

The Great Giana Sisters is an unashamed rip-off of the N******o game. Run around a Marioesque fantasy world jumping on tortoises head-butting bricks, crawling down pipes - sounds familiar? If you've already read Ian's unreleased games feature you know your chances of finding it in the shops are zero, but check out the car boot sales - you won't find anything more Mario-like without buying a NES!

May 1993 · Commodore 64 · read review

Pixel-Heroes.de (8 out of 10) (80%)

Neben der C-64-Fassung wurde das Spiel noch auf dem Amiga umgesetzt. Die Grafik ist hier viel bunter ausgefallen und die Spielbarkeit konnte bis auf die ein wenig träge Steuerung genauso gut überzeugen. Wenn man das Spiel mit neueren Jump´n´run´s vergleicht, dann wirkt es mittlerweile ein wenig überholt. Trotzdem ist es nach wie vor wert gespielt zu werden. Für alle Fans dieses Jump´n´run´s gibt es auf dem C-64 noch einige Klone, die komplett neugestaltete Levels aufweisen.

Oct 2003 · Amiga · read review

Pixel-Heroes.de (8 out of 10) (80%)

The Great Giana Sisters ist ein Jump´n´run-Spiel der ganz besonderen Art. Als eines der beliebtesten C-64-Spiele überhaupt wurde es seiner Zeit wegen der extrem starken Parallelen zu Super Mario Bros von Nintendo vom Markt entfernt. Nintendo, die damals mit ihrem NES-Spiel Super Mario Bros auf Erfolgskurs waren, haben sich vor diesem Spiel wahrscheinlich gefürchtet, denn es ist besser als das Vorbild.

Oct 2003 · Commodore 64 · read review

Happy Computer (79 out of 100) (79%)

Trotz unübersehbarer Ähnlichkeit zum Videospiel-Modul „Super Mario Bros.“ gehört Great Giana Sisters zu den erfrischendsten C 64-Neuerscheinungen der letzten Zeit. Es ist halt nicht nur ein Geschicklichkeits-Spiel mit netter Grafik, sondern bietet durch die vielen versteckten Extras einen zusätzlichen Spielanreiz. In Sachen Sound ist besonders viel los: Aufwendige Titelmusik mit digitalisierten Effekten und etwas unauffällige, aber gute Musik und Effekte während des Spiels.

Feb 1988 · Commodore 64 · read review

Games Machine, The (UK) (78 out of 100) (78%)

The Amiga version has sharper graphics and clearer tunes than the C64, but little improved otherwise, making the game distinctly unimpressive visually. Addictive gameplay, however, turns this into one of the better German releases available in the UK.

Jul 1988 · Amiga · read review

ST Action (77 out of 100) (77%)

Pure and simple addictiveness. The game is what I would term a good, old-fashioned arcade game, although not brilliant, is good enough except, that is, the gameplay, which excels. The music is the best I've heard recently and I can actually play the game with the music on - rare indeed. Joystick controls are simple, well-implemented and effective. One of the best features about this game, though, is the fact that there are several ways of completing each level, depending on how the mood takes you. This is a game that, although a blatant rip-off of the Super Mario Bros., deserves a place in any self-respecting gamester's software cupboard.

Sep 1988 · Atari ST · read review

Games Machine, The (UK) (75 out of 100) (75%)

The scrolling introduction is amazingly fast here, yet strangely once the main game starts flipscreen techniques disappointingly take over. This can be irritating at times, but doesn't seriously affect the compelling gameplay - highly recommended for Super Mario Bros fans.

Oct 1988 · Atari ST · read review

ACE (Advanced Computer Entertainment) (713 out of 1000) (71%)

Pretty graphics and a nice little tune make an attractive game. Not much depth, but fun nonetheless.

Aug 1988 · Amiga · read review

ACE (Advanced Computer Entertainment) (713 out of 1000) (71%)

There's little to distinguish this from the Amiga version. Nice and colourful, with good sound.

Aug 1988 · Atari ST · read review

ACE (Advanced Computer Entertainment) (701 out of 1000) (70%)

The graphics are cute, and the accompanying music jaunty, but it's questionable whether you'll stick with the game through all 32 levels to reach the magic crystal.

Aug 1988 · Commodore 64 · read review

Amiga Joker (66 out of 100) (66%)

Da mag die Hintergrundgrafik noch so langweilig und die Animation der Sprites noch so kärglich sein, spielerisch ist das Programm immer noch sehenswert. Ein Zeitlimit fehlte ebensowenig wie ein Zwei-Spieler-Modus (nacheinander) oder speicherbare Highscores mit Tages- und Bestenliste; auch waren kaum unfaire Stellen zu entdecken. Musik und Sound-FX grooven selbst Ende '92 nicht schlecht, und daß das Horizonzalscrolling ruckfrei klappt, ist bei einem fünf Jahre alten Game auch nicht gerade selbstverständlich. Aber was hilft's, wenn bestenfalls noch der inoffizielle Nachfolger „Hard'n'Heavy“ erhältlich ist, zumal der die Brillanz des Originals nicht ganz erreichen kann? Wenig, aber für Weihnachten ist ja eine Konvertierung des Original-Originals angekündigt – dann darf Mario persönlich am Amiga zeigen, ob er den ganzen Ärger wert ist...

