Stanley Parable and Gone Home creators announce new game

Normally the news of about a cozy tea shop simulator wouldn’t grab my attention — it feels like there are new ones hitting digital storefronts practically every day. But when famed artsy publisher Annapurna Interactive are the ones publishing the game, my ears perk up. Add in the fact that said simulator is the first game from a developer that features creators of some of my all-time favourite games, and suddenly it’s one of my most anticipated new games.

Called Wanderstop, the game is the debut offering from Ivy Road, a new studio led by Stanley Parable creator Davey Wreden and Gone Home co-creator Karla Zimonja (plus Daniel “C418” Rosenfeld, who’s likely known and beloved by many as the Minecraft composer). The trailer, embedded below, starts off just as you’d expect a cozy tea shop simulator trailer would look, before taking a turn towards the dark and mysterious near the end. There’s not much more news than that — seriously, the game’s site is almost literally an empty page at the moment — but given the pedigree of everyone involved, it’s quite probable that Wanderstop will be worth playing when it arrives on PC and PS5 later this year.

WANDERSTOP | Reveal Trailer

Today during Summer Game Fest, developer Ivy Road and publisher Annapurna Interactive revealed Wanderstop, a narrative-centric cozy game about change and tea. Wanderstop is the first game from Ivy Road, led by Davey Wreden, creator of The Stanley Parable and The Beginner’s Guide, Karla Zimonja, co-creator of Gone Home and Tacoma, and Daniel “C418” Rosenfeld, the composer behind the music of Minecraft.

In Wanderstop, players take on the persona of Alta, a fallen fighter, who must manage a tea shop within a magical forest and tend to the customers who pass through. However, Alta doesn’t want to be at the tea shop, and if Alta gets her way, the tea shop would be nothing but a brief and painful memory.

Players will enter a core game loop in Wanderstop that consists of managing the tea shop, starting with growing and harvesting the ingredients needed for tea, and ending with mixing the ingredients together in an unusual tea-making contraption. During downtime at the tea shop, players will take part in activities such as cleaning and decorating the tea shop, or sitting on a bench to listen to their own thoughts, doing nothing. The shop demands patience, and it rejects those who have come only in the pursuit of growth unchecked.

And that’s why Alta can’t be here. It’s why she’ll never make it. This isn’t who she is. No, she’s a fighter! Why would anyone insist on turning the world’s greatest championship warrior into a docile servant? With everything she’s capable of? No no no… she won’t do it… she can’t…