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Haunted Chocolatier Release Date, Trailer, And Gameplay - What We Know So Far

Eric "ConcernedApe" Barone, the solo developer of the "Stardew Valley" has announced his next project, "Haunted Chocolatier." After delivering multiple free content updates to "Stardew Valley," one of the most successful indie games, and a love letter to old "Harvest Moon" games, Barone has revealed his next project. "Haunted Chocolatier" mimics the "Stardew Valley" gameplay and art style but instead of leaving the big city to become a farmer, players become the new local chocolatier. However, comparing the two titles misses some of the more important details, like the chocolate factory and store being inside a haunted castle, where ghosts live. The ghosts appear to be friendly and willing to work shifts inside the chocolate store.

Some people may have been hoping for a sequel to "Stardew Valley," especially since it was recently turned into the coziest esports game ever. Instead, Barone has opted to take the formula people loved, and twist it into a "Willy Wonka" style adventure.

When will Haunted Chocolatier release?

Anyone hoping to mark their calendars for "Haunted Chocolatier" is in for a bit of disappointment. Barone has said that the game is early in development and that he is not interested in setting a release date or estimated release window just yet. Barone said on the "Haunted Chocolatier" website's FAQ that he wants to be able to work on the game without the pressure of a set release date.

Also in the FAQ section, Barone states that the only platform he is "100% sure" that "Haunted Chocolatier" will launch on is PC, however, he intends to bring it to other major platforms if possible. "Stardew Valley" is available on every major platform now, however, it launched on PC first before being ported to consoles and mobile later. Barone also confirmed that this will be another solo-developed and self-published game, which might mean that it will be a few years before "Haunted Chocolatier" is released.

Is there a Haunted Chocolatier trailer?

Barone announced "Haunted Chocolatier" with a two-minute long gameplay trailer that shows a ton of different locales and moments cut together in a montage. The trailer shows off a snowy mountain town and the titular haunted chocolate factory castle. There are some important things to note from the trailer. 

First, it shows that the main gameplay loop will be collecting ingredients, making chocolate, and selling the chocolate. The trailer also shows the main character open a doorway that resembles a "Super Mario 64" portal, that takes them to a different environment, where they can collect ingredients to make chocolate.

The trailer features the main character interacting with a number of different characters around town and shows them giving NPCs gifts. It seems likely that the dating aspects from "Stardew Valley" could be making the jump to "Haunted Chocolatier." The game clearly shares an art style with "Stardew Valley" with some improvements in quality and detail.

What will Haunted Chocolatier gameplay be like?

The trailer shows the main character using a melee weapon and a bow and arrow to kill monsters in the wild, presumably as part of foraging for ingredients to make chocolate. In the FAQ section on the "Haunted Chocolatier" website, Barone said that the game is more of an action RPG, with the focal point of the game being the chocolate shop. In the trailer, the player can be seen decorating the chocolate shop and setting items out for sale. Players may need to set prices and pick the inventory being sold for the day in order to make money, but it's not clear how intricate the details of running the shop are just yet. The chocolate shop appears to be run by ghosts, which is where the "haunted" part of the title comes in.

Barone wrote a blog post when the game was announced, describing "Haunted Chocolatier" as more magical and fantastic than "Stardew Valley." "Chocolate represents that which is delightful. The haunted castle represents the allure of the unknown. The ghosts represent the imprint of the past. All of these things are important," Barone explained.