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Tiny Bookshop screenshot

Tiny Bookshop’s Next Fest demo left me with all kinds of feelgood vibes

I spend most of my time IRL thinking about moving to a little village by the sea. It’s no exaggeration: it’s probably verging on an obsession, really. I spend more time scrolling through Rightmove than I do Twitter these days (although that’s no bad thing). And so, when presented with Tiny Bookshop, a videogame that puts you in the shoes of someone who does the very thing I dream of — escape to a small town by the sea — I lapped it up. Even better, she runs a tiny bookshop. A whole different dream of mine.

Although Tiny Bookshop’s demo is short, there’s was just enough content for me to get fully invested in its premise. Your Tiny Bookshop is in fact on wheels, and each day you can park in a different location. Maybe you’re by the seafront, on the beach, or near a coffee shop. Like any game that casts you as a shopkeeper, making profit is important, but Tiny Bookshop is much more than just a numbers game.

You’ll also get to know your customers — the people of the small seaside town you find yourself in. Some of them will chat with you when they visit, and may even have a bit of a task for you to complete. One particularly vocal customer cajoled me into helping her move her belongings from her own closed-down bookshop.

Tiny Bookshop screenshot
Image: Neuludic Games

But even when they don’t want you engaging in busywork, they may want your help selecting a book. They’ll let you know what sort of book they’re looking for and, by browsing your shelves, you can see your available titles and pick one that best fits the bill. Buying books in is your responsibility, so you’ll want to ensure you always have a healthy stock of different genres. It’s also your responsibility to make sure you have a wide range available on your shelves. You only have one shelf to begin with — it’s a Tiny Bookshop, remember — so you’ll have to choose carefully.

While Tiny Bookshop requires you to monitor your stock in numerous ways, it’s never a stressful experience. You’ll need to keep an eye on what genres are selling and which ones aren’t, but ultimately this is a laid-back, tranquil experience that simply wants you to relax and enjoy every moment. I can’t wait to meet more of the townspeople and to engage with their random requests and tasks. I simply want to spend more time in this quaint seaside town.

Tiny Bookshop is due out on PC in 2025, but you can jump into its Steam Next Fest demo right now.

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