World Changing: Project Giana Demo

Everyone has gaps in their gaming knowledge. Like, for instance, you’ve never heard of Lungo – the seminal C64 platformer that defined how double jumping would work forever. Me, I’d not heard of The Great Giana Sisters. Contain your horror. In case you’re in the same camp as me (woo, camp buddies!) this was a quite astonishingly blatant rip-off of Super Mario Bros released in 1987. Nintendo, who as ever stubbornly refused to release their games on anything but their own console, were jolly cross about this, and had it pulped. And thus it entered legend. Except, apparently not any legends ever shared with me.

The point being, they behind this are returning with a new Kickstarted version, Project Giana, and it bears almost nothing in common with the game it previously so liberally stole from. Which is a bit confusing. Fortunately, there’s now a demo.

It’s not quite the original team, as sadly the man behind the original – Armin Gessert – died in 2009. Appositely, his last game was a version of the original Giana released on the Nintendo DS! This new game seems to genuinely share little but the name and elements of the concept, but the results look absolutely beautiful. It’s a puzzle platformer in which you can control not only the main character, but also the mood of the world you’re in. Giana can switch between “cutie” and “punky”, which changes how a level is approached. Take a look at the video for a better idea of how this works:

You can play the demo to get an even better idea.

This is currently being Kickstarted, and is agonisingly close to reaching its goal. But with only 3 days to go, it still needs another $16k. It would seem mean for them to miss it now.


  1. Artist says:

    Omg, watch the gameplay vid – Firefartjumping! Yeehaw! Epic – Im sold!

  2. Eophasmus says:

    Quite the eye-treat. It reminds me more of Rayman than Mario, probably because of the alternative nature design, which is certainly a good thing.

  3. Was Neurotic says:

    Looks a lot better than what I thought it would be from the snippet I saw in my RSS feed – a sequel to Great Giana Sisters. :D

    Edit: Yay, I knew something Walker didn’t! ;)

  4. DuddBudda says:

    awesome concept for telling a story, don’t anticipate much compelling gameplay from it though (probably because I don’t play platformers)
    whatever, beautiful art, intriguing concept, funky music, I can pay $20 for that

  5. whoCares says:

    Is it just me or should the soundtrack of the 2 worlds be exactly opposity.

    • Kollega says:

      I also thought just that.

      • Didero says:

        It’s because she’s punky in the normal green-and-cute world, so there’s more punky music. She’s more normal in the brown ‘evil’ world, so the music adapts.
        The music is tied to her state, not the world’s.

        I’m not good with words today >_>

  6. FloorBelow says:

    Wow, that world-changing looks fantastic. I love how sproingy everything goes.

    • Eophasmus says:

      Agreed. I watched the trailer twice to inspect how each aspect changed. The mushroom-extending / retracting is particularly nice.

    • Bhazor says:

      Is it just me or are the worlds the wrong way round at the end? Punkie seems to be screw attacking in Cutie world.

      • neolith says:

        IIRC it’s intended this way. The girl feels good in the creepy world and gets freaked out by too much cute stuff.

        • Bhazor says:

          Yes. It turns out I am a fool.

          I thought it started out the other way around and then changed around during the rapid twists but it didn’t.

    • f1x says:

      gameplay wise its a similar concept as Outland on the toybox360 but more clever, more cute and more interesting

  7. Jon Tetrino says:

    For those wondering about the music, the metal version is an old track by Machinae Supremacy, a self-styled “SID-Metal” band that uses a Sid Station (synth based on the c64’s sound chip) amongst other related machines to create the effects in their rock.

    They’ve already done a soundtrack for an old (pretty good) side scroller called Jets’n’Guns, and that is free to download (along with their free releases and their, now free, first album) from the download section of their site.

    Notable tracks include “Gianna Sisters” from above, “Hybrid” “Bouff” and “Cryosleep” for anyone who has played the dance games In The Groove/ITG2, and “Sidology” – a three part, 24 minute long instrumental cover medly of commodore64 sound tracks.

    If you can stomach the lead singer’s voice, you’ll likely enjoy them. If not, their instrumentals will keep you going for a long time.

    • Hatsworth says:

      About to play ITG right now actually..

      It really sucks Jets isn’t on steam.

  8. Prince says:

    Being a major c64 fan, you actually made me look up “Lungo”. Damn you, John Walker!

  9. razgon says:

    I could have sworn it was some Dane that made the music for Giana sisters on the C64, Jesper Kyd?

    Anyways – Looks fun!

  10. Bhazor says:

    Aww man, I was hoping it was about a completely different Gianna.

