Mineko’s Night Market is a cozy slice of life with a huge helping of cats and crafts

The number of minigames that Mineko’s Night Market briefly shows in its trailers have me convinced that they’ll either be delightful or drive me batty. After being announced all the way back in 2015, it’s finally launching on September 26. Whether it’s throwing rings onto pegs for points or sawing bits of wood precisely, there’s something deeply pleasing about these tiny tasks and I’m willing to bet Mineko’s Night Market knows it after years of getting ready. 

(Image credit: Meowza Games)

Much of your time is spent traipsing around and getting to know the Japanese-inspired village at the foot of Mt. Fugu, befriending the other villagers in the struggling town, and collecting various resources to make strange gewgaws like rose quarts handcrafts. Once you've created them, you’ll be able to set up a stall to sell your wares at the weekly market—and then take your ill gotten gains to your neighbors stalls to sample foods and play all kinds of games for prizes. Each week will also see you taking part in events like parades and cat races in addition to your typical capitalistic ventures in the Night Market.

The narrative thread that links all the strange happenings around the village—including an influx of cats, the worship of a legendary Sun Cat, evil agents meddling with the cats, and the struggles of the town—are the other focus of your time. Unraveling the ball of mystery yarn may explain more, or just lead to more questions about your fellow Night Market vendors and townspeople.

Haggling with customers over the strange arts and crafts projects you produce may only be one part, but it’s satisfying to think that I can set whatever price I’d like on my curious creations with a bit of bartering. Just watching the different amalgamations that Mineko puts up for sale in her stall made me curious just how—and what—Night Market was trying to say about her crafting skills. Is Mineko a genius, or are the townspeople just humoring her?

As long as I can continue to pet the many, many cats that Night Market is crawling with, all is well.

Philip Palmer

Phil is a contributor for PC Gamer, formerly of TechRadar Gaming. With four years of experience writing freelance for several publications, he's covered every genre imaginable. For 15 years he's done technical writing and IT documentation, and more recently traditional gaming content. He has a passion for the appeal of diversity, and the way different genres can be sandboxes for creativity and emergent storytelling. With thousands of hours in League of Legends, Overwatch, Minecraft, and countless survival, strategy, and RPG entries, he still finds time for offline hobbies in tabletop RPGs, wargaming, miniatures painting, and hockey.