If the Phrase “Stardew Valley Meets Harry Potter” Excites You, You Might Want to Sit Down for This News
Chucklefish, the company behind the incredible hit Stardew Valley, announced this new project a while back and have been teasing it for even longer. Whether you missed that news entirely (like I did) or you’ve just been waiting for updates, today is a good day. For every Stardew fan who didn’t think they could get so invested in a farming sim, just imagine what this team can do with what they’re describing as “Stardew Valley meets Harry Potter.” Their new game, titled Spellbound, is just that.
The new game’s animation is similar to the Stardew style, and is described as a “wizard-school sim” because, as Chucklefish’s founder Finn Brice told Red Bull games in a recent interview, “Who doesn’t want to enroll in a magic school?” Obviously, the answer to that is no one.
In creating the world of a wizarding school, they’re not trying to shirk the Harry Potter comparisons, although the game sounds wholly unique. Brice says, ‘We’re fans of Harry Potter, and after reading the series we were left longing to experience our own path through magical school life, where we could make our own best friends and develop our own identity in a magical world.”
He goes on to say, “Spellbound is our exploration of that premise, but the magical world we’re creating is very unlike Hogwarts. Magic in this world is very practical, taking inspiration from Terry Pratchett’s Tiffany Aching series, Garth Nix’s Old Kingdom Series, Studio Ghibli animations, and even the cartoon show Steven Universe at times.”
Ultimately, the game sounds a lot like Stardew in its division between tasks and skill-building and the development of interpersonal relationships. Although, like in Stardew, other characters won’t always act the way you want or expect them to. Brice explains, “We’re expecting players to be a little shocked the first time they get dumped. We’re attempting to portray a gameworld in which the characters have their own motivations and desires. We want the player to feel as if they’re part of an autonomous world rather than a world that revolves around their desires.”
“The game revolves around your path through school, the relationships you build, and your mastery of the several schools of magic at your disposal,” he says. “Players should expect to build up their magical proficiency by undertaking school projects. This might have them growing magical crops and creatures in herbology or taking on the denizens of the forest in elemental magic. School life is just as important as magic however; a lot of time will be spent meeting and befriending the varied cast of characters, taking on quests, awkward attempts at dating and a host of side activities.”
Spellbound doesn’t yet have a release date and for now, it’s only planned to be released on a PC platform. Given Stardew’s immense popularity, though, it sounds like they’re considering at least a Switch version.
(via Game Informer, image: Chucklefish, clipartbarn)
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