Oct 1992 · Amiga · read review

Top Secret (3 out of 5) (60%)

Zatem nie czekaj, ruszaj po diamenty. Spiesz się, bo Twoja mamusia kiedyś w końcu wyjdzie ze sklepu i będzie bardzo niezadowolona, nie widząc Cię w ogródku.

Jul 1992 · Commodore 64

Retro Game Reviews ( ) (60%)

It's seriously impressive how much it mimics Super Mario Bros. and the gameplay mechanics are very faithful. Checkpoints are very fair, so the frustration of tougher levels is lessened due to players not being sent far back. The controls are highly responsive, and the colourful graphics and smooth scrolling look fantastic. Gives you the option to save your high scores which is an advanced feature for the time period. Levels are very short and you never feel like you're getting into a proper rhythm due to the stop/start nature of the gameplay. Does almost nothing to differentiate itself from the source material and treads familiar ground far too much. Collision detection is spotty and many times you'll lose a life and wonder how on earth it just happened.

Nov 12th, 2022 · Commodore 64 · read review

Player Reviews

The game Nintendo doesn't want you to play.

The Good
In 1985, Nintendo released their popular Super Mario Bros. game to the public, and it was the first true platform game for any system. Although the game was a huge success, Nintendo only released the game for their NES but they had no intentions of porting this over to other systems at the time. Time Warp, a little known German company, created The Great Giana Sisters as a result, and their brand new game was very similar to SMB, but they wanted something original, rather than the commonly used theme of rescuing the princess held captive in a castle.

Time Warp had the character having a dream where they are exploring a land infested with monsters, dragons, wasps, and the like; and the only way to escape the land is to find a magic diamond. But in addition to this change, Mario was replaced by a punk named Giana, the enemies and power-ups were different, and both the blocks with the scrolling question marks and the flag at the end of each level was not shown. Thus, The Great Giana Sisters was born.

In Giana Sisters, the first few levels are similar to SMB; but from then on, the game introduces its own elements ranging from platforms that collapse under your feet TO blocks that turn into boulders when you bump into them. These elements add challenge to the level; and if you are not paying attention, you could lose a life. There are more power-ups that include regular, bouncing, and homing shots. Although you can kill monsters with these three shots, enemies like piranhas are invincible to these shots. You have to jump over them again, and this add to the challenge. The places that they can be found are very narrow. and they are difficult to pass by just jumping over them.

The title picture looks colorful with the main enemies around Giana and the yellow castle in the distance. The words that make up the title are written in Doctor Who style (at the time when Sylvester McCoy appeared in the series). Giana is seen wearing a red T-shirt and a blue mini-skirt; her breasts show underneath the T-shirt. She looks more revealing than she does as you are playing the game.

In my opinion, Giana looks so much colorful than Mario, and the monsters look exactly the same as they are in SMB. Giana herself grows a mohawk that looks good on her when she collects the first power-up. The light-blue background for the levels is not spectacular as the backgrounds that are used in future games, but that bland background is also used in SMB and I didn't notice this as I played through the entire game.

When it comes to music, I believe that Giana Sisters has an excellent soundtrack, starting from the melody you hear on the title screen right down to the actual game play. The sound effects are similar to what you hear on SMB. I enjoyed listening to Giana's screams when you lose one of her lives. The controls are easy to follow since they are the same as those in SMB's.

The Bad

The Bottom Line
The Great Giana Sisters is a very good game which plays similar to SMB for the first three or so levels, then moves away and introduces different elements to make the game more challenging. The graphics and sound is great, and the controls are easy to follow.

The differences were not good enough for Nintendo as demanded the game be withdrawn from sale. They wanted the 2D side-scrolling platform genre all to themselves. This incident led to the cancellation of the ZX Spectrum release. But it was too late: everyone made illegal copies of the game before Nintendo got involved, and the joke was on Nintendo.

by Katakis | カタキス (43062) on Jun 13th, 2009 · Amiga

Great sound, but not much after that

The Good
Chris Huelsbeck did a good job with the sound design of this game.

The Bad
Its a copy of Super Mario Brothers, thats why it was pulled from shelves after 2 days of release (Nintendo stepped in, threatened to sue, etc;). The levels were a bit too short.

The Bottom Line
You are not missing much by playing this game.

by Scott G (765) on Jun 15th, 2005 · Commodore 64

Plus 71 player ratings without reviews

Contributors to this Entry

Critic reviews added by Patrick Bregger, shphhd, Riemann80, Jo ST, CalaisianMindthief, S Olafsson, Tim Janssen, Hello X), JudgeDeadd, ☺☺☺☺☺.