The Great Giana Sisters, as it was originally known, has an interesting and cheeky history, being pulled off the shelves as soon as it first went on sale in 1987 for the Amiga, Atari and Commodore 64, due to its incredible likeness to Super Mario Bros on the NES-- henceforth cementing it as a highly sought collectors item. Many years down the track, it was re-imagined on the Nintendo DS in 2009, a port of which has now made its way to the iPhone as Armin Gessert's Giana Sisters [App Store], named after the C64 version's original programmer.

Having just played through the first and second worlds, it is immediately obvious where Armin Gessert's Giana Sisters has derived its inspiration. Our early experiences were replete with head-butting brick-smashing platforming, jumping on unsuspecting enemies, pipes, and a steady stream of fireball upgrades. It goes so far as to have coin-bricks, and hidden coin-bricks, and a flag at the end of each level.

It isn't all Mario though, as Armin Gessert's Giana Sisters appears to have an abundance of its own charm. The platforming is straightforward, but challenging, and it really comes into its own after the first few stages. There are two control schemes available-- a Classic and Touch setting-- the latter of which seems a bit too unorthodox to time pin-point jumps. Fortunately, the Classic setting is as you would expect it; movement buttons on the left and jump and shoot buttons on the right which work a treat. Both modes have a swipe feature to help you look below and above you. A number of different power-ups are also available throughout the 80 newly-crafted levels, after which the 32 original 'retro' levels are unlocked.

The full feature set, as provided by Bad Monkey is as follows:

  • 80 new levels
  • 32 retro levels
  • completely new graphic set especially for iPhone and iPod
  • 2 controls (touch and classic)
  • play your own music while you play Giana Sisters
  • 5 languages: English, German, Spanish, French and Italian
  • legendary soundtrack, inspired by Chris Huelsbeck
  • Online community tools (Openfeint)
  • We've thoroughly enjoyed what we've played so far of Armin Gessert's Giana Sisters. There's something special about a great 80's platformer, and this one seems to get all the elements just right. Expect a more extensive review in the near future as we put Armin Gessert's Giana Sisters on the iPhone through its paces.

    More first impressions from our readers are already amassing in our forums.

    App Store Link: Giana Sisters, $4.99

    • bravetarget

      featured in the next few weeks for sure

    • bravetarget

      featured in the next few weeks for sure

    • MicroByte

      Awesome game, perfect trip down memory lane.

    • MicroByte

      Awesome game, perfect trip down memory lane.

    • Cranker

      Do you have to finish all 80 levels to play the retro levels ?

      That would be :( They should be unlocked as two seperate games.

    • Cranker

      Do you have to finish all 80 levels to play the retro levels ?

      That would be :( They should be unlocked as two seperate games.

    • Mr Slinky Spring

      I can't beleive this! When I was a kid I waited all summer holidays to get a copy of a copy of a copy from a friend of a friend of a friend who might have been lucky enough to have a copy of a game that was , 'just like Mario' on his Amiga. I used to walk down the streets, even on holiday in France, headbutting bushes and low hanging trees pretending I was the Giana Sisters (slightly eccentric behaviour, even for a kid I know!).

      Anyway, the sleepless nights continued until that first day back at school. I remember exchanging a toasty £1 coin for the blue rectangle of joy in the playground.. He'd brought it!! I remember Ussain Bolting it home to whacking it in the disk drive, being in heaven for half an hour, and then the screen turning blue. Big crash.

      My heart was smashed to pieces, my 'friend' wouldn't give me another copy, and I pushed the painful memory of the Great Giana Sisters from my mind.. Until now! I can't wait to actually play it!

      Anyway, sorry for the geeky share, but a very salient memory was stirred!

      • http://www.mentation.nl/thanatist/ Thaurin

        Oh, those good old days. I played this on C64 and competed against my brother for the highest score. I was actually pretty good at it--you had to be, because death was death in those days, no save points. Starting over again, baby! I knew those levels by heart and knew how to get the most points out of them. Very cool!

      • MicroD0t

        I have a bleeding heart too friend! lol Mine was Jill of the Jungle.. got it home, and I couldn't configure the config.sys and autoexec.bat's to optimize the memory correctly (I was trying to bypass the 4 or 8meg ram requirements.. lol.. man.. it's good to see this app come for sure!

