I think that there is no C64 user that has not come into contact with the game The GREAT GIANA SISTERS. I can certainly say that this is one of the best and the most captivating games for C64. Two twin sisters- Giana and Maria (main protagonists of the game) are 27 years old. I suspect that it is more than the age of many of our readers. I mentioned this cult platform game not without a reason because LITTLE SARA SISTER, which is mentioned in the later part of the text, is strongly based on THE GREAT GIANA SISTERS. I will not make a mistake if I say that the resemblance between these two games is huge, but the entertaining ability of the games varies considerably….
LITTLE SARA SISTER TRILOGY are the released earlier 3 parts of the game – LITTLE SARA SISTER (2004), LITTLE SARA SISTER 1, 5 (2006) and LITTLE SARA SISTER 2 (2012). We can treat the first one as the prelude, because these are only two short levels. The situation changes in the part titled „1,5” because it was lengthened by 7 levels (in total 9) and the soundtrack was changed. The most important among the adventures of Sara is the one titled LITTLE SARA SISTERS 2, the participant of the RGCD C64 16KB Cartridge Game Development Competition 2014 and we will deal mainly with this. The game has 38 levels, so we are dealing with a pretty extensive gameplay. As far as the music is concerned, it is similar as in the case of Giana, because they used the same division: court – jolly melody (apart from a couple of levels), underground – dark melody, keeping the tense atmosphere. Gathering the scattered around diamonds is the next and not the last common part of both games. Opponents such as owls and wasps, even though they are differently drawn and animated, are still very similar. There are also different kinds of platforms, walls and blocks which look similarly to the ones in THE GREAT GIANA SISTERS.
I started to feel while playing that I’m missing something. I did not have to think long that the missing part is the action, the variety and the flexibility. Exactly, the variety is not so good, because the levels are not diversified and look the same. During some moments I wondered if I was not, by coincidence, taken a couple levels back. And where are the dragons or other huge monsters? It would be nice if one of those giants appeared from time to time on the end of the level. The great change, because of which with the use of punk haircut we can destroy the brick walls, does not happen ( and they say „there’s no use in banging your head against the brick wall”). What can we say more? Oh, I know! When I played, I found only two bonuses. The first one means that when you find 15 diamonds (incredibly simple), you receive an additional life. The second one looks like a flower (level 36) and also increases the number of lives by 1. The situation with the defence looks also bad. You will destroy the opponents only when you jump on them (this does not include the snails).
At the beginning of the review I mentioned the significant difference in the entertaining ability of both games, to the disadvantage of LITTLE SARA SISTER. The play is in both cases almost identical, but the animaton of Sara is worse and the same problem is with the steering of the character. The difficulty level is pretty similar, but some levels are a little bit shorter. I don’t know, maybe I expect too much from a game, that takes up so little of disk space?
To sum it all up, I conclude that, however the game has some shortcomings, LITTLE SARA SISTER is not the worst release and the game is able to keep the player for a moment, or even longer, interested. I know, it is far from GIANA, but it at least tries to give a tribute to this great and cult platform game. Of course, everyone who will play the game, will have its’ own opinion about the LITTLE SARA SISTER. For the record, I wasn’t dissapointed.