Minami Lane

Minami Lane Review

Game: Minami Lane
Genre: Casual, Indie, Simulation, Strategy
System: Steam (Windows, Linux)
Developer|Publisher: Doot, Blibloop | Doot
Controller Support: No
Price: US $4.99 | UK £4.29 | EU € 4,99
Release Date: 28th February, 2024

The review code was provided with many thanks to Wholesome Games. 

Minami Lane is a 2024 casual strategy game developed by Doot and Blibloop and published by Doot. 

The Premise of Minami Lane

In Minami Lane, we help Ema, a Japanese raccoon dog, or tanuki, to makeover Minami Lane, a picturesque street, so its citizens are happy. The story part of the game is short, with 2-4 hours of gameplay and released with a 20% discount off the full price. We also have a sandbox mode, where we can play endlessly while focusing on creativity and relaxation. 

A screenshot from the game Minami Lane, featuring a cartoon-style interface with a warm color palette. In the foreground, there's an illustrated boba tea shop with various items on the counter, including bottles, bowls, and a happy-faced jar. A sign with "Boba" written on it hangs above. The top of the screen displays game statistics: 0% completion, $280 currency, 5 population, and 0 hearts representing satisfaction. The right side presents the game's objectives titled "BOBALICIOUS", with tasks such as "Have 15 villagers and 75% Satisfaction" and "Build a Boba Shop". The objective "Win in 12 days or less" is marked as optional. A large "PLAY" button is prominently displayed at the bottom right, next to the game's time and day tracker. A welcoming text at the bottom left corner reads, "Welcome to this little street!" Published on: LadiesGamers.
And off we go.


Minami Lane‘s story mode consists of 5 missions. As they progress, we have more buildings and upgrades to choose from. In the last mission, all items were available. 

While Minami Lane is a street, we only build on one side. Because of that, the camera is locked in one position; we can move around the map with WASD or the mouse. We can also zoom in and out, either by I or O, on the keyboard or the mouse wheel. The controls are simplistic and intuitive – movement with keyboard or mouse, choosing objects such as people or buildings with the mouse, speeding up and down time with the mouse by clicking on the screen buttons or using the keyboard buttons 1, 2, and 3. The Esc button brings tasks for each mission and general statistics for the level, day, and settings. 

A screenshot from the game Minami Lane displaying a customization menu for a new building in an isometric view. The game interface shows a progress status at the top left with 55% completion, $185 currency, 10 population, and 0 hearts for satisfaction. The main part of the screen features a 3D model of a house with a choice of roof shapes and colors on the right side under the title "Choose." There are three roof shapes and multiple color options for both the roof and the main body of the building. An "OK" button is at the bottom right to confirm selections. The environment shows a quaint street with a sidewalk, a mailbox, and a bush beside the house. Game time is indicated as 6:00 am on Day 3 in the lower right corner. A caption at the bottom left prompts players to "Customize your new building!" Published on: LadiesGamers.
We have options!

The game has an automatic saving- Minami Lane saves after each completed day. The day starts with the objectives for the mission, how many of them are completed and at what stage, as well as statistics about citizens and shops, including satisfaction and beauty. While satisfaction is self-explanatory, as in satisfaction of the citizens, beauty is a bit more complex. A higher beauty rating leads to more satisfied citizens and more cats. 

At the start of each day, we can also build one building. In Sandbox mode, Minami Lane allows us to build as much as we want without waiting for a new day. In Story mode, the buildings are available if you meet specific requirements: money, enough people, and satisfaction. You have several designs to choose from for roofs and colors.

Afterward, we can choose one upgrade only – a business upgrade, which brings more customers, or a beauty upgrade, which brings up the citizens’ satisfaction. Some of the buildings have endless beauty upgrades. When it comes to dwellings, instead of business upgrades, you can upgrade them to have more people living there. The buildings themselves range from different houses to bubble tea stands and bookstores. 

A screenshot from the game Minami Lane showing the satisfaction metrics interface. The top left displays the game status with 55% overall satisfaction, $275 currency, 10 population, and 0 hearts. The main panel is divided into tabs labeled "Overall," "Shops," and "Satisfaction." The "Satisfaction" tab is selected, detailing different satisfaction levels: "Beauty Satisfaction" is at 0%, "Street Satisfaction" is at 55%, and "Bonus Satisfaction" also at 0%. Below, there is a note about unlocking cats in a future mission. Progress bars indicate "Shop Recipes" and "Shop Prices" at 100% satisfaction, while "Shop Diversity" is at 50%. A large, smiling face icon represents the "Overall Satisfaction" which is also at 55%. Two buttons at the bottom are labeled "Back" and "Close." The game's time is shown as 8:00 pm on Day 3 in the lower right corner. Published on: LadiesGamers.
Statistics at the end of the day,

Our citizens are seniors and youngsters, spirits, and cats. Each of them, besides the cats, have different tastes. Each shop has a limited selection of goods. You need to find the perfect combination for one customer to earn a perfect score or recipe. To satisfy all, you’ll need to build a shop for each sort of customer, since the shops in Minami Lane can’t have more than one item on the menu.

Cats are attracted to beautiful things, so you have an extra motivation for a higher beauty. You can also pet the cats, and besides a beautiful purring, you’ll earn some extra coins. And speaking of coins, another way to earn them is to click on passing bicyclists and pick up some trash. 

