Seemingly echoing the aesthetic and vibes of Stardew, the upcoming game is not a spiritual successor but does retain similarities. Both games are sims, but where Stardew focused primarily on farming and town relationships, Haunted Chocolatier looks to be a shop sim, featuring -- as the name suggests -- a haunted chocolate shop and many, many ghosts.
In a blog post for the announcement, Barone (known online as ConcernedApe) said, "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. That's where magical haunted ghost chocolate comes in."
The announcement was definitely a surprise, with Barone having spent the last decade working on -- and then providing free updates for -- Stardew Valley and remaining secretive about his next movements. The game is also yet to see a release date, though judging from Barone's comments it likely won't be anytime soon.
"While the video I put together may look like the game is at an advanced stage of development, there is still a ton of stuff to do," he said. "And the way I work, things often don't come together until the final moments."
Haunted Chocolatier is confirmed for a PC release when the time comes, with a view to eventually being ported to other major platforms.