        • http://www.taptoplay.de Lakeshore | taptoplay.de

          I also loved Jill of the Jungle :D. And Commander Keen, Monster Bash and Jazz Jackrabbit :D.

    • Mr Slinky Spring

      I can't beleive this! When I was a kid I waited all summer holidays to get a copy of a copy of a copy from a friend of a friend of a friend who might have been lucky enough to have a copy of a game that was , 'just like Mario' on his Amiga. I used to walk down the streets, even on holiday in France, headbutting bushes and low hanging trees pretending I was the Giana Sisters (slightly eccentric behaviour, even for a kid I know!).

      Anyway, the sleepless nights continued until that first day back at school. I remember exchanging a toasty £1 coin for the blue rectangle of joy in the playground.. He'd brought it!! I remember Ussain Bolting it home to whacking it in the disk drive, being in heaven for half an hour, and then the screen turning blue. Big crash.

      My heart was smashed to pieces, my 'friend' wouldn't give me another copy, and I pushed the painful memory of the Great Giana Sisters from my mind.. Until now! I can't wait to actually play it!

      Anyway, sorry for the geeky share, but a very salient memory was stirred!

      • http://www.mentation.nl/thanatist/ Thaurin

        Oh, those good old days. I played this on C64 and competed against my brother for the highest score. I was actually pretty good at it--you had to be, because death was death in those days, no save points. Starting over again, baby! I knew those levels by heart and knew how to get the most points out of them. Very cool!

      • http://TouchA MicroD0t

        I have a bleeding heart too friend! lol Mine was Jill of the Jungle.. got it home, and I couldn't configure the config.sys and autoexec.bat's to optimize the memory correctly (I was trying to bypass the 4 or 8meg ram requirements.. lol.. man.. it's good to see this app come for sure!

        • http://www.taptoplay.de Lakeshore | taptoplay.de

          I also loved Jill of the Jungle :D. And Commander Keen, Monster Bash and Jazz Jackrabbit :D.

    • http://dokidokigames.com Nic

      Oooo - have to buy (as soon as I'm back on a wi-fi). Played the C64 version to death as a kid. I was amazed how much Mario ripped it off! (at the time ;)

    • http://dokidokigames.com Nic

      Oooo - have to buy (as soon as I'm back on a wi-fi). Played the C64 version to death as a kid. I was amazed how much Mario ripped it off! (at the time ;)

    • James

      I loved this on the Amiga, I can't wait until I get home tonight to play this on my iPhone. This release once again highlights how great a platform the iPhone is - I love these reminders of my childhood.

    • James

      I loved this on the Amiga, I can't wait until I get home tonight to play this on my iPhone. This release once again highlights how great a platform the iPhone is - I love these reminders of my childhood.

    • Hanes

      This is just *** GREAT ***** SISTERS, love it.... and graphic looks gooooood! ;-)

    • Hanes

      This is just *** GREAT ***** SISTERS, love it.... and graphic looks gooooood! ;-)

    • Neostar

      I have played this game now for 1 hour and i LOVE IT!

      The music is so so so great and the graphics is good too.

      Buy it. 5/5

    • Neostar

      I have played this game now for 1 hour and i LOVE IT!

      The music is so so so great and the graphics is good too.

      Buy it. 5/5

    • asolja

      I have just dl this and it is great in all aspects.1st game for me well worth the asking price.I played this when it was 1st launched way back and to show how much I liked it I still have the discs as I couldnt bring myself to dispose or even sell them.
      This is a must have for the serious retro die hard fan.

    • asolja

      I have just dl this and it is great in all aspects.1st game for me well worth the asking price.I played this when it was 1st launched way back and to show how much I liked it I still have the discs as I couldnt bring myself to dispose or even sell them.
      This is a must have for the serious retro die hard fan.

    • http://www.silentrocco.com SIlent Rocco

      One of the best platformers on the device right now.
      As I know the originals from the C64 and Amiga (LOVE THEM), the atmosphere is there again! I just find the crystal collecting sound way too loud. But that's just a mini complaint. The rest feels great. Really a wonderful game. Everyone just slightly interested in platformers can get this one blindly.

