Steam – Giana Sisters – And Linux – 10 Years Later

Giana Sisters on the C64 – many eons ago

The favorite game of my teenage years was undoubtedly ‘Giana Sisters‘. I loved the game and the soundtrack and played it hours on end on my Commodore 64. A couple of decades then followed in which I didn’t play a lot of computer games at all, there were just so many other exciting things to do with computers that kept me engaged. Then, in 2012, Black Forrest Games had a Kickstarter campaign to create a modern successor to the game. I was hooked and once it was released, I bought it on Steam. Unfortunately, my 3 year old notebook I bought in 2009 would not run the game smoothly. I was a bit disappointed, but ok, it was not a gamer notebook. So I shelved the thing for a decade but was recently reminded of it again. So perhaps it would run now with my current media notebook with an Intel 11th generation CPU which still only has an integrated GPU? So lets see I thought…

Steam seems to have invested a lot of effort to make games that were developed for Windows also playable on Linux. Perfect, I thought, because my media notebook only runs (Ubuntu) Linux and there is no way I would install Windows on it for gaming. But still, I was hesitant because installing the Steam client and the Windows API libraries required for gaming might make significant changes on my Linux installation. But then I saw that Canonical (the company behind Ubuntu) has created a Steam client snap package, which installs the whole application, all dependencies and all downloaded games in the user directory rather than on the system partition. Ok, now we are talking!

Another surprise: Even though I haven’t used Steam for 10 years, I could still log into my account, and “Giana Sisters – Twisted Dreams” still showed up in my game library. It was marked as only supporting Windows, but the Proton database that shows which Windows games on Steam also work under Linux with the Proton API was pretty confident it would work on Linux as well.

So I gave it a try and downloaded the game to my plain non-gamer notebook with an integrated GPU and gave it a try. I had to fiddle a bit with the configuration, as described in the Proton database, but apart from that, the game worked flawlessly. On Linux! Amazing!

And while I don’t think that I will spend a lot of time gaming in the future, I’m pretty sure I will use my media notebook every now and then for a round of Giana Sisters and perhaps for a bit of other casual gaming. Very high on the hit-list is ‘Patricks Parabox‘. Ever heard of it? No? Well, then have a look, I’m pretty sure you will like it. Simple graphics but great multi-dimensional logic puzzles to be solved.