Only in House Flipper 2 could a floor covered in trash be this exciting. And so, as I make my way up the dilapidated stairs that lead to the house featured in Frozen District's latest renovation sim, my mind runs wild imagining the atrocities that inevitably await me on the other side of the door. What are we talking? A few broken pieces of furniture? Dirt smeared up the walls? Something worse? If 2018's House Flipper taught me anything, it's that the possibilities here are endless. And, much to my delight, House Flipper 2 brings even more deep-cleaning, blueprint-altering tools to the party.
Over the last few months, one of my go-to hobbies has involved listening to a podcast, scrubbing some windows, and knocking down a few walls. Not in my actual home, but in the first House Flipper game. Sometimes, this occupies my time for several hours a night, and has quickly become one of my favorite ways to relax. So, when I had the opportunity to roll up my sleeves and go hands-on with House Flipper 2 at EGX 2022, a bulldozer couldn't have stopped me from doing so.
Brick by Brick
Just as I'd hoped, there it is. On the other side of the door atop the dilapidated stairs, a floor covered in rubbish, ripe for me to pick up and dispose of, in all its glory. This, I'm proud to say, is my favorite activity in the house renovation sim. There's something so satisfying about going into an extremely messy room and coming out of it being able to see the floor again. But something's different this time. As I go to the tool wheel – which equips players with everything they need to clean, fix, and renovate a house – I notice a new tool: a trusty bin bag. It may seem like a simple new addition, but being able to fling all of the rubbish into a disposable bag and tie it up neatly before tossing it into an open trash can gives me so much joy. This is just one of the new features that have been added to House Flipper 2, and one of the many reasons I'm so excited to play it when it finally releases next year.
Immediately after entering the House Flipper 2 demo house, it's clear how much the concept has been iterated on since the first game. This can be said for both the visual side of the game and its gameplay. Probably the most obvious upgrade is how the game looks – textures have improved, there's more items in the house, and our playable character now has a lower body, which makes everything feel more life-like. Looking over my shoulder as I play, the developers tell me how they wanted to make the game look more realistic but didn't want it to lose its cartoon charm, and they appear to have struck the perfect balance between the two in the sequel.
Where House Flipper 2 really surpasses its forerunner, though, is in its new quality of life features – many of which, unless you've spent as many hours as I have playing, might go unnoticed. One of the first improvements, for example, is the game's new cleaning abilities. Before, if you were confronted with a stain on any surface, you had to sweep it with a broom to remove it. Now, players can use a variety of different cloths and brushes, a task that's made easier with the new detergent tool, which covers stains in a light dusting of stain remover, making it quicker to wipe away.
Once I had cleaned up all that I could in the house, one of the developers suggested that I give painting a try. As if needing any more encouragement, I head back to the tool wheel and select the roller, dipping it into the pot of blue paint conveniently placed in front of an empty wall. When I begin spreading the paint onto the wall, to my surprise, it's no longer applied in a simple column pattern. Instead, I can apply paint to the walls in multiple different directions, one square tile at a time, leaving lots of room for creativity. The same now applies to the demolition tool that lets players knock down walls. Just like the paint, players can now choose individual bricks to hammer out and to slot back in, meaning you can now build walls exactly how you want them.
It isn't all ripping out walls and painting over them, though. Another part of home renovation is selling the furniture that old tenants have left behind – a straightforward task that avoids the brain-numbing tedium of dealing with difficult suitors on reselling sites as per reality, and instead, has you simply pointing the 'Sell Objects' tool at the thing you want to sell. This has also been upgraded in House Flipper 2 with a new quality of life feature that highlights all of the sellable objects in the room – offering a moment of clarity when you're overwhelmed with the amount of work that invariably needs to be done.
Achieving all of this is also made easier thanks to House Flipper 2's improved UI. When I told one of the devs that previously – in the first House Flipper game – I sometimes struggled to see all of the text on screen from my living room sofa, they told me it was down to porting the game from PC to consoles. This time around, House Flipper 2 is being developed with consoles in mind, so the game's UI has been stripped back and features icons instead of several lines of text, which is much easier to see.
Make a House a Home
The tagline for House Flipper 2 is: "More than just a simulator," and that couldn't be more true thanks to the new story mode being incorporated into the game. Previously, players started the game in a shack as an up-and-coming renovator who took on odd jobs to earn money to eventually start flipping houses. In House Flipper 2, we actually have a fully developed story of a rookie flipper who gets started by helping out the residents of a town called Pinnacove. If you're less interested in somebody else's story and just want to design houses though, House Flipper 2 will also have a Sandbox Mode allowing players to create the house of their dreams.
House Flipper 2 will also offer players opportunities to goof off during their playthroughs. As one dev showed me, the team has incorporated a number of mini-games into the sim. As I mentioned earlier, players can now throw bags of rubbish into bins like a makeshift game of basketball. There's also an option to purchase a chess set from the item store and play an actual game of chess, which is a first for the series.
Simply put: I cannot wait to play more of House Flipper 2. After putting so many hours into the first game, it's a great feeling to know that more of what I love – plus a tonne of extras – is on the way. All I have to do now is wait for the game to release and find a new podcast to listen to.
Looking for another game like House Flipper? Take a look at our best sim games list for inspiration on what to play next.