Cats and crafts in gorgeous Mineko’s Night Market

The Japanese island of Tashirojima is known as ‘Cat Island‘ for its huge population of fuzzfriends outnumbering the human population. Even more magical than that is the cat-covered island in Mineko’s Night Market [official site], an upcoming explore-o-craft-a-vendor life sim with more cats than you can shake a laser pointer at. Meet cats! Befriend a cat god! Grow cats from plants! Ride cats in races! It’s cats all the way down. It also sounds a bit like Stardew Valley and Harvest Moon, with villagers to meet and growing and crafting to do. and a market stall to run.

Sadly we’ll need to wait until 2018 to play but here’s a pretty trailer for now:

Mineko is a young girl new to the island, see, who runs a stall in the weekly market. That gives a week to gather resources, craft goods to sell, meet people, explore, adventure, complete jobs, go fishing, sing karaoke, and who knows what else? Developers Meowza Games explain:

“After all your hard work during the week collecting resources and crafting odd items of art, trinkets, and toys, sit back and await the townsfolk who are now your prospective customers! When you’re done selling your items, use your newfound wealth in the market itself. Different vendors offer chances to play a variety of mini-games, eat strange culinary delights, and buy collectible collectibles. There are 16 uniquely themed markets every year highlighted by a stage event you can participate in every week from taiko drumming and sumo suit wrestling, to Kabuki theatre and karaoke competitions. The better you do at the market, the bigger and better the market will be, and even attract new residents and celebrity guests!

“Of course, you are free to choose how to experience the world. You can strategize the most efficient resource managing/crafting for best market returns, or play casually as you try to make friends with townsfolk, discover the mysteries of the town, or just spend an afternoon meditating in the zen garden.”

That sounds great. Looks it too.

If the beautiful art looks familiar, that might be because Brent Kobayashi of Meowza has worked on games including Alphabear, Loot Rascals, and Road Not Taken.

Mineko’s Night Market is headed to Windows and Mac in “late 2018”.


  1. GameCat says:

    This is just too cute.

  2. DelrueOfDetroit says:

    It’s like Neko Atsume only with added doing things!

  3. LearningToSmile says:

    This is just beautiful. One of these games worth playing just to look at it for a while.

  4. DailyFrankPeter says:

    You know…seeing the word ‘crafting’ all around takes me back to my childhood when the box our TV came in would be more fun then the TV itself, or to goofing around with LEGO or with carpentry tools. Crafting should be being able to put materials together with creativity, with differing amounts of success (from terrible to getting better every time – it’s what makes you a craftsperson). What we have in most games seems to have started off as a great innovation, but is now stuck in a rut, usually being just ‘production from set recipes’ – and what does this make you, a factory worker?

    • MajorLag says:

      It has become just a new word for “boring grindy bullshit”. What I’d like to see, and believe me I’ve spent time trying to make, is a system where “crafting” is a mini-Zachlike. You actually have to stick components together to produce a functional thing, to various degrees of efficiency, size, speed, whatever, out of the stuff you find.

      Imagine a sort of Mad-Max style setting, where there’s leftover machinery components to be found everywhere and mined like a natural resource. You could, for instance, construct a gun that fires gears, but only the gears who’s size you were able to accommodate for in the design (think Space-Chem’s bad-input handling puzzles), or a deathmobile composed principally of lawnmower blades, a jet engine, and a complicated transmission system.

      Unfortunately it’s one of those concepts that somehow even more complicated than it appears on paper, so developers go the easy route and just make recipes.

      • GameCat says:

        Unless the game is focused on crafting itself I think that’s terrible idea that would make you scavenge for fucking screws, but now they come in 16 different sizes and shapes and only one of them is compatible with contraption you want to make.

        I’d rather choose no crafting at all.

        • MajorLag says:

          Ideally, it would be more like “any screw can work, if I change a few things around”. Like, imagine a puzzle in Infinifactory that you’ve solved with a pusher, only you can’t find any pushers, so you have to find a different way to solve it with the components you do have. Only there’s no definitive “solution” because you’re not building a gun inside a gun-specific building minigame, you’re just building something that launches projectiles fast enough to cause damage inside the rules of the game. Sorta like how Minecraft didn’t include a pig-launching cannon recipe, people just started making them.

          Of course, that’s really hard to pull off in practice, which is why I think you don’t really see it. All my attempts so far to design a model that would work like I describe/imagine have started to look more like what you’re describing, which I’d never make and wouldn’t play either.

          • GameCat says:

            Still, if crafting is only used as addition to core gameplay then I don’t want to spend much time there.
            I don’t care if with better combination of parts I’ll get +2 percent points more to damage/defense/whatever than from regular combination.

            So unless it would be something significant like making a rocket in Kerbal Space Program, it’s still a waste of time for me.

  5. darrrrkvengeance says:

    yeah, i completely want this.

  6. April March says:

    So many cats ??????

  7. Darth Gangrel says:

    Oh, you can buy collectible collectibles! I’ll never play a game with anticollectible collectibles again, now that we’ve finally got a game with collectible collectibles.