The follow-up to cozy detective game Strange Horticulture is called Strange Antiquities, and this time you'll run an occult artifact shop

2022 was a fantastic year for detective games: we got both sprawling murder mystery The Case of the Golden Idol and cozy plant shop puzzle game Strange Horticulture. 2024 is shaping up pretty mysteriously, too: a new Golden Idol game is due out this year, and in even more exciting news, a follow-up to Strange Horticulture has been announced today.

Trade in your flowerpots and watering can for a monkey's paw and a skull talisman, because in Strange Antiquities you're running a cozy little curio shop. Check out the all-too-brief teaser above.

"Strange Antiquities is a brand-new adventure set in the quaint and gloomy town of Undermere, where you’ll become the owner of a store dealing in occult antiquities," reads the announcement from developer Bad Viking and publisher Iceberg Interactive. "Use your maps to explore the town, find and identify arcane artefacts, and use your collection to aid the townsfolk with their unusual problems."

It looks quite similar to Strange Horticulture in that you're sitting behind the front desk of your shop, ringing a bell to invite customers in, and examining unusual items with a magnifying glass before adding them to your shelves. Instead of a map of the countryside, you have a city map of Undermere dotted with locations to visit that gives me the same investigative tingle as the map of London from Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective.

As for identifying the artifacts you find, one of the game's screenshots shows a slightly different system than Strange Horticulture has. You can examine an item's "color and composition," use your "sense of touch," examine its "scent and sound," and use something called "inner perception." Then you crack open your dusty old occult encyclopedia and see if you can ID the artifact and determine what uses it has. 

And yes, just like in Strange Horticulture, you'll be able to pet your cat as it relaxes on your store counter. Perfect. Here's a little gallery of screenshots from your spooky shop:

I absolutely loved Strange Horticulture: it was the best puzzle game of 2022, so this is the most exciting gaming news I've heard in months. I am so ready for another cozy yet unsettling series of mysteries in the gloomy, rainy town of Undermere. There's no release date announced yet, but I'm crossing the fingers on my monkey's paw that Strange Antiquities will be out sometime soon. 

Christopher Livingston
Senior Editor

Chris started playing PC games in the 1980s, started writing about them in the early 2000s, and (finally) started getting paid to write about them in the late 2000s. Following a few years as a regular freelancer, PC Gamer hired him in 2014, probably so he'd stop emailing them asking for more work. Chris has a love-hate relationship with survival games and an unhealthy fascination with the inner lives of NPCs. He's also a fan of offbeat simulation games, mods, and ignoring storylines in RPGs so he can make up his own.