PC, PS5, Xbox Series X|S
December 14, 2023
Frozen District, PlayWay S.A.
Empyrean, Frozen District
House Flipper 2 is the aptly named follow-up to 2018’s House Flipper, developed in Poland by Red Dot Games, Empyrean Games and published by Frozen District. Development for the sequel started all the way back in 2020 and the size of the development team has more than doubled compared to the first game. House Flipper 2 is built from a new code base, meaning this one has got the full flip treatment itself and is brand spanking new from the ground up.
I randomly got into the original House Flipper via Xbox Game Pass when I was looking for something to pass the time. Little did I know that I would be catching the renovation bug and before long purchased all of the DLC as well, Pets, Gardens and Luxury. Since then I’ve sunk probably far too many hours redecorating houses. Suffice to say, I was excited for this sequel.
The premise is very simple: complete tasks for clients, earn money, then buy and renovate your own properties for profit. Right from the get-go, it’s clear that House Flipper 2 is not your typical by-the-numbers sequel. Unfortunately in this genre, a typical follow-up usually consists of the original with bolted-on features and a fresh coat of paint. Alas, this one really does feel crisp, fresh and new. You might wonder when it comes to a simple concept such as renovating houses – what more can a developer do to improve on a series that already pretty much nailed it? Quite a bit it seems.
Aside from the graphics looking extra clean and shiny, there are several little (or big) touches that make this one a worthwhile improvement over the original. Things like cleaning, for example, mopping up stains and scrubbing down walls. In the original it was just sort of like magic, the character’s hand moving around and presto. Here, depending on the surface, it could be a cloth, or it could be a scrubber and you even have a bottle of generic spray and wipe to get rid of that baked-on grime!
This attention to detail moves on to things like picking up rubbish for example; in the original (much like the scrubbing) it was a little magical. Here in House Flipper 2 you are filling up a rubbish bag and then need to chuck it in the bin when it’s full. Yes, these touches mean a lot to me, and I’m sure mean a lot to others in the playerbase.
There are also updates to the way painting works; in the original, it was basically strip by strip. Here, we get to move the mouse around which is far more realistic (although a little more time-consuming) and again another nice little touch that differentiates House Flipper 2 from its already decent predecessor. You get the idea, pretty much every aspect of the original has been rethought and implemented.
Unfortunately, there are a few trade-offs. Assembly is missing from the main parts of the game. One of my favourite things in the original was installing washing machines and air conditioning units, fixing broken power points and the like. There was something about putting the screws in and plugging everything in that I really enjoyed.
Being able to assemble furniture is still technically present in a separate part of the menu, where you learn to put things together IKEA style in exchange for a store discount when you buy them going forward. The actual process is more detailed than the original, it is a lot of fun but I would have liked to be doing it when I am flipping. Or just having it worked into some client jobs.
House Flipper 2 features a bit more of a story this time around, too. We have moved into our parent’s now vacant home (our childhood home) in Pinnacove Suburbs. The trusty laptop returns so we can get emailed jobs from locals to earn some money and get on with things. You also get the odd phone call from clients mid-job to see how things are going and provide some pointers. There are also house flipper books scattered around that you can read to fill you in on the basics.
I found the jobs to be adequately varied and everything from the basic touch-up missions to dealing with the bottom story of a house that was unfortunately flooded and in quite the state of disrepair. The payouts for these are reasonable as well given that some of them can take a fair amount of time. This means it’s not long before purchasing your own house to flip is well within reach. Despite that though, you will still need to do a bunch of the missions to unlock the ability to demolish and build walls for example.
There is plenty of variation to be found here with three distinct areas, Crayfish Coast (beach), Pinnacove Suburbs and Coralroot (forest), the houses in each area have their own flavour and design suited to their surrounding environment. It is an interesting turn because the new districts and map interface reminds me of the expansions from the original.
Given that House Flipper 2 is brand new and built from scratch, obviously, many of the expansions that came in the form of DLC last time around are missing here; this means no proper gardening, no more mowing lawns or installing swimming pools. No more pets and the restoration of antiques from the Luxury DLC for example is missing also. I’ll give the developers the benefit of the doubt here and assume it’s because they couldn’t fit it in for release, not that they want to sell those bits and pieces to us again later.
- Built from the ground up and it shows
- Attention to detail far surpasses the original
- Decent payouts for client jobs
- No assembly and installations in the main game
- Lack of gardening content
- No pets or other previously loved additions
Compared to the original, House Flipper 2 is a more than decent renovation and sale. Built from the ground up it features crisp, clean, better graphics. It features more attention to detail for the little things such as cleaning up, taking out trash and so on. It also features no less than three different environments with houses to match. The client jobs are time well spent, interesting and with decent rewards. After doing my first few ‘flips’ I felt like I did not want to let my creations go. But on the flip side, I miss the assembly and the features added to the original game over time like proper gardening and pets in particular. Those should have been implemented here as standard, but House Flipper 2 still manages to scratch the same satisfying itch as its predecessor.