Chucklefish, the publisher behind 2017’s indie darling Stardew Valley, has shared some details about their newest project Spellbound. The massive success of Stardew Valley has given them a bit of a platform to share the news in the hope of gathering an audience for the game. In an interview with Red Bull, Chucklefish’s founder Finn Brice talked a bit about the project. Brice said of the gameplay:
“The game revolves around your path through school, the relationships you build, and your mastery of the several schools of magic at your disposal. 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.”
The game will reportedly feature a day and night cycle, meaning players might need to juggle their daily schedule between attending magic classes and hanging out with friends. Brice also spoke of RPG-like dungeons where players will fight monsters and find resources. To be effective in the dungeon, it looks like we’ll need to study hard during our magic classes to gain the proficiency we need to survive. With such a busy schedule, how will we ever find time for dating? Finn Brice didn’t give a full rundown of how love will work in Spellbound, but he did say the feature would have some surprises in store, saying players might be “a little shocked the first time they get dumped.” Looks like it won’t be as simple as giving two gifts a week this time!
Looking at the available images of Spellbound, its easy to see a lot of Stardew Valley in this new game. The pixel artwork and the character sprites have the same colourful charm, and the game seems chock full of features that we loved about the farming sim. While Chucklefish don’t claim the game was inspired by Stardew Valley specifically, Brice does admit that the team are avid players and fans. Harry Potter is, of course, an influence, however Brice was quick to state “The magical world we’re creating is very unlike Hogwarts. Magic in this world is very practical” and likened it to Terry Pratchett’s Tiffany Aching books.
So far, Spellbound has been confirmed for PC, though Brice didn’t rule out a Switch release. Chucklefish still seems to have a lot to work on, so no release date has been given yet. It might be a while before we can start our wizard dating adventure, but it looks like it’ll be worth the wait!