House Flipper 2 Review – Flippin’ Good

I’ve been eagerly awaiting the release of Frozen District and Empyrean’s house flipping simulator sequel, House Flipper 2, ever since I tried out a 20 minute demo of it at EGX in 2022. Those 20 minutes left a real impression on me – I wanted more. When a much longer demo was released earlier this year featuring a full house flipping experience, I enjoyed it but there were a lot of frustrating quirks which required tweaking for a better experience. After finally playing the full release, I can say with admiration that every single critique I had about that demo has been resolved.

You start off House Flipper 2 by waking up in a house that your parents have generously let you stay in and flip. To do this, you must earn money and learn new house flipping skills by taking on odd jobs, which can be picked up from your emails. House Flipper 2’s map is separated by different areas which will progressively unlock the more jobs you do. As they unlock, so will the houses in that area which you can buy, flip and then auction.

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You can pick up new jobs by checking your emails, which usually contain a fun story behind why they need to hire you. 

The first thing I noticed about House Flipper 2’s quests is how much more fun they are than the game’s predecessor’s. I got quickly bored of the amount of quests in the first House Flipper game that consisted of visiting someone’s house and installing an appliance or radiator. These tasks aren’t fun or satisfying to do in real life, and become less so in a video game. So, I was so pleased to see that these kinds of quests are completely omitted from House Flipper 2. Instead, you’re mostly cleaning, unpacking and renovating people’s homes, and such quests are also partnered with entertaining emails that detail the story of how the house you’re working on got into such a state to begin with.

When you take on a job, certain quests will be laid out for you, highlighted in the house as a large hovering exclamation mark. You can open up the menu when in that room and see what tasks need to be completed. The more tasks you complete, the more stars you will receive from that job and the higher you will be paid. When working on a certain task, you can use your supernatural house flipping powers to sense for any missing spots if you’re cleaning, vacuuming or clearing up rubbish.

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Time to get started…

To start flipping a full house, you need to have unlocked all of the game’s tools and skills. To do this, you must keep completing jobs which will gradually introduce these to you in a form of a tutorial for you to then use at your own device when flipping and selling a property you own. There are 11 in total that are accessible from a tool wheel and you can also build experience to unlock perks, making you far more efficient at each skill the more you play House Flipper 2.

The ‘hands’ function simply allows you to pick up and move items around. The ‘Flipper Tool’ is for selling items, and then later duplicating or editing existing items or copying their style over to another item once you have unlocked these perks. The ‘collecting trash’ skill has you open up a trash bag and collect any rubbish in the house and garden, each trash bag has a limited capacity so you’ll need to fill it up and then take it to the outdoor bin. The ‘cleaning’ skill has you wipe away dirt and stains from every surface and the ‘vacuuming’ tool allows you to vacuum up any smaller pieces off the floor. The ‘demolishing’ skill gives you a jackhammer which you can knock down walls with either in large swings or more precise hits for small holes. The ‘building’ skill then allows you to lay down bricks to create either flooring or walls. The ‘edit wiring’ skill edits existing wiring. ‘Surface finishes’ allows you to lay down panels or tiles. And finally ‘painting’ lets you paint the walls and floors.

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Are you aware that you’re reading the review of a garbage throwing champion? 

Nearly every single gameplay mechanic in House Flipper 2 improves on its predecessor. Everything feels far more satisfying and enjoyable. Rather than painting in restricted strips like in the first game, House Flipper 2 adopts a more free-hand method which feels much more immersive. There’s also a new paint borders mechanic which allows you to set an area that you want to paint in to prevent you from going over the lines which I really appreciated. As you progress in this skill, you can also turn this mechanic off which allows you to freely paint whatever you want with no borders if you wish. Building walls now has you lay down bricks, smooth cement over them, and then lay down the next row. This feels far more satisfying than how the mechanic was in the first game, and has also been improved since the demo as it feels a lot less finicky to use and more streamlined. The same can be said for laying down tiles and panels as we no longer need to apply a layer of adhesive beforehand. Tiles and panels are now properly visible in the store too so it’s much easier to see what style you have selected.

Another improvement from the demo is how manuals are handled. Rather than endless pop-up tutorials, House Flipper 2 uses manuals which you can refer to at any point. My issue with these in the demo was that there were tons of them and I had nowhere to put them other than piling them outside. They’re now able to be sold, so you can get rid of them once you know what you’re doing.

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Painting borders are a godsend for those of us who are always accidentally painting over the lines. 

As I reached the point of needing to unlock the final two tools and skills I did find myself rushing through jobs so that I could finally fully flip my first house. That being said, House Flipper 2 does get you to this point much quicker than its predecessor. And if you have no interest at all in completing the jobs, it does offer a sandbox mode. I was mildly annoyed that when I was finally able to flip my first house, I decided to renovate the parents’ house first as our mum left a note saying that we can flip it and then sell this to afford something else to flip. I spent hours doing so and when the time came to buy another house and move on, a message popped up to say I couldn’t sell the parents’ house as it didn’t belong to me. I felt like the game intentionally leads the player on with this, even referencing our mother’s note by saying ‘despite what your mum says’. It just felt like a massive waste of time.

My favorite part about House Flipper 2 is that it allows you to shut off your brain and relax with some cleaning or painting when you want to, and then you can be fully creative when you feel inspired, making it the perfect cozy game. I would say it is limited by a lack of items in its store for now, especially in the decorations section, but this is something that can and probably will be improved on in future updates and DLC. I also noticed that certain fittings and items found in existing homes weren’t available in the game’s store, especially certain window designs. I personally think that anything found in an existing home design should also be purchasable in the game’s store. You can, however, upload your own images to be framed and hung up in the house you are renovating. I found this to be a really handy addition to the game, opening up new doors in terms of freedom and creativity.

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The new image uploading mechanic opens up endless amounts of doors in terms of creativity. 

There’s very little that I would suggest to improve House Flipper 2 as all of my criticisms of the demo have been actively worked and improved on. In fact, any suggestions I had on my mind while playing the full release turned into something that would just be unlocked later on through perks such as item duplication and the ability to edit already bought items. I did, however, feel like there wasn’t a wide enough color palette when coloring certain items and that a color wheel would have worked better. Although there are plenty of colors to choose from, when I was looking for something to specifically match a natural material, such as mahogany flooring, I could not find a color that would work. There are also no curtains or carpeting.

Of course, House Flipper 2 also has a graphical improvement to its predecessor. It maintains a soft look which I think is best for a cozy style, while also having better lighting to show off different textures and materials. I also noticed that finer details in the stitching of different furniture covers were visible so picking a material for furniture actually matters this time. The game also has day and night lighting, which can be irksome when you need natural lighting to see what you’re doing – but this does also allow you to see what your creation looks like at any time of day so that you can also experiment with different lighting. The store does have construction lighting to purchase so that you can continue painting at night. 

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Not bad.

The music is inoffensive which is perfect for a creative game such as this one that requires focus and spending hours as a time on one level. It’s cheerful enough to be relaxing and create a chill vibe while also being subtle enough to not become noticeably repetitive. I did end up switching to my own music but this wasn’t because I found the game’s music annoying, just that I wanted to listen to something that would spark more creativity.

House Flipper 2 improves on nearly every gameplay mechanic of its predecessor, creating a much more relaxing, satisfying and immersive experience which can only get better as more content is inevitably added in the future. If you enjoyed the first House Flipper game, you will love House Flipper 2.

Jess played House Flipper 2 on PC with a review code.

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