Stardew Valley + Harry Potter = Spellbound
Stardew Valley publisher Chucklefish has finally revealed details about their next anticipated game, now officially titled Spellbound.
In a new interview with Red Bull last week, Chucklefish CEO Finn Brice described Spellbound as a “wizard-school sim” heavily inspired by a number of popular fantasy works such as Harry Potter, Terry Pratchett’s Tiffany Aching series, Garth Nix’s Old Kingdom Series, Studio Ghibli animations, and the Steven Universe cartoon show.
“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,” Brice said, elaborating on the many influences in Spellbound.
The game will revolve around completing various tasks during your wizarding school enrolment. Players can expect to build relationships and master several schools of magic. You can build your “magical proficiency” by growing magical crops and creatures in Herbology or putting an end to the forest-dwellers in elemental magic. Combat will take inspiration from Zelda and retro action RPG’s. Part of the combat system involves unlocking and combining elements to activate new spells that can be used in the forest dungeon “where all sorts of rewards await.”
When you’re not doing cool magic stuff, you’ll meet and befriend characters, complete quests and side activities or even try your hand at wizard dating. In fact, Brice describes Spellbound’s relationships as a key component of the game.
“We’re expecting players to be a little shocked the first time they get dumped,” he says. “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.”
While comparisons to Stardew Valley are inevitable, Brice cites Harvest Moon and Rune Factory as Spellbound’s initial inspirations.
When discussing the overall scope of Spellbound, Brice wanted to assure that there will be plenty of scope for replayability. “We want to tell lots of little character-centric stories so Spellbound won’t have one big linear story arc,” comments Brice. “It’s going to be a game with lots of variety, and lots to explore and master. Like Stardew, we want it to be a game you can come back to time and again so we certainly see it as offering a similar length of playtime.”
Spellbound currently doesn’t have a release date but the publisher will be sharing more details “as time goes by.” While PC is the main development platform, the company isn’t ruling out console ports, especially following the huge success Stardew Valley has had on Switch.
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