Mineko's Night Market, a game about earning a living, playing with cats, and hanging out with the Sun God, really impressed us when we first looked at it in July 2017. We remained impressed when we checked it out again in November of that same year—and for the record, that's not a typo, it was 2017. Now, six years down the road, it's finally got a release date: September 26, 2023.
By all appearances, Mineko's Night Market falls squarely into the "cozy game" category—as if there was any doubt after Austin Wood dared to write "just look at their widdle feets" in his 2017 article on the game.
You play as Mineko, a girl who's just made a new home on a "struggling superstitious Japanese-inspired island." Long ago, the inhabitants of the island worshipped Nikko, the mythical Sun Cat, but over time they fell away from the faith. Now, as insidious outside forces encroach the island, villagers are mystified by the increasing reports of Nikko sightings in real life. Is the Sun Cat returning to save their way of life, or is something else afoot?
Through all of that, you have your own concerns to deal with: Exploring the island and town in which you live, uncovering its secrets, completing quests, playing minigames, crafting items to sell at your Night Market, and figuring out all this feline solar deity business. The world of Mineko's Night Market will offer a four-season cycle with dozens of townsfolk to befriend and barter with as you work to restore the village to its former glory.
Mineko's Night Market will be available for PC on Steam and the Humble Store. It's also coming to Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4 and 5, and Xbox One.