House Flipper Review

House Flipper is, as the title says, a game about flipping houses. For those who are unfamiliar with the concept, house flipping is comprised of purchasing a house for cheap (usually something in the rundown hovel department)–then fixing it up–all with the intent of selling it to make a profit. It’s a time consuming and very technical process, requiring you to demolish walls, install new fixtures, change decor, tile, panel, fix plumbing and electrical aspects, and clean up a huge mess to say the least. Then, of course, there’s finding a buyer and the negotiation of prices. House Flipper does all of this to the best of its ability and attempts to maintain a fair amount of realism in the process, so if this sounds like your cup of tea, read on.
When you start House Flipper, you’re given access to a beat up old house that you call your office and a computer through which you can receive emails from prospective clients. It’s through these jobs that you’re able to make enough money to fund your renovations. This selection of odd jobs also serves as a soft tutorial to show you the ropes of how to go about flipping houses with the tools at your disposal.
Your tool kit includes:
Your bare hands–The most basic tool. Used to move objects and discard trash.
Vacuum–Used to clean up glass and cockroaches.
Mop–Used to clean up dirt and grime.
Paint brush–Self explanatory.
Price gun–Used to sell off items. Worthless items like trash are simply discarded, so don’t think you can nickel and dime your way to riches.
Option to build walls–Also self explanatory.
Option to build lintels–A lintel (and I had to look it up) is a horizontal support of timber, stone, concrete, or steel across the top of a door or window.
Sledgehammer–Used to break down walls.
Putty knife–for tiling and panelling.
A tablet–Through which you’ll order any paint, tiles, appliances, and furniture. It’s also used to assign skill points and review information.

Jobs ask you to do things like install fixtures, paint walls, change furniture, and add on rooms. There’s a level of realism to gameplay: sinks need to be attached to the wall and the plumbing hooked up and wall sockets need to be removed, then rewired, and reattached. These tasks can be done simply by aiming the cursor and holding down R2, and they’re a nice bit of detail; however, not everything is realistic. Demolition jobs, for example, require you to break down walls without putting down tarp or even cleaning up the chunks of wall that fall as a result. As you continue to flip houses, you’ll unlock new skills that will streamline the process. Want to paint more quickly? There’s a skill for that. Want to get paid more for jobs? There’s a skill for that, too. There are only a handful of skills, but they do set achievable milestones that reward you just for playing.
House Flipper isn’t without its flaws.
There’s no ability to check what needs to be done outside of wandering into the correct room and seeing the prompt–and even then, sometimes that’s vague. I found myself having to back out of cleaning a house in order to go back to my laptop at home base just to figure out what “mount the device” was referring to. This could have easily been fixed by adding a quest list to the tablet. There’s also a lot of repeat assets, each of which look a little blocky and dated for a game that costs 29.99. This isn’t game breaking to say the least, but it does make me feel as though this game was meant to have the support of the community, which would mean more a wider array of options. On that note, the controls are also very obviously designed for PC, imitating a cursor, which is not as comfortably moved with a thumb stick. For whatever reasons, objects don’t snap to and there’s no grid lines, making it sometimes difficult to align things. I could have also gone without the background music on an endless loop.

While you are working on your own house masterpiece, a list of viable buyers will comment on your actions. Those higher up on the list are willing to pay more, so it’s worthwhile aiming to create a space that will make these folks feel at home.  Unfortunately, the buyers seem more interested in your cleaning up the place than actual style decisions, so it’s anyone’s guess if picking certain appliances and paint colours will actually net you more brownie points. You can check a sort of bio for each buyer via the tablet and tailor the interior based on that information, but that strategy is hit or miss.
What I like most about House Flipper is the unexpected Zen of working on houses. There’s a definite rhythm to cleaning up a mess and then re/painting, re/flooring, adding new decor… These tasks, no matter how humdrum, are somehow made fun by the face that this is a video game and that’s an admiral feat.

.Bottom Line.

Is House Flipper a good game? Yes–for the right audience, anyway. My score strictly reflects the PS4 adaptation, which still needs some tweaking. Seeing as this isn’t the sort of game that will appeal to just anyone, I’m sure you already know if you fall into the “right audience” category even before reading my recommendation.

REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Playstation 4 code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to editor@bonusstage.co.uk.

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House Flipper Review
  • Gameplay - 6/10
    6/10
  • Graphics - 6/10
    6/10
  • Sound - 6/10
    6/10
  • Replay Value - 6/10
    6/10
User Review
0 (0 votes)
Comments Rating 0 (0 reviews)
Overall
6/10

Summary

Though it lacks a coat of polish, House Flipper is a weirdly engrossing take on putting things in order and making a profit.

Pros

  • Variety of activities and tools to get the job done.
  • Freedom to play the way you want. Structured odd jobs or free-form house flipping? Or a mix of both? You decide.
  • Endless replay value.

Cons

  • Menus obviously made for PC and are awkward to navigate.
  • No guiding lines or snap function, making it difficult to place objects.
  • Lacks polish.
  • Noticeable load times.
  • Limited appeal.