[PlayStation 4] Strange Horticulture Review

by Ceidz, Owner

Strange Horticulture from Iceberg Interactive and Bad Viking is a story-driven point and click adventure game in which you take over a peculiar plants store. Check our Strange Horticulture review!


Strange Horticulture is an occult puzzle game in which you play as the proprietor of a local plant store. Find and identify new plants, pet your cat, speak to a coven, or join a cult. Use your collection of powerful plants to influence the story and unravel Undermere’s dark mysteries.

Strange Horticulture puts you in the shoes of a resident of Undermere City, as you take over a local plan store following your uncle’s passing. You quickly notice that the general ambiance of this shop feels mysterious, hence the game’s name!

On the gameplay side, your main interactions will be in the form of point and click segments as you’ll move your cursor with the left analog stick over the desired object and press the X button to activate it. You’ll begin by serving your customers with the plant they need for their issues. As I started playing, I had no clue on what to do, but luckily, points of interest are often highlighted as an introduction to the game.

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Under the hood, this game is a puzzler and you’ll need to document yourself with your handy guide on which plant solves which issue your customer has. If you fail your objective a few times, you’ll have to solve a puzzle to be revived and taken back to the point you were before, so you do not have to redo the whole day. Making only three mistakes does not give you much margin for error, so going in blindly isn’t an option.

I thought that my first half hour of the game was hard to get into with the few pointers and the general impression of being lost and not necessarily understanding what the next objective was. The game gives a few pointers at the beginning, but it feels like it wants you to figure things out by yourself, which might not be to every gamer’s taste. After a few game days pass, a backstory will open up to you, and you’ll learn that there is more to it than what it appears at first.

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On the accessibility side, I liked how it was possible to take another font that is easier to read than the default one. Even with it, though, everything on the screen feels too small, and you’ll constantly – and I mean it – use your magnifying glass by pressing R2 to see below. It somehow helped with the immersion of a botanical worker, but I thought it was an odd mechanic that felt like it was added to fix the number of things on screen at once.

Being a PlayStation release, this game includes a full list, including a Platinum. The trophies are unlocked as the story progresses. Only a few of them are hidden, and some story elements were spoiled for me as I was screening through them. I would have preferred if they had spoiler-free descriptions. If you’re having a hard time progressing, here’s a Strange Horticulture Trophy Guide. There’s also a Plant Guide that can help you determine which plant must be given in each situation.

Strange Horticulture Review

Strange Horticulture is a point and click puzzle game in which you’ll be taking over a plant shop and will have to solve your customer issues by reading the guide your uncle left when he passed away. This is a different kind of game that you might enjoy if you’re a puzzle and/or plant enthusiast, so your mileage with this one may vary. I thought some puzzles were kind of cryptic, and at its $15.99 price tag, this feels steep for the type of experience you’ll get.

Disclaimer
This Strange Horticulture review is based on a PlayStation copy provided by Iceberg Interactive.

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