Stardew Valley publishers tease slightly witchy project

Spellbound - maybe?

OH! Just before the weekend Chucklefish CEO, Finn Brice (Chucklefish being the publishers of Stardew Valley but ALSO devs of their own games including Starbound) popped up a teaser image for their magic school RPG/sim project. It’s been described by Brice in the past as “something like Stardew Valley meets Harry Potter” and this image is reminding me of any number of nice sims I used to play on Nintendo handheld consoles…

The obvious comparison is probably Little Witch Academia but I’m going to suggest we go with the hope that it’s a reworking of The Worst Witch books. Or Meg and Mog. I LOVE a bit of Meg and Mog, although I probably couldn’t cope with the emotional rollercoaster of Mog having a case of the mumps again. Poor Mog :( So poorly!

Anyway, I think the language of that first tweet struck a bunch of people as being unclear, especially as Chucklefish also have another game in the works (an Advance Wars-y, Fire Emblem-y thing) and are continuing to support Starbound so Brice followed up with:

“To everyone asking, it’s our other new project. Something that builds on what we learned from Stardew. No formal announcement for a while.”

…and then corrected the spelling of the original tweet, which I appreciated: “Also *peek, damn it”. It’s only ever the tweets with spelling or grammar errors that get traction, eh? That said, I have a soft spot for “sneak peak” specifically:

The “no formal announcement for a while” thing is interesting because the game appears to be in a state of semi-announcedness, right? Like, there have been a few hints/heavy-handed puns to indicate it’ll be called Spellbound:

Plus there was the art style demo video showing what was essentially a still image from a witchy, simmy-looking game but with flickering candles and dust motes:

And then there was the statement to PC Gamer to note the Stardew Valley meets Harry Potter general direction and add “Lots of the sim features are present, day night cycles, dating, classes etc. But with some interesting gameplay twists.”

Would you say that was announced or not announced at this point?

12 Comments

  1. KillahMate says:

    It really is a lovely art style. An entire game done that way could be lovely too.

  2. Ejia says:

    I’ve played a couple of those magic school life sim RPGs on the DS Pip is talking about. One was Magical Starsign, which had 2D sprites similar to this but was more of an RPG, and there was another whose name I can’t remember but is more sim-like than RPGish.

    • Yglorba says:

      You are probably thinking of Magician’s Quest: Mysterious Times, which is more of a magical-themed Animal Crossing.

      On Steam, there’s Academagia.

  3. victorix says:

    So, uh, you know about Little Witch Academia? Because I just got into it and I’m a little surprised to read about it referenced already. Is it a new anime or has it been around a while in various forms?

    • username7 says:

      It’s been around a while. There was an OVA or two, and then the TV show came out. :)

      (Per link to en.wikipedia.org it appears that the original short film came out in /2013/!)

      I haven’t started Stardew Valley yet, but a magical school version of it is so far up my alley that I may just end up playing it for forever. … I am so excited for this thing I hadn’t even heard of before, now.

  4. baseless_drivel says:

    I feel like using the name of Stardew Valley is a bit disingenuous here, because Chucklefish didn’t really have much to do in the development of Stardew Valley.

    I mean, I realize the title is fairly explicit in saying they’re the publishers, but the point of a title is usually to imply that the people who made game X also made game Y, and thus there’s a correlation assuming that fans of game X might be interested in Y as well.

    I think it’d be better to point out that Chucklefish made Starbound instead, otherwise it sounds like they’re trying to piggyback off of Stardew Valley’s success — which I’m sure they are, but Chucklefish isn’t writing this article.

    • JarinArenos says:

      That was true at release, but at this point, Chucklefish has practically rewritten the entire game for SDV multiplayer. Saying they’ve learned lessons from it is probably entirely accurate.

      • NeutronSoup says:

        Good point. Also, publishers can learn things too, especially in terms of how consumers respond to different aspects and features of games. The better to make more of the things people like.

  5. Ser Crumbsalot says:

    With such a headline I assumed Witchmarsh was nearing completion, or something. *Sigh*

    • April March says:

      I think Witchmarsh is nearing completion, only in the same way as all that is living is nearing its death.

  6. racccoon says:

    That video made me so.lol .uninspiring as to wtf, why not just make a gif.

  7. Premium User Badge

    DelrueOfDetroit says:

    There’s already a game on Steam called Spellbound though…