Welcome to the world of House Flipper, where the only limitation on how to make money is your own imagination. As you can tell, this game sees you playing the role of a one-person renovation crew. You are the designer, cleaner, architect and salesman in this experience, and how you make your fortune lies squarely upon you. House Flipper was designed by Empyrean and was published by PlayWay S.A.,Frozen District. They have created games such as Body of Evidence, Warfield and Slinger VR, to name a few.
House Flipper: Humble Beginnings
As the opening paragraph summed up, you are a one-man band, and your task is to turn around properties for a profit. It’s time to get those hands dirty and start scrubbing them floors as you will be doing a LOT of this. You start off with a small shack, very basic comforts and a laptop. From there, you begin your career as you take on jobs to supply yourself with the funds needed to take on further jobs, renovating properties that are in need of some much needed TLC. In my playthrough, I started off small, doing the odd jobs here and there for the in-game clients. Some will ask you to clean up a house, others will have you knocking down walls as their kids have outgrown the two-bed property and need more space. Some will be homeowners who will be begging you to clean up after tenants whom have been evicted and have left the property in a right state of affairs. These are the jobs where you begin to explore the mechanics of the game, how it all works and you start to understand what works and what doesn’t. As you progress, the more manual labour you perform and the more skills you acquire, thus enabling you to perform said tasks at a much more comfortable rate. These are split up into the following 6 categories: Handyman, Building, Painting, Demolition, Cleaning and Negotiation. These skills affect how fast you build walls, how hard you demolish walls (my favourite thing to do), paint rooms and negotiate selling prices to clients for maximum profit.
You Missed a Bit
House Flipper is the sort of game you can relax with as the simulation of running your own empire lies entirely up to you. Want to get as much done as quickly as you can? Go for it. Rack up the money by completing as many jobs as you can. Or, if you’re the opposite and like to take your time, that too is an option, and you can clean every nook and cranny to make sure no stone is left unturned. This was most relevant when on a job where a customer asked me to clean their property as a group of unruly students had trashed the apartment, leaving a horrible mess in their wake. It took me over 35 minutes to find all the dirt that needed cleaning in the house, moving furniture to one side to find the one speck of dirt that had been avoiding me.
After you have amassed a small fortune (which doesn’t take too long), you can buy your first property and really make your mark. No longer do you have to work to a customer’s predefined objective of making a room be sky blue with grey side walls. You are the client, and you will be making your mark. Having bought my first property, the house looked to be in a state of disrepair: broken furniture, cockroach infested kitchen, and boxes upon boxes lay strewn across all floors. So far, I had my work cut out for me. However, you have a panel of potential buyers viewing your every move, weighing up your choices and deciding how much they liked those green walls you just painted. This is a fun little distraction from taking on jobs and can really make you some big money if you play your cards right.
Whilst performing these tasks, you come to grips with the game’s mini-tasks, assembling showers, toilets, radiators and the like in a simplified step-by-step virtual IKEA instruction (with less frustration as you don’t have to account for all the missing parts). Each fitting is assembled while holding the left mouse button until that portion of the task is complete. Then voila, you have yourself a working shower or radiator ready for the client’s arrival on the completion of the job. But, this is where the longevity of this title comes into the forefront. After my first few hours of gameplay, I started to feel that so much more could have been added to House Flipper to keep me coming back for more. I wanted to extend my reach outside of the houses and be able to landscape the gardens, make patios and plant trees to really make my house have that extra wow factor. But as it stands, these are sadly lacking from the product. That’s not to say that these won’t be considered for future expansions as this would give the game a more well-rounded polish and finish to this simulation experience, thus having endless possibilities for creative design both to the interior and exteriors.
All in all, this is a relaxing game for those who want to unwind, spend their time building and selling on houses for profit. Though the longevity of this title can be called into question, and once you have mastered the mechanics of the game, it will quickly become a case of rinse and repeat.
Publisher: PlayWay S.A., Frozen District.
Release Date: 17th May 2018
For more information on House Flipper, click HERE
We reviewed Cluster Truck on Nintendo Switch, a wacky truck hopping game, read it HERE