Review of House Flipper 2 – an addicting and calming game where you renovate and design homes.
As we are constantly reminded during this time of year through lists of the best games and award shows, interactive entertainment has the ability to change our perspective and potentially have a profound impact on us. However, House Flipper 2 does not aim for any of that. It is similar to PowerWash Simulator, which is also great, in that it offers a digital version of popping bubble wrap with the added bonus of earning points for particularly satisfying pops. With its Sims-like tool for designing homes, this game may not be a gripping and emotional adventure that will be the highlight of the holiday season, but it does provide enjoyable and relaxing periods of time for completing mundane tasks.
As a young, financially-strapped fixer-upper, you begin the game living in a run-down house gifted to you by your parents. Through email, you will take on various jobs in the town of Pinnacove. One of your first tasks may involve cleaning up after a troublesome raccoon, but as you progress, you will have the opportunity to do more skilled tasks such as painting, tiling, and furnishing. Eventually, you can even purchase rundown buildings and transform them into beautiful homes, selling them for a profit.
Each task in this game is a simple minigame on its own. Cleaning involves holding down a button to remove stains from walls or floors, while rubbish collecting requires clicking items, tying a bag, and placing it in a wheelie bin. Game designer John Romero once described shooters as a form of screen-cleaning, tapping into the inherent satisfaction of clearing a level of messy enemies. The game’s environmental design, checklists, and the gratification of transforming a dirty surface into a sparkling one all come together to create an addictively satisfying experience. The game’s various tools, such as using a sledgehammer on walls or squeegeeing dirty windows, each offer their own unique satisfaction.
The game utilizes two impressive techniques that enhance the overall experience. The first is an instant scan feature that eliminates stress by highlighting hidden stains, misplaced snack wrappers, and destructible walls. This approach showcases the game’s intention as a methodical and calming checklist, as opposed to a frustrating search for hidden objects. The second technique involves purchasing specific items or unpacking boxes of trinkets, but allows players the freedom to arrange them however they please. As long as the client’s needs are met, the furnishings can be scattered randomly or thoughtfully arranged. Surprisingly, I often felt compelled to provide my potential clients with a comfortable living space, even going as far as picking up fallen lamps or organizing books by color. Playing House Flipper 2 transformed me into a charitable renovator, and I view this as a deeper exploration of morality compared to Bioshock.
The game’s improved graphics add to the enjoyment of transforming a cluttered attic into a beautiful three-bedroom area. There are also experience points and perks, as the game now incorporates RPG elements.
Can this provide a practical understanding of owning and managing property? It’s unlikely. However, it can still be enjoyable and following the advice of avoiding avocado toast may actually help you afford to climb the property ladder.