Giana Sisters: Dream Runners Review

Giana Sisters: Dream Runners is a multiplayer focused, platform racing game by developer Black Forest Games & Published by EuroVideo Medien.

You take control of a one of four racers/characters, Basically you have to keep running until a counter reaches zero, or you get so far ahead of your competition that they vanish off the edge of the screen. There is no finishing line, the game will continue until a winner emerges. Sounds easy enough right? Well Giana Sisters: Dream Runners isn’t about to let you win that easy. If you have ever played Crash Team Racing or Mario Cart then you are going to be very familiar with many of the elements within Dream Runners.

There are nine levels to choose from ranging from challenging to difficult in the extreme. Each level has its own challenges and obstacles to overcome. There are environmental dangers on all levels that need to be navigated and enemies that need to be avoided.

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You can play against your friends online & local multiplayer, If playing against your friends doesn’t tickle your fancy then try playing against the AI controlled Bots. I must admit even on easy the AI Bots can be very competitive, I even tried playing against the AI Bots on hard, Oh wow I got left behind instantly. This probably says more about me as a player on this type of game.

The online modes adds more play ability as you can play against people all over the world, i had two issues, first was trying to join a game online as it often put me in a lobby on my own or I would get put in a game with one other player. I found myself in some long waits in order to get into a game with three other humans. You change the options to add AI Bots to fill any spaces, the second issue was lag as it can quite frustrating because you could be winning a race and the lag hits and your in last place or you have been pushed off the screen.

The other issue I have with Giana Sisters: Dream Runners is the lack of information on the controls & settings. There is no option in the menu or during game play to find out what buttons do what move & features. Instead the only time you get a inkling of what some of the controls are, is on the first time you play the game, you get some basic on screen help of what the controls are. That’s a fine idea but with the fast paced game play, I barely had time to focus on the screen hints and complete the character move.

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The artwork is great, really colourful and exciting. The only concern I have with it is for a user who struggles to establish certain colours, like myself.  As some of the backgrounds and foregrounds are the same or are hard to work out in places and this can lead to some frustrating game play or constantly running into obstacles. I have only found this in two of the nine levels and after a few attempts I was able to remember where they were so I was able to complete the level with out running into obstructions. The soundtrack used in the game is up beat and exciting to tie in with the fast paced game play and each level has its own music.

The trick with Giana Sisters: Dream Runners, is to play a level over and over again, once you learn the courses then your chance of success will rise greatly. It is your typical racer in terms of needing to finish first, it has boost and power up options that can be used as effective ways to win or can be quite costly. There are two types of power ups/boosts, one that will launch a weapon in front to slow down the other racers and the other that will fire backwards so you can increase your lead. However there is one Power up weapon that can work fore and against you, and the power up can randomly catapult you in a random direction which can kill your character or gain you massive advantage.

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Throughout the nine levels are switches that can be activated that will either close off sections of the level or open new parts, a more experienced player will use the level features to their advantage.

You can unlock four characters by winning on certain levels, the only gain the unlockable characters have is, its easier to spot them on screen compared to the main female characters, If all racers are in a bunch it can be easy to lose track of where you are and before you know it, you’ve been left behind or you hit an obstacle.

I like Giana Sisters: Dream Runners but I think it has a time & place to be played, if you have a group of friends round and you want a 15-30mins of fun on a games this is the one for it.

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