So I logged in the other day and saw a surprise addition to Game Pass, House Flipper. It’s a game that has been on my wishlist for a bit, but I never pulled the trigger on it, so I was excited. House Flipper is a 2018 simulation game in which you… well, flip houses.
When you first load up House Flipper, you are given an office and told to access your in-game computer. The ultimate goal of the game is to become a successful House Flipper, but you don’t start with much in the way of money. So instead of buying houses, you start with taking jobs from people. The first several jobs serve as a tutorial for most of what you will do in the game. The first job has you cleaning up a house and installing a radiator. From there, you will get jobs that have you do things like install bathroom items, fix outlets, more cleaning, painting, etc. Each one is designed to show you how to identify problems in houses and fix them.
You will eventually move on to things like full-scale remodels. Actually knocking out and building new walls, completely redesigning rooms, etc. As I said, these tasks serve as a tutorial with step-by-step instructions showing how to do each of these things. Eventually, the jobs will just be a way to add to your bank account.
Then there are the houses you can buy. They range in size and the work needed to flip them. Some of the more expensive houses, many of them based on pop culture references like Dracula, Home Alone, and Friends, you can even just go in and clean up without having to do any work. These are the least satisfying, to be honest.
The most fun, although repetitious in a way, is the smaller homes. They will often need a lot of work and give you a chance to flex your creative muscles with remodeling and designing the house.
Once you complete all the tasks and sell all the homes, you can redo them either for achievement hunting or just for fun. But this is where the game sort of… lacks.
While the game is extremely fun for the first several hours, it starts to stall a bit after that. As I said, a lot of the more expensive houses are massive and already well designed. There is really nothing to them. The smaller houses, once they are done, again, until you sell everything, you are locked out of, so you reach a point where you are just cleaning and selling until you can access all the houses again.
Not only that, but even the more fun aspects of the game are repetitious. Once you learn how to do everything in the game, that is all you are doing. Patching things, installing stuff, designing rooms, selling, repeating. There is an almost zen-like and soothing quality to doing this, and it really does feel creative and fun, but it gets… stale after a while.
I think it highlights that the best way to play this game would be to do a house or two every once in a while. Don’t sit down and try to burn through it, but have it as one of those games you play while listening to your podcasts or whatever. Or to visit when you need something low stakes and more relaxing.
I ended up playing it A LOT when I first installed it and went from having a lot of fun to feeling a bit eh about the experience. It is really easy to just keep playing when you first get it, it’s just that type of game, but you will start to feel that boredom seep in. After stepping back and only playing a bit and then moving on, it felt less like a grind, and I got closer to the early feeling, although I never fully recaptured it.
Controls are solid and easy enough to get used to. Music and sounds are fine, although I turn the volume way down and end up listening to or watching something else while playing. There are a decent amount of options, so you aren’t rebuilding the same thing over and over again, but it is a bit limited, so you will start to feel a bit blah about installing the same bathroom or kitchen, etc.
I will say a few of the tasks were a bit irksome. One I had a lot of issues with is the one teaching the player how to do a sauna. You are limited in choices with tasks, and you must complete them how the game thinks you should. The problem is that they wanted way too much crammed into the sauna room. I ended up getting frustrated fighting the game, trying to get “me” to fit along with all the stuff. I got stuck multiple times, and it was annoying, and the fact was it was all due to the game wanting the player to put too much into the space. There were a few tasks like this where the game was asking something that wouldn’t make sense. However, these issues were few and far between.
So bottom line? I really enjoy this game and look forward to keeping playing it to get all the achievements and finish off the houses I haven’t done. – I decided to go ahead and do my thoughts because I finished all the tasks and have solid a variety of houses – However, I can see how once you done, you might just be done. I wish there was a little more variety in the game and maybe a few fewer houses to keep it from feeling like too much of a grind. I would recommend it, especially if you have Game Pass. If you don’t, the price is fairly reasonable, especially given the age of the game. Overall I have more positives than negatives… but I would maybe avoid binge-playing it like I did to avoid hitting that wall like I was starting to.