All the Haunted Chocolatier news we’ve heard so far

The Stardew Valley community might be alive and kicking thanks to the recent 1.6 update, but fans are still excited for the shiny new game coming from its maker, Eric “ConcernedApe” Barone. The next game from the developer, Haunted Chocolatier, is in the works, and it already looks like it will capture plenty of the charms of Stardew Valley.

Since announcing Haunted Chocolatier in 2021, Barone has been juggling its development while releasing significant updates for Stardew Valley. It can be hard to keep up with progress on both games at once, especially since Barone has said several times that he prefers to work in secret and often discusses important updates informally on X. As a result, the information available on each game can be a bit scattered. So we did the work of rounding all those details up. As you read, keep in mind that Barone is developing the game “organically,” so it’s possible some details will change before release.

Does Haunted Chocolatier have a release date?

The short answer is that we don’t have a release date or window for Haunted Chocolatier yet. Barone started working on the game in 2020, but we don’t know how far along development is because we’ve only gotten occasional snippets from the game. Most recently, he said that he’s “eager” to get back to work on it, but that he needs to make sure that Stardew Valley 1.6 is “settled, bug-free and out to all platforms first.”

Image: ConcernedApe

It’s likely we won’t get a Haunted Chocolatier release anytime soon, since it’s going to take a while for Barone to release everything needed for the new version of Stardew. He just dropped the 1.6.3 Stardew Valley fixes for PC on March 27 and doesn’t yet have a release date for when the update will come to console, so there’s more news to come.

Additionally, Barone has been working on Stardew Valley updates for a while. In January of last year, he said he was “getting side tracked” by Stardew Valley work. Then, that spring, he said that he paused work on Haunted Chocolatier to work on the 1.6 update. Barone is a one-man team (more or less), so if you’re itching for the game, maybe give the guy a break!

What will the gameplay be like in Haunted Chocolatier?

An image of character swinging a stick in the woods rendered in pixel art in a screenshot from Haunted Chocolatier. 

Image: ConcernedApe

An image of person tinkering at a desk inside a workshop rendered in pixel art in a screenshot from Haunted Chocolatier. 

Image: ConcernedApe

An image of character running through rendered in pixel art in a screenshot from Haunted Chocolatier. They are standing in front of a brick storefront with a sign that says “Chocolate’ on it.

Image: ConcernedApe

An image of a fire lookout rendered in pixel art in a screenshot from Haunted Chocolatier. There is a house on top and a character with a brimmed hat stands on top of it.

Image: ConcernedApe

Fans of Stardew Valley will immediately recognize several of Haunted Chocolatier’s gameplay elements from the trailer. The game bears Barone’s typical style, pairing stunningly detailed pixel art with a lush soundtrack. Features of Stardew gameplay — like the ability to develop relationships with characters and decorate a home — also seem to figure prominently into Haunted.

However, the biggest difference between the two will be its core gameplay and combat. According to a 2021 blog post, the game will lean into more action-RPG elements and have a greater emphasis on combat. Additionally, in his announcement post, he said that the core loop will involve “gathering ingredients, making chocolate, and running a chocolate shop” instead of running a farm.

What do we know about Haunted Chocolatier’s characters and story?

Despite combat differences, the two games still look and feel similar. Haunted even seems to have a similar premise, featuring a story about a new-to-town player character who starts a business.

“In Stardew Valley, the focus was more humble: living off the land, growing food, and connecting to the people and nature around you. However, with my next game, I wanted to explore more fantastical possibilities… experiences that take you beyond the ordinary,” Barone said in the blog.

As a result, this game will lean a bit more into supernatural elements. If you watch the trailer, you’ll see cute little ghosts that aid you in a chocolate shop. Rather than wanting the game to feel scary, Barone said that he intends for the game “to be positive, uplifting and life-affirming.” He said, “if Stardew Valley mostly channeled the energy of the sun, Haunted Chocolatier channels the energy of the moon. Both are vital.”

Fans are already excited to meet the characters in this new world. Barone released a screenshot of an unnamed character that looks like a grandpa or maybe a wizard; the trailer also showed us several new faces. You can read more about the characters below, but note that these descriptions are based on our own observations of the footage — some details aren’t confirmed and could change.

  • Lily, a young maybe-bachelorette who appears to invite the character into a gorgeous desert-themed room.
  • Burk, a burly bald-headed man with a thick beard. He seems to maintain a furnace, but he also just seems like a sweaty guy.
  • Maddie, a person with a bit of a soft goth look who asks the player character what it’s like living in the city.
  • Jett, a researcher with a whole mess of hair. I just want to know if he’ll be this game’s Sebastian.
  • Miguel, a bartender who also has a bald head and some very furrowed brows.

Is Haunted Chocolatier just Stardew Valley 2?

Barone said he wants Haunted Chocolatier to have its own identity, so it probably won’t be a direct sequel. (Sorry to those of you who wanted to pack up with your Stardew spouse and live your best chocolate life together!) Still, the game will have at least some sort of connection to Stardew’s world, but Barone hasn’t decided how deep it will be yet.

Will Haunted Chocolatier have multiplayer?

Fans who have played Stardew Valley with friends using its local co-op and online multiplayer modes might be wondering if Haunted Chocolatier will support similar gameplay. According to the game’s FAQ, it just has single-player, and Barone has “no current plans” to add multiplayer.

Where can I watch the Haunted Chocolatier trailer?

[embedded content]

We only have one early gameplay trailer of Haunted Chocolatier so far. Although some fans have said Barone announced the game too early, he has since responded by saying that he released it because he “wanted to establish what [his] next game was about because there were a lot of false rumors and assumptions going around.” You can view the trailer above.

What platforms will Haunted Chocolatier come to?

The only platform that we know Haunted Chocolatier will for sure come out on is Windows PC, according to the FAQ. But it’s not like all hope is lost for other platforms. Barone said he imagines the game will have “about the same system requirements” as Stardew Valley. Barring any issues with backward compatibility, he “would imagine people will be able to play it on the same systems [as Stardew Valley].”

Stardew Valley is available to play on macOS, mobile devices, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation Vita, PlayStation 4, Windows PC, and Xbox One. It’s also available to play on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X via backward compatibility. I’m not going to hold out hope for Haunted Chocolatier on PlayStation Vita in the year 2024, but it sounds like players won’t need to worry about platform exclusivity.

What else is there to know about Haunted Chocolatier?

What’s left? Not much. We’ll continue to update you with more news, but for now, I’ll leave you with this banger Barone made for a boss fight in the game. It’s titled “bee_boss.ogg” and it’s a certified bop.

[embedded content]

This post was originally published on Polygon

Share your love