On the top of the screen, you can see data like satisfaction level, money, all people living on the street, and total beauty. 

An isometric view screenshot from the game Minami Lane, depicting a bustling street scene with various characters and shops. The top of the screen shows game statistics: 76% satisfaction, $253 currency, 22 population, and 22 hearts indicating high satisfaction. There are icons representing coins and a green leaf, with numbers 14 and 8 next to them, indicating resources. The scene features a variety of buildings, including a greenhouse with a transparent roof, a diner with a red and white striped awning, and a building with a sign that reads "Market." Characters are walking along the sidewalks, and there are details like street lamps, trees with pink foliage, parked bicycles, and a cat near the crosswalk. The bottom of the screen has a user interface with buttons for game speed and the current game time, which reads "12:55 pm" on what appears to be Day 16. Published on: LadiesGamers.
Can you find the cat?

The World of Minami Lane

Minami Lane is the epitome of coziness- everything from the rounded designs to the color scheme is, without a doubt, cute and cozy. The colors are warm shades of green, yellow, orange, and red. 

Our citizens are their own people with their own tastes. You can click on each of them, and they’ll tell you whether they liked their ramen. Later in the game, you can hire someone to help you tweak the recipes, but at first, asking your customers is your best bet. 

A screenshot from the game Minami Lane showing the inventory management interface for a bookstore. The game's status indicators at the top show 100% satisfaction, $213 in currency, a population of 34, and 62 hearts. There are additional resource indicators, possibly coins and leaves, with the numbers 17 and 14 next to them. The main panel titled "Bookstore 4" with a two-star rating displays a large icon of a stack of books. The right side of the screen allows the player to select 3 items to sell in the shop, with options like "Comic Book," "Language Book," "Fantasy Novel," "Manga," "Novel," and "Travel Guide." Each item has an associated cost, selling price, and profit margin. Illustrated examples of a "Language Book," "Travel Guide," and "Manga" are shown, each with a cost, selling price, and profit calculation. A button at the bottom right says "Done," and there's a large "Start day" button at the bottom, indicating the game time as 6:00 am on Day 31. A caption at the bottom of the screen encourages the player to "Manage your shops and buy upgrades!" Published on: LadiesGamers.
Choosing the right combination.

Minami Lane is set against the backdrop of an orange sky that changes as the day progresses. You can see some fluffy clouds passing by our lane. At the bottom of the screen, you can catch the time of day and how many days have passed. The soundtrack is pleasant and well-suited to the game. We also have some nature sounds, like birds singing, a cat mewing, announcing you can find it to pet it, or a bicycle passing by. 

In later levels, we have a daily newspaper, which gives us helpful daily tips: some buildings might be cheaper some days, or citizens might change their favourite recipes. 

An isometric view screenshot from the game Minami Lane, featuring a colorful street filled with characters and shops. The game's HUD at the top shows a perfect satisfaction rate of 100%, $587 currency, 28 population, and 52 hearts. Resource icons indicate 16 coins and 10 green leaves, with a '2' beside another icon, possibly a special item or resource. The scene displays a lively street with various characters engaged in activities: some are walking, one is reading, and a group is gathered around a large eye-catching camera. Shops line the street, including one with a "BOOKS" sign and another with Japanese characters. There is a greenhouse with plants visible through the glass panels. The street has details like a stop sign, lampposts, and a running cat. The game's controls for speed and pause are at the bottom, along with the current time indicating "3:05 pm" on Day 23. Published on: LadiesGamers.
Look at this cozy street.

Settings and Achievements

Minami Lane is a short, “tiny,” as its developer describes it, game. The storyline can be completed in less than 3 hours. That being said, the Sandbox mode provides endless hours of cozy entertainment with two modes of play. The first one focuses on economy and strategy. The second one is for when creativity strikes you – you have unlimited resources, and all buildings and upgrades are free to build immediately. 

Minami Lane has basic audio and video settings. You can also see the keyboard shortcuts on the screen if necessary. The loading screen between days shows a daily tip. 

In Steam, Minami Lane has Steam achievements but no trading cards yet. There was a demo for Minami Lane during Steam Next Fest, but it is no longer available. The game will be offered at a slight discount in the first days after release. As mentioned, the game is short, and the developers have said they intend to release “minimal content” after release. 

A dialogue scene from the game Minami Lane set against a night backdrop with a full moon and silhouetted clouds. A speech bubble emerges from an illustrated character named Ema, a brown animal with wide eyes and wearing a hat with a ribbon, who appears to be a tanuki or similar creature. Ema says, "I won't forget you... and neither will the residents of Minami Lane." The setting shows a detailed isometric view of a town at night, with building lights casting a glow and characters gathered on the street corners. The art style has a charming, hand-drawn quality with soft lighting that gives a peaceful nighttime ambiance. Published on: LadiesGamers.
I won’t forget you either.


Minami Lane is easily one of the cutest and most “coziest” games I’ve ever played. From the moment I started it, I was immediately reminded of another cozy favourite of mine – Capybara Spa, but to be honest, Minami Lane is easily the better game. It perfectly balances challenge and cuteness with enough quirkiness and cats to satisfy any cozy games fan. My only gripe is that someone should’ve warned me to get a bubble tea to have on hand while playing Minami Lane

Final Verdict: Two Thumbs Up: Two thumbs up

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *