House Flipper 2 — Review
Certainly familiar, especially for self-employed individuals who spend a significant part of their day working to put food on their own or their family's table (including those little beings constantly babbling or asking why). If your profession isn't "heir" or a similarly lucrative position, it's very likely that, after a demanding day, you come home with the aim of unwinding, not perceiving anything around, and simply mindlessly watching TV, browsing through Netflix (so you don't choose anything and end up with Colombo on Showtime) or firing up a simulator of any activity. Where all you need to do is click, and somehow everything happens.
We've had many of those, and most of the time, it wasn't worth a dirty slipper. However, House Flipper, primarily thanks to its add-ons, has become a staple on the hard drives of people who just want to unwind. Or rev up on a Saturday morning – there's nothing better than clicking around a bit in House Flipper before real handiwork, only to find out that, in reality, it's not that simple. Perfect title for the Steam Deck. While it may not dazzle with graphics, the interface is modest (but functional), and there's so much content in the game that the simulator of the hourly husband is probably the only thing I've been able to completely tune out. The arrival of the sequel was thus greeted with personal applause and excitement.
House Flipper 2, much like its predecessor, involves the previously mentioned activities in your virtual career. You accept offers, paint rooms, tidy up messes, sell unnecessary or damaged furniture, and buy new items. You can redecorate rooms, demolish or build walls, install a new floating floor, apply wallpaper, tile, and earn money for everything. This time, you have a choice of three environments (city, beach, and forest), and the contracts offer hints of a story, making the tasks more engaging. This lasts for about two dozen hours, teaching you the basics.
However, it still involves linear clicking on objects and tasks set by a contractor. You might not want that particular bed in the bedroom or paint the living room baby blue. Hard-earned money can be invested in buying new properties, where you do everything necessary, but this time without the strict rules of contractors. So, you design everything according to your taste (or lack thereof), sell the result at an auction for the highest sum, and the cycle continues. While it offers a richer environment with more details and a different control scheme, there are fewer items compared to the previous version that includes all the add-ons. There's not much more, even though additional hours of gameplay are guaranteed.
So, no digging in the garden in front of the house, a massive variety of luxurious items to decorate virtual households, no pets, bunkers, or farms. Although there are three environments, all with significant potential, especially in the future. Currently, it's good for hours of exploring everything, but the first installment offered much more. Just so you know, after we've endured the nitpicking (poke, poke, poke), we can focus on the positive. Firstly, yes, there's limited content, but more will surely come. We've seen this before with The Sims series, and it won't be different for House Flipper 2. It's simply the fate of a sequel that had to come, and most of us wanted it because the original occasionally looked somewhat unappealing, to put it mildly.
House Flipper 2 stands out from its predecessor (for which there is no ode on Sectore, poke - poke - poke at one's own finger) primarily in its improved appearance, more detailed graphics, and slightly different controls. The process of collecting garbage or selling unnecessary items remains the same, and now you can copy objects or surfaces as templates, providing significant assistance. Flooring, tiles, or wallpapers are placed in a square grid, and demolishing walls or constructing them involves determining the starting and ending points in three dimensions. The most significant change is in painting, which now copies a square grid. Instead of painting entire strips, you use a roller precisely where needed. If you fear painting what you don't want, you can set boundaries (and unlike reality, you won't get frustrated when removing the tape).
Otherwise, everything remains the same. It's a mystery how it all works, but it simply compels people to play every evening while the family watches TV. You won't be as engrossed as when playing Baldur's Gate III, Cyberpunk, Red Dead Redemption, or whatever it is you spend dozens to hundreds of hours on in hardcore gaming. House Flipper is relaxation, much like Powerwash Simulator. It's perfect for moments when you don't want to delve into something significant, complicated, story-driven, or with controls you'll forget because you haven't played the game in a month—this is where Horst Fuchs' reviewed game comes in handy. House Flipper has excellent gameplay.
It might be a bit annoying that this time we have to throw away garbage into a bin after collecting it, but darn it. Or that we don't see a percentage evaluation of completing all tasks but only in the form of stars. However, the map is gone, and everything dirty, messy, etc., is highlighted in gold after pressing the magical button. Upgrades are also less essential, and you ascend to heights too quickly. Yes, that's frustrating because habits die hard. However, the developers listen to the community, and it's likely that regular patches will bring adjustments that many players are calling for. For those who find it annoying, there's the Sandbox mode, offering exactly what you'd expect. Building an entire house from the first brick to the last picture. The Sims can blush in the corner, and for connoisseurs, the playtime moves into hundreds of hours of perfect, pleasurable relaxation.
Assembling specific items adds a pleasant touch. In the previous installment, radiators, toilets, and sockets were manually assembled, which wasn't too bad, though it became monotonous. Now, everything falls into place, creating a furnished piece. For balance, the Assembly menu has been added, allowing you to assemble basic items like shelves or clocks. Gradually, you advance to tables, tubs, and shower stalls. Although a dozen tasks may not seem like a challenge at first glance, you'll find assemblies that take much more than a few minutes. Given that my hands have handled dozens of furniture pieces in the past year, I can appreciate the virtual assembly as excellent. It's significantly simplified but still partially educational and entertaining.
So, how should we view House Flipper 2? It's a sequel that doesn't deviate too much from the comfort zone of its predecessor but brings some novelties and improvements. It suffers from the fact that the original game, with all its expansions, is content-rich, but everything just needs time. If you enjoyed the first installment, open the doors to the sequel without hesitation. For the rest of you, jumping into home improvement with open arms can be a fun and relaxing experience. Moreover, the game seamlessly operates on the Steam Deck, so there are no limits to DIY in bed. Is there a better way to relax than tinkering with your own abode while watching Christmas reruns with family?