Super Zoo Story May Take Too Much Inspiration From Stardew Valley

A new life slice-of-life simulation game called Super Zoo Story is getting called out by fans for potentially copying Stardew Valley, with much of the art looking the same as the well-loved farming title. Similar to games like Planet Zoo, Super Zoo Story focuses on creating and running a zoo filled with a variety of different animals. Super Zoo Story is currently in development by the Super Zoo Story Team and has a speculated release window of some time in 2023.

Stardew Valley has had an unprecedented amount of success ever since its initial release back in 2016. Many game developers have taken note of the new standard Stardew Valley has created in the simulation genre, with many AAA titles like Story of Seasons even adding mechanics introduced in the indie game. Many recent farming and slice-of-life indie titles have also tried to replicate the success of Stardew Valley, including Kynseed and Little Witch in the Woods. However, these games each maintain an original overall design and story, while Super Zoo Story seems to be struggling to do the same.


Related: Stardew Valley's 1.6 Update Has Been Confirmed (But It'll Be Different)

Super Zoo Story is currently facing an onslaught of criticism from Stardew Valley fans, who have noticed many of the assets look as if they were directly pulled from Stardew Valley. As quoted by Twitter user gamer_alex, "There is a huge difference between being inspired and copying and pasting with a few changes."  As reported by GameRant, even Stardew Valley's creator ConcernedApe agrees Super Zoo Story has "taken it a little too far"  voicing his concern that the game could be mistaken for his own work. When looking at assets in Super Zoo Story and comparing them to Stardew Valley's, it becomes obvious where these concerns are coming from. The game opens by revealing a screen full of trees, weeds, stone tiles, branches, grass, and textures that look exactly like the ones from Stardew Valley. Even minor animations like tall grass movement look surprisingly similar. 

"stardew valley was inspired by harvest moon" yes but this game has ripped assets and textures from stardew. There is a huge difference between being inspired and copying and pasting with a few changes. stardew is like harvest moon but it is its own game and always was

— alex (@gamer_aIex) July 7, 2022

As many fans have already expressed, taking inspiration from something is okay, but currently, Super Zoo Story appears to have gone a step too far. While Stardew Valley took inspiration from Harvest Moon, the game's identity is still original. Through the graphics, music, writing, and gameplay, Stardew Valley shows what influenced its creation while still standing as something original and new. Additionally, Stardew Valley was made from scratch by ConcernedApe, making the game's impact on fans all the more impressive.

Unfortunately, Super Zoo Story may need to rework some art and assets in order to ensure a unique and original concept before its campaign launch on Kickstarter in the future. While many simulation fans would likely enjoy raising and caring for a cute, pixelated zoo, few may be interested in supporting a game that could potentially be copying a well-loved and popular indie title. In the meantime, players can help support ConcernedApe's work by following upcoming projects like The Haunted Chocolatier, and hopefully, Super Zoo Story will see changes to the art style and asset choices in the near future.