Eric “ConcernedApe” Barone, creator of farming sim Stardew Valley is working on a new, self-published game — ConcernedApe’s Haunted Chocolatier. The developer made the announcement via Twitter and uploaded an early gameplay trailer to YouTube.
According to the official site, ConcernedApe’s Haunted Chocolatier is a deliberate departure from Stardew Valley‘s more grounded setting into something a little more fantastical. Hence the incorporation of a ghost-haunted castle that’s also a chocolate shop. The game is still in active development, but at its core, it will involve “gathering ingredients, making chocolate, and running a chocolate shop.” ConcernedApe feels that while Stardew Valley was deliberately more constrained by the established conventions of farming-sim titles, Haunted Chocolatier represents an opportunity to go “unleashed.” What exactly that means isn’t yet determined, even by ConcernedApe. Development began in 2020, and it does not use the same game engine as Stardew Valley. Although Barone is currently working on it solo, he expects to get help for anticipated console ports or localizations.
The Haunted Chocolatier early gameplay trailer shows off an aesthetic that appears similar to Stardew Valley‘s at first glance. Pixel-art style characters move about a snowy, small-town environment. The player character wakes up in a large building attached to a chocolate store. The interior of the building looks like a rustic mansion, and its inhabitant opens a large door that appears to function as a portal of sorts to another world. Therein, players attack monsters and harvest ingredients that are then used to craft various chocolate items. Customers are shown entering and patronizing the chocolate store, and various ghosts ferry items to and from the shelves, acting as staff. Interactions with villagers and what looks like a courtship are also visible.
ConcernedApe’s Haunted Chocolatier is in development for PC, with “every intention” of targeting “other major platforms.”