Why Stardew Valley fans should keep an eye on Bloomtown
"Bloomtown: Another Tale" is a narratively-driven JRPG with monster taming mechanics, featuring an art style and storyline reminiscent of Stardew Val...
The unique twist in Bloomtown lies in its exploration of the supernatural, with a parallel world called the "Underside" that is inhabited by demons.
While not officially labeled as a horror game, Bloomtown revolves around a peaceful American town being targeted by someone or something, as the protagonists strive to save the city from demonic entities.
On August 23rd, Twin Sails Interactive showcased three games at GamesRadar's Future Games Show, one of which was Bloomtown: Another Tale. Bloomtown is marketed as a narratively-driven JRPG that incorporates monster taming mechanics. Undoubtedly, its art style and storyline bear a strong resemblance to Stardew Valley. However, Twin Sail Interactive's upcoming title presents a unique twist that may pique the interest of those who enjoy horror.
Although Bloomtown is its own distinct entity, the developer of Stardew Valley has previously commented that they have "never had a problem" with fans creating games inspired by their own work. After all, Stardew Valley itself was created with influences from the Harvest Moon series. Therefore, games with similar concepts are quite common, but Bloomtown takes these familiar aspects and fully immerses itself in the supernatural realm.
Bloomtown Explores the Dark Side of Simulation RPGs
Although there has been speculation that Stardew Valley takes place in the early 1990s, based on the available technology, Bloomtown definitely takes place at some point in the 1960s. Some have even described the latter as a blend of Stardew Valley and Stranger Things, which thus far appears to be an apt description. Similar to the "Upside Down," there is an entirely new world to explore in Bloomtown, populated by demons and referred to as the "Underside."
While officially not labeled as a horror game, players should not be deceived by the facade of a peaceful American settlement or the cute pixel graphics in Bloomtown. It has been confirmed that the once cozy town is targeted by someone or something as children begin to disappear. The summary on Steam describes that the protagonists, Emily and Chester, must set out to save the city "from the demonic creatures living within the hearts of its residents."
A post from the game's Twitter account showcased the second gameplay trailer of Bloomtown, providing a more detailed glimpse into the storyline and combat mechanics. Although this video lasts only about thirty seconds, it reveals pertinent information. It was already known that Bloomtown will be released for PC and consoles, but the audience can now look forward to a release date in the second quarter of 2024.
While Stardew Valley does have some unresolved mysteries, the game primarily focuses on repairing the farm and building relationships with the villagers. Naturally, there are some magical elements, with the presence of wizards, witches, forest spirits, and monsters that could be considered supernatural. Reports suggest that ConcernedApe is working on their first game since Stardew Valley, titled "Haunted Chocolatier," but the second title will delve into ghosts and confectionery rather than incorporating turn-based combat and demons.
Unfortunately, there is still no release date for Haunted Chocolatier. In the meantime, it could be highly worthwhile for fans of Stardew Valley to keep an eye on Bloomtown: Another Tale. While also inspired by retro JRPGs, it will certainly cater to those who enjoy a touch of suspense in their life simulation games.
Bloomtown: Another Tale is scheduled to be released in the second quarter of 2024.