Giana Sisters: Dream Runners Review

Giana Sisters: Dream Runners Review

Black Forest Games brings you a SpeedRunners inspired game with this spin-off of their platformer Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams where you can play alone, with friends or online… or at least, that’s the idea anyway. You “run and jump, dash and smash, daze and teleport, morph and cannon” and any other verb you can think of in this frantic and vibrant game as you race through nine levels of obstacles, enemies and general hindrances.

Let’s just get straight to it – is this game worth the £7.99 it’s asking for? No, it’s not. To me the controls were too awkward, the levels were unnecessarily full of obstacles to the point where even the easier levels could be frustrating and the idea of playing online (which seems to be the main appeal of the entire game) is, well… irrelevant when you actually play.

The whole premise of competing online is thrown out the window with this game because the entire time I was playing I wasn’t able to connect to one online server lobby. Not a single one. I tried to make my own, but after waiting for a little too long for no one to join, I ended up giving up. There are just not enough people playing the game to make the online aspect of the game worth showing off. I’m sure if it was popular enough it might be a viable feature, but as it is now, it’s not. I’d like to think that playing local PvP is more fun than playing alone with AIs of varied difficulties because playing alone brings the game from reasonably entertaining to exasperatingly boring very quickly.

Giana Sisters: Dream Runners Review

You’re thrown right into the races when you start and are greeted with a very brief tutorial when you play for the first time, showing you the basic controls, so knowing what you should and shouldn’t try and pick up or run into is something you have to learn along the way. You can pick up objects that can help you and hinder opponents but you won’t know what they do unless you remember the picture that comes with them before you use it and see what it does.

The controls were reasonable, but one obstacle in every level required you to slide – seems easy enough, right? Well, when you have to be using the left stick constantly you’ll know how annoying it is when you have to press down on the D pad and that’s what you had to do multiple times. I don’t know who decided this was a good idea, but they were wrong. How about Right Trigger? Or the Right Stick? Nope, that’s too easy.

The graphics were average. They’re pretty much what you would expect from a game like this and although they weren’t bad, they weren’t amazing and could have probably been better. To me, this game belonged more on an iPad than my PS4 as the style with the graphics and soundtrack reminded me of a mobile app. It all worked as a whole, but it just wasn’t spectacular and the game overall didn’t impress me. There were a few other faults – like respawning in awkward locations, not respawning at all or areas of levels being full more of obstacles than places you can actually run, so I don’t think I’ll be playing again.

Giana Sisters: Dream Runners Review

So in case I haven’t made this clear enough, here’s a conclusion: There’s really no point buying this game. It’s fun for five minutes and if you were excited about playing online like I was then that is shattered immediately. The idea for the game is good and it had potential, unfortunately that potential was not met.


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