    Game looks great though. I guess.

  11. mikmanner says:

    That music is mad irritating.

  12. b0rsuk says:

    Looks a lot like Trine.

  13. Thingus says: did an entire album based around this game (kind of):

  14. brat-sampson says:

    Graphically it looks incredible however my only fear would be that by restricting themselves to ‘light/dark’ worlds only by default it’ll be harder for them to keep providing the changes in style and pace you’d usually get in a platformer when they get to travel to the usual ice/casino/fire trope-y levels.

    I helped kick-start this because it looks incredible and was only $10, but also I’d say from the demo that the final game needs more impetus for the player to actually complete some of the trickier routes. Seemingly atm the jewels aren’t actually *for* anything and some of the optional/timing sessions are pretty tricky considering you could also pretty much just go around them.

    All this could and may well change by final release though. Also, great music!

  15. StranaMente says:

    I really didn’t expect this game from that snippet. I thought it was something with much lower res style, like a 2d scroller with sprites. This is very nice and reminds me a bit of Trine for all the attention spent in the background and colours.

    • milman says:

      Totally expected this to be a let down after being spoiled by the gorgeous Trine, but its very well done and I like. Hope they get some good variety in the world switching so it doesn’t start to just blend in and become forgettable.

      Anyone else get a distinct Hinterlands/Plaguelands vibe from that level? Just me? bah. Curse you wow.

  16. vedder says:

    What’s with the feakin’ owl!?

    • KabraxisObliv says:

      I guess it was the first enemy ever you encountered in The Great Giana Sisters. :)
      (And so it is in the demo)

  17. suibhne says:

    On the one hand, that’s absolutely lovely. On the other, I think the constantly changing music would drive me nuts.

    • KabraxisObliv says:

      Just saw this article in BFG’s twitter and read through the comments…
      You can disable the music-switching. In the menu of the demo you can turn it off and select whichever version of the song you prefer. :)

  18. Kasper says:

    I think it looks awesome. I worked on an student game that uses similar mechanics, and it’s very interesting to see how they’ve tackled some of the same issues/ideas. I love the effects of the morphing trees, for example.

    Here’s a short video of our game, Flipside, played by some Bulgarian dude – if anyone is curious. We got nominated for the IGF, but unfortunately didn’t get to finish the game beyond the single level of the demo/vertical slice: link to

    • Fadobo says:

      Hey, I played Flipside. Was a cool prototype and I hoped for more. Controls were a bit clunky, but I really enjoyed the well….side-flipping mechanic. Also the hand-drawn cardbox style was pretty cool. Yay-You!

  19. Hatsworth says:

    The DS game was ironically much better than NSMB(which Nintendo continues to regurgitate sadly).

    Demo is promising, although I hope the levels aren’t excessively huge and focused on collecting too much. Otherwise the mechanics have potential for offering cool, challenging platforming.

  20. Zyrxil says:

    If there’s anything I’ve learned from Dustforce and Rayman Origins, it’s that I’m incredibly shit at this new generation of super-hard platformers. Super Meatboy was actually easier to me, since the individual levels were a lot shorter.

    • Hatsworth says:

      Well Dustforce is harder than SMB, so that’s not surprising. Rayman Origins is quite a bit easier than Rayman 1 though, so it has nothing to do with a new generation, hehe.

      • Bhazor says:

        Rayman 1 is hard.
        It’s hard as balls.

        I’ve been replaying it recently and I have no idea how I finished it when I was 10. Clearly that was my peak. Everything’s gone downhill from then.

        Can’t even pop a wheelie now.

    • jamesgecko says:

      Rayman Origins harder than Super Meat Boy? I can only conclude that you didn’t get very far in Super Meat Boy.

  21. Buemba says:

    Looks great, but I’m not too keen on the whole “$150,000 is only enough for a basic version of the game, we need $250,000 for the complete experience” bit at the end (Props for being honest, I guess).

    Since it’s clear this isn’t going to reach $250,000 there’s a good chance backers won’t get the full game unless they manage to find a publisher after this ends. Not very encouraging.

  22. Ahtaps says:

    Woo! Machinae Supremacy. I love their rendition of the theme. The game looks interesting, and reminds me a heck of a lot of Eversion and it’s world-state-switching mechanic. My only problem is I tend to suck at the games that require you to switch between forms or states on the fly. (Like POP: Forgotten Sands, Ikaruga, and Outland).

  23. kochanneo says:

    This really makes me wanna play Jazz Jackrabbit… I haven’t messed with that in years!