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Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams launches, becomes second Steam Greenlight title

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Samit Sarkar (he/him) is Polygon’s deputy managing editor. He has more than 15 years of experience covering video games, movies, television, and technology.

Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams launched today on PC, making it the second Steam Greenlight title to become available for sale.

Black Forest Games' side-scrolling platformer debuted as Project Giana on Kickstarter, where the developers raised more than $186,000 in August to exceed their funding goal by 24 percent. They then submitted the game to Steam Greenlight, and enough fans upvoted Giana Sisters to get it in the most recent batch of titles approved for distribution on Valve's digital platform.

In Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams, the title character has the power to switch between "cute" and "punky" forms of herself, which exist in two opposite versions of a dream. Cute Giana prefers a spooky habitat, so the brightly colored daytime world is a nightmare that brings out Punk Giana. The two characters play differently, and the opposite realms behave differently, which is where the puzzle elements of this platformer come in.

Twisted Dreams is a successor to The Great Giana Sisters, a Super Mario Bros. clone made by Time Warp Productions in 1987. The threat of legal action from Nintendo led the publisher, Rainbow Arts, to pull the game from store shelves. Armin Gessert, the programmer of the Commodore 64 version, later founded Spellbound Entertainment, which developed a spiritual sequel on Nintendo DS in 2009 called Giana Sisters DS. But Spellbound went out of business earlier this year, and its key officers formed Black Forest Games from the studio's ashes.

"We wanted to do something of our own" for The Great Giana Sisters' 25th anniversary, said Black Forest on Project Giana's Kickstarter page, "with full creative control and no 'dumbing down.'"

Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams is available on GamersGate, Good Old Games and Steam; all three services are offering a 10 percent discount on the $14.99 regular price until Oct. 30. Black Forest Games plans to eventually release the game on Xbox Live Arcade and PlayStation Network. You can watch Twisted Dreams' launch trailer above.

The next level of puzzles.

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