House Flipper 2 Review – Flippin’ Good Time

House Flipper 2 Review - Flippin' Good Time

When game developer Frozen District released House Flipper back in 2018, they clearly had plans well beyond the base game, as evidenced by the five expansions that followed. It was through these subsequent expansions that the developers were able to experiment with what worked and what didn’t. The Gardening DLC allowed players to work on the outside as well as the inside; suddenly, creating a garden that matched the house was a reality. The HGTV expansion brought about the ability to make choices during renovations which would eventually lead to the creation of quests. Luxury Flipper saw the removal of the somewhat terrifying 3D characters replaced with 2D ones that oozed the personality that was lacking previously. By the final Pets DLC, it seemed Frozen District had found their groove and that is reflected in their sequel, House Flipper 2. 

It may seem strange for a game about making a profit from selling houses, but House Flipper 2 has a story. Unlike previous games, players can choose between a male or female protagonist, who you will never see anyway and has no bearing on the story. They’ve grown tired of their job and have moved back to their hometown of Pinnacove to try their hand at flipping houses to make money, only to find their childhood home empty and half finished. It turns out their parents had taken a page out of their book and decided to move, getting a fresh start, leaving the half-renovated house to the player. The place would look better after a fire –  I am not joking. It was a shock to the senses initially, but I found it entertaining that they had no interior decorating sense. I can only take so much yellow backed animal print wallpaper. To make matters worse, the Protagonist’s real estate mate Tom, informs them that the “ugliest house” job they wanted to take on has been put on hold due to funding issues. Originally destined to become a community centre, the ugliest house in Pinnacove has instead gained internet fame causing it to become a hotspot for tourists. In the meantime, why not brush up on those house flipping skills while chilling to the soundtrack? 

Taking on jobs sent via emails, players can earn money doing odd jobs requested of them. As their reputation grows, so will the variety of jobs. This is reflected in the tools available in the tool wheel. Players start off with just the basic cleaning and rubbish collecting tools. This allows new or returning players to get used to the controls and how the tool wheel works. Cleaning and rubbish are placed near each other to make it easier to switch between the two. As the tools are used, the experience gathered from that will give the player skill points allowing them to upgrade the tools. This includes things like picking up more rubbish from a wider area than normal, or having a rubbish bag that is twice as big as the starting one. These upgrades, called Perks in game, are worth grabbing as soon as they become available, especially the quick cleaning one. Just like in real life, there will be a lot of cleaning required and being able to get it done quickly is an important life skill. Vacuuming however is the most pointless tool in the game. While the original game required the vacuum to get rid of pesky roaches, House Flipper 2 has removed the roaches but left the vacuum in, adding an unnecessary tool to the wheel. It’s just cleaning with extra steps. 

Demolishing and building have seen minor changes since the first House Flipper. Originally, the controls for building were slow and restrictive. Building walls took time even with the speed perks and it was isolated to just interior walls. This is a thing of the past. Players can select the width, height and depth of the wall anywhere, including outside! This opens a wider realm of possibilities for players, allowing them to design garages and change the existing floor plans. Of course, that sometimes requires knocking down existing walls. Another slow tool in House Flipper, demolishing required multiple hits just to get rid of one section. Not the entire wall, a single section. This has been significantly improved by only requiring one hit in the sequel. This does mean that it is easier to make mistakes if players aren’t using the precision mode but as precision mode only hits one brick at a time, it’s slow and cumbersome. 

The tool that has undergone the most change is painting. In the original game, painting was done a strip at a time, whereas now, players select an outline and then paint anyway inside it. While the new version speeds up painting and feels more intuitive, I miss the Zen feel of the original one. Compounding my annoyance at these changes was a variety of minor irritations and bugs. The wider roller is a good idea, but it can’t paint smaller areas which seems silly. If it’s already selected, let me paint it! Don’t make me stop, shrink my roller and start again. Ugh! Speaking of stopping and starting, the new mode locks the character into place, forcing them to paint smaller areas, so I’m unsure how much faster it’s meant to be. Just give me the option to paint in strips!  The addition of the wiring tool, which allows players to link lights to switches, is a small quality of life improvement that made me so happy and is easily my favourite, along with the ability to copy colour schemes from one item of furniture to another.  

Installing items was a core part of the original House Flipper. When installing plumbing items like a shower, players would have to attach the pipes and tighten the fasteners. For electrical items, it required wiring to be done. That’s no longer present in House Flipper 2, instead Players can assemble furniture in their workshop for a persistent discount. These discounts will vary based on the item’s complexity as well as completion, speed and quality of the build. Unfortunately, I found the assembly process infuriating. The game gives less instructions than a language independent flat-pack manual while forcing the players to follow the arbitrary order of operations desired by the devs. For example, all the dowels on a build must be placed before being hammered in, whereas I would normally hammer them in right after placing them. This caused issues because if screws were on opposite sides, it would require moving the camera which was downright awful. It moves so quickly, and I found myself fighting with it while trying to direct it where I wanted. This wouldn’t be so bad if the discount was good, but for the desk, which I struggled with, I would only get a paltry 7% off all future purchases. After completing the story mode, I wasn’t exactly hurting for cash which made the assembly mode feel like it was added to give the game more substance.  

While the bulk of House Flipper 2 is the Story mode, it really is just a long tutorial to get players ready to flip entire houses and auction them off for a profit. The benefit of this is the freedom to do what you want, while the downside is that this was the buggiest section of the game for me. As I mentioned before, certain areas wouldn’t paint no matter how much I tried. Sections of paths that I had laid wouldn’t take on the surface I was applying to them, just leaving strange patterns in the pathway. I gave up on the roof entirely as once it is placed, the only way to fix it is to sell the whole thing and try again. I tried to extend the verandah, only to find I couldn’t sell the existing one and the new one was always half a brick higher or half a brick lower than the existing one. Other times I would try to place stairs or fences, only for it to refuse to put the item where I want but instead would place it anywhere around it. When I tried to eventually sell the house, I had difficulty with that because the house shown on the auction site was a completely different house to the one I had renovated! Luckily, these are all small things that can be easily fixed with a patch or two.  

Overall, House Flipper 2 is an improved version of the game players know and love. The soundtrack is more of the same as the first game, not that it’s a bad thing! They’ve kept the silly stories of the jobs intact and even improved it by having the characters talk on the phone. It has a few glitches here and there, and I would love for them to add an option to go back to the old style of painting, but it’s still an enjoyable time, nonetheless. I will forever be amused at the fact that the character’s parents have dreadful interior decorator taste and it’s these small, odd things that make House Flipper 2 fun and unique. I still don’t understand the hidden refrigerator fan room though.  

House Flipper 2 was reviewed on PC with a code kindly supplied by PR.

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