The best thing about Animal Crossing: New Horizons is its aquarium, so this indie dev is bringing it to their Stardew Valley-like in a way that's "as fun to explore"

Sunkissed City aquarium
(Image credit: Mr. Podunkian)

This upcoming city sim from a former Stardew Valley developer will have an aquarium they hope is as fun as the one in Animal Crossing: New Horizons.

Arthur 'Mr. Podunkian' Lee - who previously assisted in developing Stardew Valley - has shared some new insight into their upcoming game Sunkissed City. We've covered the upcoming city sim a few times here, spreading the word about the game's rideable bikes, but this might be the most exciting feature Mr. Podunkian has revealed yet. 

If, like me, you took pride in the fishing section of the museum in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, Sunkissed City has the thing for you. In a tweet, Mr. Podunkian shares a short clip of an in-game aquarium along with the caption: "Here's a WIP of one of the many tanks in the Marin Beach Aquarium, where you'll donate fish you've caught. My hope is that it'll be as fun to explore as Animal Crossing's."

Judging from what Lee says here, it seems as though Sunkissed City will have an area similar to Animal Crossing's museum where players will be able to drop off any interesting fish they've caught and visit them when they're in town. 

The video shows several varieties of fish, but the one that caught my attention is the Ocean Sunfish—a huge creature that also appears in the Animal Crossing series. If this is just one of the tanks on offer in the upcoming life sim, I can't wait to see what other sea creatures end up in the aquarium. 

In the replies to their tweet, Mr. Podunkian explains the process behind fishing in their game. Replying to a fan who said they usually avoid fishing in games, the developer writes: "There are in-game options to make the fishing mini-game easier (by disabling the penalty for reeling when you shouldn't) and one to turn the mini-game off completely, so I'm hoping it's something you have an easier time getting on board with than in the past!"

For those unfamiliar with Sunkissed City, the open-world life sim is being developed solely by Lee and is expected to launch in Q4 2024. If you're a fan of Stardew Valley, you'll definitely enjoy Sunkissed City - think of it as ConcernedApe's farming sim set in the city. Lee's game will have players setting off for a new life in Apollo City, as they meet the locals, get a job, decorate their homes, take up hobbies, and more. 

To keep up to date with Sunkissed City, you should follow its developer on Twitter and wishlist it on Steam

Find out what else you should keep an eye out for with our upcoming indie games list. 

Hope Bellingham
News Writer

After studying Film Studies and Creative Writing at university, I was lucky enough to land a job as an intern at Player Two PR where I helped to release a number of indie titles. I then got even luckier when I became a Trainee News Writer at GamesRadar+ before being promoted to a fully-fledged News Writer after a year and a half of training.  My expertise lies in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, cozy indies, and The Last of Us, but especially in the Kingdom Hearts series. I'm also known to write about the odd Korean drama for the Entertainment team every now and then.