There are only 3 days left to help fund Project Giana on Kickstarter. But who are the Great Giana Sisters, and why should you care?

Before first person shooters became the “default” videogame genre, that title belonged to platformers, thanks in large part to Super Mario Bros. The phenomenal success of Super Mario Bros. led to an endless string of imitators that continues even to this day, to the point where people no longer bat an eye – it’s only considered a rip-off until it becomes so common that it’s considered a genre. A such, the earliest games to jump on the bandwagon tend to have a tougher time of it.

That’s what happened to The Great Giana Sisters, a game that was meant to be the Commodore 64 and ZX Spectrum’s answer to Super Mario Bros.. Unfortunately, despite introducing unique power-ups and blocks in later levels, the earlier levels and core game borrowed a little too heavily from Super Mario Bros., and Nintendo took legal action. All copies were immediately recalled from store shelves in the UK, and possibly never even made it to shelves in the US.

But Commodore 64 users, starved for a Super Mario Bros.-style game, managed to find pirated versions of The Great Giana Sisters. In this way, the game managed to develop a cult following.

The Giana Sisters seemed destined to forever remain an infamous footnote in the early history of videogames, until a surprise sequel appeared in 2009 for the Nintendo DS called Giana Sisters DS. Initially only released outside the US, it finally received a US release in 2011, as well as an iOS port. While maybe not the most innovative game ever, it’s a solid platformer that is as much a leap ahead from the original as Super Mario World is to Super Mario Bros.

And now Giana is entering the modern era with a 2.5D platformer with a Quantum Conundrum-esque twist, planned for release on PC and later XBLA and PSN. But only if they make their Kickstarter goal. They’re almost there, but there’s only three days left, and they could use some help. Are you interested in being a part of obscure videogame history?