    • http://www.silentrocco.com SIlent Rocco

      One of the best platformers on the device right now.
      As I know the originals from the C64 and Amiga (LOVE THEM), the atmosphere is there again! I just find the crystal collecting sound way too loud. But that's just a mini complaint. The rest feels great. Really a wonderful game. Everyone just slightly interested in platformers can get this one blindly.

    • Maikelg

      Unfortunately not for 1st gen iPod now, hope they'll change that soon...

    • Maikelg

      Unfortunately not for 1st gen iPod now, hope they'll change that soon...

    • ECM

      I have this on DS and my only concern is, as the game progresses, you are faced with some pretty tricky, old school, platforming challenges that do not strike me as ideal for a touch-only interface.

      Can anyone comment on the later stages or if they are 'remixed' from the DS rev?

      • http://www.squarezerostudio.com squarezero

        I'm only at the end of the second world, but I have yet to encounter anything that was made particularly difficult by the touch controls. So far they've been very responsive and easy to keep track of -- but then again, I type faster on an iPhone than on a Blackberry, so perhaps I'm not the right person to comment.

        • ECM

          Yeah, you need to get quite a bit deeper to start seeing some of the nastier levels. (The game stays super easy for about, oh, 75% of the game then the last 25-30% finally ramps up nicely, assuming you're going for 100% completion.)

        • munkee

          End of second world is nothing. Come back when you're on the last world.

    • ECM

      I have this on DS and my only concern is, as the game progresses, you are faced with some pretty tricky, old school, platforming challenges that do not strike me as ideal for a touch-only interface.

      Can anyone comment on the later stages or if they are 'remixed' from the DS rev?

      • http://www.squarezerostudio.com squarezero

        I'm only at the end of the second world, but I have yet to encounter anything that was made particularly difficult by the touch controls. So far they've been very responsive and easy to keep track of -- but then again, I type faster on an iPhone than on a Blackberry, so perhaps I'm not the right person to comment.

        • ECM

          Yeah, you need to get quite a bit deeper to start seeing some of the nastier levels. (The game stays super easy for about, oh, 75% of the game then the last 25-30% finally ramps up nicely, assuming you're going for 100% completion.)

        • munkee

          End of second world is nothing. Come back when you're on the last world.

    • MojoMadison

      Too bad the kind of departed from the original appearance of the sisters:
      http://kaninkanon.nu/punyhumans.dk/wp-content/uploads/2009/09/great-giana-sisters-c64-box-cover.jpg

    • MojoMadison

      Too bad the kind of departed from the original appearance of the sisters:
      http://kaninkanon.nu/punyhumans.dk/wp-content/uploads/2009/09/great-giana-sisters-c64-box-cover.jpg

    • LBN

      I've played through about 20 levels so far and I have to say I think it's pretty boring. :( And I love traditional Mario/platformers. I particularly cannot stand the way that the ceilings are so low, so that when you jump from place to place, you hit your head and fall into the water and die, unless you jump at the last possible second. It's just annoying. Other than that it's also way too easy, at least the first 20 levels.

    • LBN

      I've played through about 20 levels so far and I have to say I think it's pretty boring. :( And I love traditional Mario/platformers. I particularly cannot stand the way that the ceilings are so low, so that when you jump from place to place, you hit your head and fall into the water and die, unless you jump at the last possible second. It's just annoying. Other than that it's also way too easy, at least the first 20 levels.

    • D~C

      I remember this game on my Commodore 64! BUT! I only had a special version that I mail-ordered from some guy. The version I had was literally called "Super Mario Brothers," and the sprites were replaced with - guess. Super Mario Brothers characters! It was so much fun, and I remember the music being especially catchy cool.

    • D~C

      I remember this game on my Commodore 64! BUT! I only had a special version that I mail-ordered from some guy. The version I had was literally called "Super Mario Brothers," and the sprites were replaced with - guess. Super Mario Brothers characters! It was so much fun, and I remember the music being especially catchy cool.

    • Vegard

      the last world is a bit of a headache on ipad, so tricky timing jumps... all i want to do is unlock retro though...

      love it.

    • Vegard

      the last world is a bit of a headache on ipad, so tricky timing jumps... all i want to do is unlock retro though...

      love it.