ConcernedApe’s Haunted Chocolatier is the next game from Stardew Valley creator

Haunted Chocolatier is the follow-up to Stardew Valley

Serve sweets and meet spooky spirits

Stardew Valley creator Eric Barone, a.k.a. “ConcernedApe,” has announced his next project. ConcernedApe’s Haunted Chocolatier is currently in development as a game where, simply put, you make chocolate.

Of course, it’s never just that simple. As Barone describes on his websiteHaunted Chocolatier is a game that’s evolving organically as he works on it. The core gameplay loop involves gathering ingredients, making chocolate, and running a chocolate shop. It’s got a similar vibe to say, Moonlighter or Recettear: An Item Shop’s Tale.

But Barone says he doesn’t want to get too deep on what else is there, as he doesn’t want to be tied down to any “particular concept” of what Haunted Chocolatier is. Barone says he’s been having fun with the possibilities of it, as Stardew Valley had to work within an established tradition; here, he can be a little more “unleashed.”

“I believe this will be a good opportunity, but I haven’t even gotten to the good stuff yet,” writes Barone. “I’ve been mostly working on the ‘meat and potatoes’ of the game so far. But what really brings a game to life is the spice, the sauce. And I haven’t really gotten to the sauce yet. That’s coming.”

With a decade and counting of Stardew Valley development, it’s certainly fair to say that whatever Barone creates will be of pretty high interest. And honestly, this feels just right as a successor of sorts. It’s fun to see all the little bits of Stardew, like hanging out with people in town. But also all the little ways in which it’s different.

Chatting with Burk in Haunted Chocolatier

There isn’t a hard date on when it’s arriving or for which platforms. There’s a lot of content still to make, according to Barone, so he asks for understanding that it will be a while before the game is done. After years and years of Stardew Valley support, it’s my opinion that he’s more than earned the patience. I’m very excited to see how Haunted Chocolatier turns out when it’s finally ready.

Eric Van Allen