Have you ever watched home renovation TV shows like ‘Property Brothers’ and thought to yourself, “I could do that”? Well, now you can prove it, with Empyrean’s property-flipping sim House Flipper now available on the Nintendo Switch. It has already proven to be a mighty popular title on PC ever since its launch back in 2018 and I’m happy to report that the move to console has been a pretty smooth one for the most part. And hey, now we can flip some properties from the comfort of our own beds or toilets thanks to the Nintendo Switch’s portability… god, I love that console.
House Flipper’s concept is pretty simple: you purchase properties, renovate them through a variety of different means, and then look to sell them on in order to make a profit. You’ll slowly improve your renovation skills as you progress to make your life a little easier, whilst you’ll also get to take on basic jobs for other clients along the way in order to make some additional cash. Basically, it offers everything you’d expect from a house-flipping sim.
There are an assortment of properties available for the player to purchase and work on, but ultimately your choice will come down to what you can afford. Of course, this isn’t a whole lot early on, with your budget restricted and requiring some building up by taking on those aforementioned odd jobs. These jobs are all relatively simple and offer players an effective way to learn how to play House Flipper and understand all of its different mechanics, with the player expected to do the likes of cleaning a property, replacing a radiator, painting walls, or simply re-decorating a whole room. There’s something pleasantly rewarding about completing these tasks, but ultimately they’re just a means to move onto the game’s most enjoyable aspect: flipping houses.
When you finally have enough money, you can purchase a house and start to dig in and do your own work. Not happy with your house’s layout? Bash down some walls and make all-new rooms. Think your bathroom is looking old-fashioned? Gut it completely and add some modern tiles and all new fixtures and fittings – you’ll have to plumb it all in manually though, so expect to get your virtual hands dirty. Or are you happy with your house’s layout and just want to pretty things up a little? Get your cleaning brush out and spend some cash on some new furniture.
Basically, House Flipper lets you do anything you want to create your own home and there are plenty of different personalisation options in place for you to customise just about every different aspect of each room. Naturally, the more money and effort you put in, the better the house will sell for on the market. As you make more cash, you can invest in bigger properties and take on even more ambitious projects until you’re eventually rolling in the dough.
Of course, these bigger projects will take more time and effort to complete, so it’s a good job there’s a levelling system in place in House Flipper that sees you improving your renovation skills. This makes life easier given that you can perform tasks faster and by using less resources, which makes those bigger jobs a whole lot less daunting (and expensive) in the long run. It adds a satisfying element of progression to House Flipper where you’ll see more than just your bank balance improving the more you play the game.
You’d think that the process of renovating and selling these properties might grow repetitive fast, but honestly, it’s actually one of the most rewarding ways to burn a few hours if you fancy playing something a bit easy-going on your Nintendo Switch. Nothing beats putting on your favourite album or podcast and flipping some houses, and I still find myself coming back for more after spending over twenty hours with the game. Whilst I don’t expect House Flipper to appeal to everyone, those who enjoy creative and laid back video game experiences will easily find themselves absorbed into the game’s therapeutic gameplay style.
It hasn’t made the transition from PC to console perfectly though, with the controls feeling a little clunky in places. Now I’ll admit, the controls are a whole lot better than I expected and they’re certainly not awful by any stretch of the imagination, but trying to get pinpoint accuracy with the cursor isn’t always an easy task – laying furniture and rotating it around could also be a little finicky, though that’s something you get used to the more you play the game. Working through some of the menus can be a bit of a chore too, especially when you’re trying to use the search function to find a specific item.
Outside of some of the fiddly aspects of the controls, it’s hard to complain about the Nintendo Switch port of House Flipper. Sure, the graphics are lacking some of the detail and quality seen on the PC release, but it doesn’t affect what’s important: the house-flipping experience, which is undeniably enjoyable throughout. The only thing I do hope is that the game is supported with additional content and DLC, with the PC version of the game having a heck of a lot more on offer when compared with the Nintendo Switch. Whilst you won’t run out of things to do here fast, expanding the experience with the likes of the Garden Flipper DLC or some additional houses to work on will certainly keep me coming back for more and more hours of house-flipping fun.
House Flipper is as therapeutically enjoyable to play on the Nintendo Switch as it was on PC, with the console port proving a solid one. Sure, the controls can feel a little awkward in places and there has been an obvious drop in graphical quality, but it still manages to nail the most important aspect of the game: the joy of flipping-houses.
There’s no denying that it won’t be for everyone, but those who like the idea of buying houses, doing them up, selling them for a profit and then repeating the process will have HOURS of fun with House Flipper.
Publisher: Ultimate Games, Merge Games, PlayWay
Platform(s): Nintendo Switch (Reviewed), PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC