Tiny Magic

Tiny Magic

by ro on 09-11-2023, 08:00
Topic: Software
Tags: game, msx2, rom

Next December, the new MSX2 game title Tiny Magic will be revealed at the MSXGoto40 event. Tiny Magic, a game by Abyss, is a gorgeous puzzle adventure letting you steer a young to-be water mage apprentice through his school exam. The game is being published by Côté Gamers as a physical ROM cartridge.

Belgium based retro developer group Abyss has a long history on the MSX system. They roared their head for the first time way back in the nineties. While they started out as a demo group, showing of their 8-bit skills, Abyss turned to game making soon after. Initiating projects like the 1996 Match Maniac, and the highly anticipated, yet unfinished x-tazy shooter, their bar was always set at a high level. Fast forward to 2023, we see the next proof of that high standard with their latest game called Tiny Magic. An excellent MSX2 title.

Tiny Magic is a cute puzzle game that tells the story of mage-in-training named Thiharis, who has to pass over 50 increasingly difficult trials to join the Mage Master circle. The young protagonist, student of the Mahoutokoro Magic School, is ready to take his final exam where he will be tested for his wit and magic skills. In order to pass the exam, a plethora of riddles is waiting for him to get solved which will grant him the title "master water mage".

The game consist of puzzle levels involving rock and switch combinations that, once solved, will help guide Thiharis to the gate and progress to the next screen. Traps and opponents will try to prevent you from doing that. But, with the help of magic bubbles and other resources, victory lies ahead. And, in case of trouble, the unique undo feature can help you correct mistakes. A concept that is both simple and challenging, but well executed.

All this is presented using MSX2 with MSX-Music hardware, and it is absolutely stunning to see, hear, and play. The smooth and well thought out gameplay grips you right at the start, after being welcomed with a stunning opening scene as soon as you press the start button. The game takes you through its story, and lets you start under guidance of the school's teacher Alcina, slowly introducing the game mechanics. The graphics, as well as the sound track, fits the mood and is breathtakingly gorgeous. Tiny Magic will for sure entertain you for hours to come. A password system makes sure you'll be coming back to continue your adventure at any time.

Well done, Abyss.

This brand new game will be made available as a physical ROM cartridge, enclosed in a hard case box with included manual on print - all in full color. The product is being manufactured and presented by the French retro video game publisher Côté Gamers. While the game first sees daylight on December 9th during MSXGoto40, pre-ordering the game is possible. The price is set at €35.00.

Relevant link: Video trailer on Youtube
Relevant link: Pre-order the game at Côté Gamers

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Comments (30)

By wolf_

Ambassador_ (10158)

wolf_'s picture

09-11-2023, 10:38

The graphics look great, doesn't remind me of anything-MSX at all, more like consoles or GBCs. Now, that isn't to say that an MSX2 wouldn't be capable to display such graphics, but you typically just don't see it - almost as if we don't actually have such artists.

MRC-tip: use double-size or even triple-size screenshots, nearest neighbour. With today's monitors, these single-size screenshots look like stamps. Murdoch

By Sandy Brand

Champion (320)

Sandy Brand's picture

09-11-2023, 12:27

Looks really nice and well polished! Smile

By Jorito

Mr. Ambassadors (1816)

Jorito's picture

09-11-2023, 13:14

wolf_ wrote:

MRC-tip: use double-size or even triple-size screenshots, nearest neighbour. With today's monitors, these single-size screenshots look like stamps. Murdoch

Thanks; fixed.

By The_Engineer

Han (195)

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09-11-2023, 13:28

Impressive! Most impressive! The trailer looks and sounds great.

By journey

Hero (595)

journey's picture

09-11-2023, 13:53

Looks really GREAT!
The graphics remind me a little the Team Bomba "Bomba Man" styles


By wolf_

Ambassador_ (10158)

wolf_'s picture

09-11-2023, 15:55

A theory I have about the colours is that a dark grey is being used as dark shade for several different gradients. So, if you want a red'ish shade and a blue'ish shade, then you would have this:

dark grey - dark grey brown - mid grey-red - red
dark grey - dark grey blue - mid grey-blue - blue

This way one has four shades per colour family, at the cost of 7 rather than 8 colours. It's like reducing RGB component ranges to 2..7 rather than 0..7. So dark end of a gradient ends in grey, and then you still got black as a really dark shade available while the dark grey can be used in multiple color families. This can be seen in the green example, where the stairs go from orange/wood to dark grey, the same dark grey that's being used in that portal frame and the boulders. The purple example also has dark grey near the waterlines.

It tends to look 'new' as, often on MSX, artists tend to stick to pure colour shades

By valkyre

Paladin (724)

valkyre's picture

09-11-2023, 19:33


By Bengalack

Paladin (884)

Bengalack's picture

09-11-2023, 19:52

Video, ingame graphics, music and packaging all look high quality! Inspiring for the rest of us Smile

Pre-ordered for sure! - Now I hope it plays as well as it looks too.

I like amount of nice MSX2 games we are seeing now Smile

Kudos to the devs!


Resident (39)

TGC's picture

09-11-2023, 22:48

Just ordered too Cool

By inspecteurZ

Resident (52)

inspecteurZ's picture

10-11-2023, 00:33

Promo version on Future Disk #47

By Maggoo

Paragon (1221)

Maggoo's picture

10-11-2023, 00:58

Labor of love and it shows. Well done Joel! Smile

By gdx

Enlighted (6641)

gdx's picture

10-11-2023, 01:25

Look great ! This is the first game from Abyss, is right?

By niek

Expert (114)

niek's picture

10-11-2023, 08:15

Cool stuff! Very polished. Love the music with the psg in the melody adding a nice dimension.

By chaos

Paladin (823)

chaos's picture

10-11-2023, 10:47

That looks fantastic! Impressive gfx and gameplay. Also the music in the trailer is very nice. I only heard PSG in the Futuredisk demo. The final game will have FM music?

By Jorito

Mr. Ambassadors (1816)

Jorito's picture

10-11-2023, 11:03

Yes, we switched to FM + PSG since the demo version. I am biased (since I made it), but I think the music came out rather well Smile

By shalafi

Master (194)

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10-11-2023, 23:39

I hope for a digital release. My only MSX-2 device suddenly died.

By Juanmi

Master (158)

Juanmi's picture

11-11-2023, 13:26

I'm sorry to say that I don't like Côté Gamers packaging at all. Very flimsy box, thin cardboard and too big. Yes, the price is attractive, but sacrificing quality.
I'm quite selective buying new MSX developments, I don't buy everything that comes out. I prefer to pay a little more but get a more resistant box. The Westen House or Suite Macabre (different from each other) seem ideal to me. But if you don't want to invest so much, I like cardboard boxes like Stevedore or Who Dares Wins, although they are not made of thick cardboard, being smaller it is more difficult for the cardboard to get damaged. They are less flimsy and take up less space.

Lately it seems that developers are liking the services of Cóte Gamers..... I imagine it is because of the price.

I bought Rabbit Adventure from them and it took me 2 and a half months to get it, plus the communication with them was terrible I also know from other colleagues that there have been delays and miscommunication in the delivery of Lilly's Saga)

It's my opinion, I'm sorry but someone had to say it, not everything in this life is +1 and happiness.

By Gig71

Expert (126)

Gig71's picture

11-11-2023, 15:28

shalafi wrote:

I hope for a digital release. My only MSX-2 device suddenly died.

I'm Interested too in digital release.

By theNestruo

Champion (444)

theNestruo's picture

11-11-2023, 19:30

Juanmi wrote:

It's my opinion, I'm sorry but someone had to say it, not everything in this life is +1 and happiness.

It is not the first time I hear similar stories from very different people: here in the forum, private conversations, and people I know in real life. It must not be a coincidence.

So... I'm also interested in a digital release.

By RealUnknownInfinite

Rookie (23)

RealUnknownInfinite's picture

12-11-2023, 19:48

I can't believe this is actually running on an MSX2. Definitely going to check this out when it gets a physical release!

By sd_snatcher

Prophet (3687)

sd_snatcher's picture

14-11-2023, 20:50

I also would like to purchase a digital release, since the shipping cost to my country is ~1.5 times the value of the cartridge, meaning a €78,46 game. If they send via DamnHL (*1), it will receive ~100% of fees+taxes upon arrival, making this a €157 game.

*1: given the high cost of the shipping I suspect it's the case

By davince

Resident (42)

davince's picture

18-11-2023, 23:15

@sd_snatcher Maybe you know some people going to MSXGoto40 and ask them to pickup your pre-orders?

@RealUnknownInfinite the whole article is about it getting a physical release..

By albs_br

Hero (518)

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27-11-2023, 01:02

WOW! Very impressive! It looks like Snes games. Is it screen 5?

By Mumbly

Master (131)

Mumbly's picture

27-11-2023, 09:31

@albs_br, yes it has been designed in screen5 (16 colors), Screen4 gfx test was not successfull due to the art content complexity so screen 5 was the only option left since 4 Vram pages were mandatory to support the tileset/animations ...

By KdL

Paragon (1488)

KdL's picture

27-11-2023, 13:47

It's very interesting, congratulations!

By DataPro

Resident (47)

DataPro's picture

27-11-2023, 14:58

I tried the demo version and this look like a nice game to me.
I will look forward a digital version if there is one available soon.

By Mumbly

Master (131)

Mumbly's picture

27-11-2023, 16:11

Thanks a lot for your positive feedback on this Game, guys, I do appreciate, I presume Jorito the same (we are both authors).
We will, most probably publish, a digital version, I need to discuss with Coté Gamers and Jorito concerning this.
I think it's just a question of time, but I understand that they want firstly to focus on the physical version for the GOTO40 event.
At my side, it's no issue since the code is supporting disk (dos 1 and 2), HD and rom (K5 mapper) already.

By -Neo-

Champion (446)

-Neo-'s picture

09-12-2023, 22:11

@Mumbly Just bought the physical version at GOTO40. I hope also a digital version will be released so I don't have to swap carts too much in the precious slots of the Turbo R and can play on openmsx.

By Mumbly

Master (131)

Mumbly's picture

10-12-2023, 20:46

@Neo, could you please send me a pm

By -Neo-

Champion (446)

-Neo-'s picture

10-12-2023, 21:36

Mumbly wrote:

@Neo, could you please send me a pm

Done Smile