House Flipper 2 is fiendishly difficult to stop playing. Transforming homes from veritable garbage dumps into enviously slick pads through renovating, decorating and furnishing simply doesn’t get old.
Gamified tasks are simple yet rewarding
Tons of decoration and furniture options
Lengthy load times
Dialogue choices interrupt play
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Platform reviewed: PC
Available on: PC
Release date: December 14, 2023
House Flipper 2 scratches the age-old itch of transforming a house into a home. As a renovator based in the fictional town of Pinnacove, you run a business that involves visiting or buying houses that have seen better days, and transforming them into something much more liveable.
You’ll never be short of work, either, as Pinnacove is to shoddy shacks what Powerwash Simulator’s Muckingham is to dirt and grime. Meaning there’s a nigh-on endless stream of buildings to rescue from tragic neglect. Granted, renovating houses doesn’t exactly sound like a thrilling time. But the way House Flipper 2 gamifies tasks like cleaning, painting, collecting trash and constructing walls allows for simple play that’s both accessible and delightfully moreish.
House Flipper 2 is a vastly improved version of the first game. Additions like voiced dialogue and a basic narrative help to further ground you in its world, sometimes making you feel like you’re helping piece together a whole picture as you complete tasks around town. While some fairly long load times do frustrate, there’s really very little to fault Frozen District’s latest renovation sim for.
The house that Jack built
There are two main styles of play in House Flipper 2. At your home base upon starting the game, you’ll first be introduced to Tasks. These are accessed via your inbox, and will have you visiting houses with some preset goals to take care of. For example, a person may require you to simply clean out their garage by throwing away trash and cleaning up stubborn stains. Another might have you renovating an attic room for a family member, in which you’ll paint the walls and place down new items of furniture.
There’s a lot of variety in House Flipper 2’s tasks. And while they grow to become much more involving missions over time, when you’re starting out they act as fantastic tutorials that’ll allow you to gradually unlock new tools and perks through the game’s experience system. Basically, the more you accomplish certain tasks like cleaning, decorating and so on, you’ll earn perk points to make your job more efficient. Examples here include a wider paint roller, and larger garbage bags letting you fit in more trash before needing to dispose of it.
Buying an old, run down house and flipping it into a luxurious abode is equal parts involving and rewarding. Especially when you list your hard work on the auction house and make a huge profit.
Tasks act as the best possible preparation for that second style of play, which is where you’ll eventually be spending most of your time in the game, and this is the act of house flipping itself. From your home base - once you’ve earned enough cash by completing Tasks - you’re able to purchase rundown houses for the purpose of renovation.
House flipping is a much more involved endeavor, as there are no preset tasks or objectives for you to meet. Instead, you’re left entirely to your own devices to turn the house around. Here, it’s you who gets to choose what hue to paint the walls, what furniture to invest in. And later on, once you unlock the sledgehammer, how exactly you want the floor plan to be laid out.
It’s easy to spend countless hours on a single house. In the house flipping mode, I did initially find the whole process to be a little overwhelming given the amount of freedom you have. But once you’ve got a solid plan in mind, investing your time and hard-earned cash into creating something unique pays off when you hand it over to the auction house for a big profit. And if you want to try again with an entirely different approach, it’s as easy as rebuying the house via your in-game workspace.
Another element where House Flipper 2 excels in comparison to the first game is with its overall presentation. The sequel looks much more vivid and colorful than the relatively drab palette of the first. This helps create a greater distinction between a neglected hovel and the finished product. The improved visual design makes it all the more common to step back, look at your handiwork, crack a smile and think: “yep, I did that.”
Your busywork is further helped by House Flipper 2’s wonderfully relaxing soundtrack and brilliant sound design. Wooden floors satisfyingly squeak as you clean them. Fresh paint rests on walls with a suitably sticky register. Little things like this make the experience feel more grounded and immersive.
House Flipper 2 doesn’t feature any notable accessibility options at launch. Subtitles are baked into voiced conversations. There’s no colorblind settings to speak of. You are able to adjust various elements of mouse sensitivity, such as when cleaning windows. But besides that, there isn’t anything particularly accommodating.
Fully-voiced phone calls add to this as well. House Flipper 2 features some excellent voice acting which you’ll get to listen to on a handful of missions. You’re able to respond to the person on the phone, too, with a set of dialogue choices to help guide the conversation. These can be a little irksome, admittedly, as they’ll briefly take control away from your renovating. You can choose to skip the call entirely if you’d prefer to just get on with it, but that does mean losing some of the game’s charm.
Lastly, load times do tend to be on the longer side, especially noticeable when you’re loading into a larger house that features hundreds of individual objects. This isn’t a massive issue, as during play there isn’t a hint of stuttering or additional load times. But do expect to sometimes be waiting upwards of half a minute when loading into those bigger maps, even with the game stored on an SSD.
Thankfully, these minor shortcomings have done nothing to halt my enjoyment of House Flipper 2. The superbly satisfying process of renovating properties lends the game such a strong ‘one more house’ element that often had me playing for much longer than I’d intended. If you’ve enjoyed the first House Flipper, or indeed other job sims like Powerwash Simulator, then this sequel is an absolutely essential play.
Rhys is TRG's Hardware Editor, and has been part of the TechRadar team for more than two years. Particularly passionate about high-quality third-party controllers and headsets, as well as the latest and greatest in fight sticks and VR, Rhys strives to provide easy-to-read, informative coverage on gaming hardware of all kinds. As for the games themselves, Rhys is especially keen on fighting and racing games, as well as soulslikes and RPGs.