If this lovely looking indie game gets delayed again I will cry

Anticipation is a funny thing. You never know when or how it’s going to get you. Case in point: I felt this deep well of sadness in my stomach when Meowza Games announced that Mineko’s Night Market has been delayed once again. 

It didn’t think I cared that much about it. You know, I remember writing 120 or so words about it back in 2017, for a print publication that no longer exists. The goal of this column was to communicate that there was an adorable-looking social simulation, a narrative-driven adventure game set at the base of Mount Fugu, coming to Nintendo Switch and PC in 2019 that readers really should watch closely. Countless indie games have come and gone since then, but Mineko’s Night Market has always been on my mind. 

Maybe it’s that sumptuous visual aesthetic that has kept Mineko’s Night Market burrowed deep in my consciousness. Take one look at it in motion and you get the sense that Meowza Games is building a world that is as warm and inviting as it is curious and eccentric, like a picture book you might have flicked through as a child. Mineko’s Night Market looks enchanting and I want to feel its magic wash over me.

The criminally overlooked Knights & Bikes captured a similar style, but there’s something about Mineko’s Night Market’s blend of patient exploration, puzzle-solving, mini-games, and cats – so many cats – that set it apart from Foam Sword’s awesome 2019 adventure. In Mineko’s Night Market you play a girl named Mineko as she moves to a mysterious Japanese island overrun with cats; you’ll spend your days foraging for items and improving skills like sewing and woodworking, crafting items that can eventually be sold to the locals at the weekly, uniquely-themed Night Markets. 

Once you’ve built up some cash reserves and made some new friends, you can start exploring the markets yourself, buying cute trinkets, or otherwise participating in a load of weirdly wonderful mini-games – taiko drumming, sumo suit wrestling,  Kabuki theatre, karaoke competitions, and more. The better you do at the market, the larger it will grow, eventually attracting new residents and guests. And you’ll otherwise occupy your time meditating in zen gardens, meeting the locals – who are themselves preoccupied with worshipping Abe, the Sun Cat – and embarking on whimsical quests across the island in an attempt to return the struggling village to its former glory. 

Good things come to those who wait

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(Image credit: Meowza Games)

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(Image credit: Meowza Games)

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(Image credit: Meowza Games)

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(Image credit: Meowza Games)

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(Image credit: Meowza Games)

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(Image credit: Meowza Games)

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(Image credit: Meowza Games)

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(Image credit: Meowza Games)

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(Image credit: Meowza Games)

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(Image credit: Meowza Games)

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I’m all in. It kind of sounds like Moonlighter by way of Animal Crossing and Night in the Woods. I’m not sure if that’s a fair comparison, but it’s the one I’ve landed on all the same. This is the devilish offshoot of anticipation, where your mind starts to fill in the blanks and imagine a world outside of the boundaries set by a developer. This is one reason I’m desperate to see more of Mineko’s Night Market, which has seldom been seen beside the odd trailer here (2018 (opens in new tab)) and there (2019 (opens in new tab)). 

Then again, I’m also so glad that Meowza has been given the support from publisher Humble to scope its game appropriately, and get it to a level of content and polish that the husband and wife core development team is happy with releasing. As Meowza announced the delay (opens in new tab), it noted that the studio has brought on an additional artist and an external engineering team to help Mineko’s Night Market over the line, all while committing to working at an appropriate pace. “We’ve had setbacks, both physical and mentally, but development has been in a stable place for a while now thanks to all the support we’ve received. We have normal work hours and don’t crunch, which means we’re in a healthy place to deliver quality development on all of our current milestones.” 

So I’m happy to wait. I will cry if Mineko’s Night Market is delayed again, but I’ll appreciate the reasons why all the same. You can’t rush a good thing, after all, and Mineko’s Night Market looks like it could be very good indeed. No release date has been set, but just as I said in that column back in 2017 I’m going to say here again in 2022: keep an eye on Mineko’s Night Market, folks, because it’s shaping up to be an indie game you will not want to miss. 


Mineko’s Night Market is just one of the many titles that have already been pushed this year. Read about all of the video game delays 2022 here. 

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