The trailer for Haunted Chocolatier dropped on October 21st on Youtube and showcases the wintry small town setting. The main gameplay seems to consist of travelling through a portal to some picturesque mountains where you can fight baddies and forage natural resources, then take these back to your whimsically delightful chocolate factory to craft your tasty treats, then put them out in your store for the residents of the local town to purchase.
On top of this, you're able to customise your store and design its layout and then upgrade and expand your store. Similarly to Stardew, you can explore a brand-new town and its brand-new characters that you can befriend and romance if you choose. The inclusion of the old haunted mansion you get to live in, it might also suggest a greater overarching story line about this chocolate shop's history.
The game carries over the beloved art style of Stardew Valley, as well as some of its key features and gameplay systems with some added extras such as a bow and arrow and a shield in combat, to complement the greater focus on action RPG elements.
The trailer features some fun snippets of what we can assume will be the OST, it’s a little livelier than Stardew Valley's soundtrack likely to match the more industrial setting of the game. The look and sound of Haunted Chocolate conjures that warm, comforting feeling that Stardew was renowned for. Yet the atmosphere is notably different, in his blog on the game ConcernedApe writes “if Stardew Valley mostly channelled the energy of the sun, Haunted Chocolatier channels the energy of the moon. Both are vital.”
Haunted Chocolatier is currently in development with no concrete release date, hopefully this game will be released sometime in 2022 but it is quite likely that it will have a 2023 release date. Either way, it looks to be a worthy follow up to the legendary Stardew Valley.