What you need to know
- Eric Barone, known as ConcernedApe, announced his new project on Thursday, called Haunted Chocolatier.
- The title looks similar to Stardew Valley in the gameplay footage, but it takes place at least partially in a haunted castle with ghosts and chocolate making.
- The game is in development, and you can check out some early gameplay below.
Indie developer Eric Barone, also known as ConcernedApe, became a breakout star in 2016 thanks to the life and farming simulator hit Stardew Valley, and now we finally have information on the follow-up.
Haunted Chocolatier is a game where you make chocolate, go out into the world to gather ingredients, and it takes place in a haunted castle with ghosts and monsters. While Barone hasn't devled into too many details (he notes the game is evolving as he develops it), he mentions it won't necessarily be a horror game.
"Don't think for a moment that, because this game features ghosts in a haunted castle, it is an evil or negative game," he wrote in a post on Haunted Chocolatier's website. "On the contrary, I intend for this game to be positive, uplifting and life-affirming. However, if Stardew Valley mostly channeled the energy of the sun, Haunted Chocolatier channels the energy of the moon. Both are vital.
Barone teased an announcement on Twitter, with a link to a YouTube video with only question marks in the title. That announcement ended up being the Haunted Chocolatier. Along with the announcement itself, he shared early gameplay and a blog with some basic information.
Barone had reviously teased on Twitter that he's working on two games in the Stardew Valley universe. One takes place within the same world, while the other will "tie into Stardew Valley in some way." While he didn't confirm if Haunted Chocolatier is one of these two games, the similarities are striking. Not only is the UI nearly identical, but some creatures like slimes also appear. Granted, this could change as development continues.
Haunted Chocolatier is still in the early stages of development (and there's currently no release window), and, as he notes, fans should consider that the details might change. "I don't want to get too deep into at this early stage, partly because I don't want to be tied down to any particular concept of what the game is," he wrote.
Stardew Valley is arguably one of the biggest indie games of the past decade, and one of the best comfort games currently available. It follows the story of an unnamed person (customized by the player) that moves to a tiny town to reinvigorate their grandfather's farm and become a part of a community. It started life on Steam, but is now available on just about every platform, including mobile and Xbox. As of 2020, ConcernedApe stated the game has sold around 10 million copies.
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