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Twinkle Tale

version: jp - year: 1992 - developer: wonder amusement studio, zap - publisher: toyo recording - format: mega drive, 8 mbit cartridge - condition: mint - rarity: hard to find


Magic is useful but scarce so use it wisely


Hand-drawn beauty!


The vertical-shooter level is a real achievement and uses the MD hardware to its limit !


The king has been restored to the throne and the kingdom can once again prosper


and this is the end of the Tale folks

Review - Twinkle Tale is an on-foot vertical scrolling shmup similar in concept to games like Elemental Master on MD and Mystic Formula on PCE.

Usually, I am not a big fan of this type of games but Twinkle Tale got me hooked right away. There isn't a single thing that is wrong with it but let's get into some more detail.

The slightly cartoon-like graphics are wonderfully drawn with just the right amount of detail and the colorful environments greatly contribute to enhance the idea of literally progressing in a fantasy tale. Levels are clearly differentiated one from the other and this makes it even more interesting to find out what the next area will look like. Enemies are varied, very well drawn and enough challenging to keep the player tense.

The game's graphics tend to become even better as you progress further into your magic journey. Sometimes, levels will incorporate a layer of parallax scrolling, giving to the graphics an awesome sense of depth.

Toward the end of the quest, Twinkle Tale will turn into an incredible shooter as the little witch you control will jump on her broom and will fly out in what looks like a vertical scrolling Cotton-like level that looks and plays flawlessly !

The music and sound effects are quality stuff both in terms of the tunes that complement the action and in terms of how the MD sound chip handles them. The sound comes out loud and clear, with no distortion and no sign of rustling whatsoever! Finally, gameplay is (as you probably understood by now) beyond any of the similar games that came out.

The simple weapon system that includes 3 types of upgradable weapons (homing, wide or powerful shot) will have you switch back and forth from one to the other to find the right weapon for the right part of the stage. This adds a bit of strategy to the overall experience. You'll also be able to carry a maximum of 3 magic spells that really work like smart-bombs and that will help you out in the most difficult situations.

Luckily, controls are tight and responsive making it possible (and enjoyable) to dodge enemy bullets almost effortlessly. The pace of the ongoing action is just right, dynamic but never chaotic. Be warned though, you will have only 1 life per credit and usually 3 to 5 hits will get you to the game-over screen! As you build up your score, you'll be awarded some extra credits so the game isn't that hard to finish.

Twinkle Tale is one of the best games I played in recent years. In a time when I find gaming a bit boring, I felt compelled to play this game though and I enjoyed every bit it had to offer.

My advice? Grab this amazing piece of software and you won't regret it. It is a true forgotten treasure that should be witnessed by gamers who are still able to have a good time with essential, down to the point gaming experiences.

Bottom line: a little forgotten gem which shines bright in the mega drive library. Snatch it if you find it! 8/10










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