Ready to adorn the Flipper gloves and paintbrush once more? House Flipper 2 is here, the game for budding estate agents who want the satisfaction of a job well done with none of the manual labour. The 2018 niche classic was surprisingly successful, like many other popular simulator games. So successful, in fact, we have the construction sequel at our fingertips just five years later.
I never got around to playing the original House Flipper, sadly. However, I did review Castle Renovator and I was… not impressed, shall we say. Can House Flipper 2 win me over to the genre and justify the series’ continued existence? Does this house have a foundation plied together with more than just sand and glue? I don’t know what houses are actually pieced together with, but let’s get our construction hats on.
Homes Under My Hammer
Welcome to the charming town of Pinnacove, eager Flipper. Your job here is simple –
smash the living daylights take the broken down, grisly and horridly unhygienic homes of the area and turn them into glimmering beacons of homely comfort once more. You’ll start small, with rooms to clean and a mountain of trash to remove.
As your rookie skills prove themselves, you’ll be given even worse messes to sort out. It’s an odd kind of progression, the better you are the more garbage you end up dealing with. It works though, providing a smooth progression system. You’ll add painting, demolishing, vacuuming and decorating to your repertoire in no time.
Unlike Castle Renovator, the core systems are decent fun, if straightforward. There’s a catharsis to witnessing those stains melt under your spray and smashing in a brick wall can never not be enjoyable. The painting area selection can be fiddly and occasionally annoying, but everything else works smoothly and leads to a satisfying time. It’s like Powerwash Simulator but with more means of feeling innately rewarded.
Plus, launching a bin bag from a second-floor balcony into a dustbin like LeBron James sinking a 3-pointer (I don’t know basketball, is that right?) is a power trip I never knew I needed. You’re still a glorified walking avatar with a nuclear button that eradicates trash/demolishes stains/rips down walls/owns everything, but the simple things in life are the most serene sometimes.
Cowboy Builders, Assemble
Each job you’re sent on in House Flipper 2 will rate your performance on the standard 3 Star metric. The majority of your work is getting to 1 star, at which point you can move on if you’re so inclined. Doing 95% of the tasks will earn you 3 stars, which grants extra money as a reward for your compulsive persistence. Naturally, I had to do everything to 3 stars, can’t be having a “you missed a spot” in one of my reviews.
It’s thankful that the bar is forgiving, as I did have a couple of minor glitches that caused me to be unable to get to 100% completion on some levels. For example, I’d already boarded over a floor before installing a door on a new wall, but the game suggested I still needed to floor it. Another example had me needing to finish painting a room, which I’d plastered head to toe in paint already.
Much of House Flipper 2 is streamlined successfully in this way. You don’t need to 100% everything for 3 stars and you can comfortably move on at 1 star for every job if you’re so inclined. There’s a laid-back approach to progression which I found really welcoming. Moreover, you can hit Q at any time when you’re holding an item to see what you’ve missed, which is amazing.
It’s like having Batman’s detective vision, if Batman had descended to the role of lowly cowboy builder. CowBat ManBoy, I dunno. Additionally, the radial wheel will highlight which jobs you still need to do in each room, which is super helpful. House Flipper 2 is nothing if not convenient. Though, it can sometimes feel like it’s playing itself, requiring less effort or intuition from the player.
One of the more lacklustre drawbacks of House Flipper 2’s laissez-faire approach to gameplay is that it doesn’t require much actual thought. Most jobs require you to purchase and place items or select colour schemes. One would think that would mean carefully placing items in logical locations. Not for me, dear reader. Did I dump 4 chairs in a corner inaccessible by a haphazard bookcase and lazily placed table?
You bet your bottom dollar I did. The game gleefully rewarded me with 3 stars too and the customer was “so pleased”. I highly doubt they were pleased with their plants left on the floor outside the plant pots. However, I actually appreciate the fact that I could do that and move on. I can only imagine the frustration it would have created if I had to actually have some common sense.
Using your various skills will naturally give you perk points which make all of your jobs easier, which is a nice touch. Additionally, you can complete assembly tasks, which are short and sweet tutorials of building objects. These reward you with very minor discounts in the shops for the associated items, which was largely pointless as I was swimming in coin, but hey, discounts are always welcome.
Finally, living up to the House Flipper name means you can purchase, renovate and auction various properties in the name of cold, hard, capitalism. Across the districts you slowly unlock, you can set a home base and have fun creating the home of your dreams or the sunken, misshapen hellhole of your nightmares (in my case).
Quite The Showroom
Between the various jobs you’re provided with, the houses you can wheel and deal, plus a sandbox mode to mess around with, there’s plenty to enjoy in House Flipper 2. It’s certainly not the most in-depth house-builder, but then not everything is The Sims. The plethora of purchasable options for your interior design dreams are wide and full of opportunity, if you’re into that sort of thing.
I’m a man of simple pleasures. Give me a kickass dustbin and a horde of trash bags and I’ll make my own fun. Or I’ll shove your laptop in a fridge, which is a genuine achievement you can unlock in this game. The easy-going, laid-back atmosphere pairs wonderfully with the streamlined and accessible gameplay style. It can run amuck every now and then, like a rotten foundation or a nest of rats, but it’s a good time, for the most part.
Now, most importantly, how does House Flipper 2 look and run? Castle Renovator was more diabolical than the Devil himself. Luckily for my eyeballs and my stomach, House Flipper 2 is much easier on the eyes. Simulator games won’t ever be winning graphical awards, but looking on as your cloth cleaves through grime is oh-so gratifying.
The lack of textures on basically everything is impressively lacking, but the style this kind of game goes for doesn’t really rely on the typical metrics for graphical beauty. Loads of colour schemes, surfaces to mess around with, objects you can throw about, it all looks and sounds decent. Bask in your hard-worked paint jobs and appreciate the finer art of vacuuming, House Flipper 2 will satisfy the cleaning urge.
Halls To The Wall
House Flipper 2 was a pleasant surprise. My previous foray into the genre had ended in relative disaster, so it took something drastic to save my disdain. Luckily, I’ve been able to bear witness to the kind of cosey satisfaction that these types of games revel in.
Is House Flipper 2 perfect? Definitely not. Having said that, I thoroughly enjoyed my time scrubbing walls, knocking down rooms and making mountains of poorly placed furniture. I’m certainly not going to be quitting my day job to be appearing on Selling Sunset, that’s for sure. But, if you’re in for a good dozen hours of chill vibes and relaxing cleaning therapy, House Flipper 2 has you covered.
House Flipper 2 showed me the joy of cleaning, throwing out the trash and donning my paint roller. I thoroughly hate cleaning and interior decor discussions in real life, but there’s an innate satisfaction that comes with doing it virtually the real world just can’t replicate. It has some issues and it might be too chilled for its own good in places, but House Flipper 2 is a DIY project worth taking on.
House Flipper 2 releases December 14th on PC (review platform), with a console release scheduled for March 21st, 2024.
Developer: Frozen District, Empyrean
Publisher: Frozen District, PlayWay S.A
Disclaimer: In order to complete this review, we were provided with a promotional copy of the game. For our full review policy, please go here.
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