Xbox One Review: Giana Sisters: Dream Runners

Dream or Nightmare?

I have to confess that I have never heard of Giana Sisters prior to this entry, I see that the past entry came out 2 years ago and got mixed reviews, but mostly positive as a revival of the franchise. However, when playing Dream Runners I can’t help feeling that this is one dream that has turned into a nightmare.
Dream Runners is a racer-platformer with stages that aren’t designed well for both, it all falls apart as soon as the race begins. There are 9 tracks to choose from and there’s no story of any kind, actually your main menu is topped with ranked match as an option. You can play local multiplayer as well as playing with bots of different difficulties, but the only difference between the characters are the colours, so don’t expect any variety in their skills.

There is a tutorial, but it only becomes active during your first race. There’s no indication that you’ll get this either, so you almost think you’re going to be thrown in the deep end. The ideas of the game are solid, but just implemented poorly. The level design just doesn’t accommodate this type of gameplay, you don’t feel in control at all. There are power ups and boosts placed around the level, although most of them are pretty useless.
It doesn’t help that the game looks incredibly dated too. Yes, it looks cute and seems to run at a steady framerate, but it looks outdated and behind other games in this generation. The level design as I said isn’t that great, but the backgrounds themselves leave a lot to be desired too. Add in some pretty bad sound effects and a distant camera, the whole presentation is a bit of a mess. It’s a shame, since I can see potential here…it’s just fallen at the first hurdle.

The Verdict

Giana Sisters: Dream Runners is a nightmarish game to play. The levels are not designed for the chaos that ensues and the controls don’t help matters either, as well as looking overly dated and having feeble sound effects, this whole runner is one to sit out.

Score: 5.0