First-person renovator House Flipper looks ace

After the joys of cleaning up spaceguts in Visceral Cleanup Detail, I feel ready for something more constructive. I’ve mopped up blood and burned bodies but what do I have to show for it? A grubby office which my friends trash every time they visit. I feel ready for House Flipper [official site], a first-person renovator about smartening up homes by repairing, remodelling, painting, and decorating homes. Tasks like knocking down walls, fitting kitchens, and painting look a genuine treat, though sadly it seems to be singleplayer-only (and that ‘flipping’ premise is awful). Here, check out this trailer:

Smashing stuff. I’m definitely up for fixing wiring, installing radiators, squeegeeing windows, and all that. I do hope developers Empyrean get co-op in there too, as the joys and terrors of teamwork and accidents could be great fun. I mostly do my Visceral Cleanups with chums.

It is a shame that this fun-looking renovation is wrapping up inside a ‘flipping’ metagame – you’re trying to buy cheap houses and do them up enough to sell them on at a profit to unlock more options. As someone who’ll likely never be able to buy a flat let alone a house, thanks in part to those darling flippers, it seems an unpleasant premise for a game which doesn’t need it. Sure I’ve committed more virtual war crimes than I can count but, y’know, those were in games primarily about exploding faces. Renovating houses could be cast in several more-pleasant lights.

House Flipper is headed for a launch at the end of 2017 on Windows, Mac, and Linux. It’s currently having a crack at Steam Greenlight.


  1. Harlander says:

    “House Flipper” could have much more pleasantly described the process by which, on completion of your renovation work, you deliver the house to its new owner – by launching it like a giant tiddlywink.

  2. 3man says:

    …thanks in part to those darling flippers..

    The original Darling Flipper raises his badger-brows in salute at your article.

  3. kulik says:

    Renovator?! Pche!!! Only thing I’m going to do in this game is f*ck shit up with a sledgehammer.

    • Darth Gangrel says:

      I loved doing that in Red Faction:Guerilla, but hated when the game bothered me with side-quests like “Oh no, a caravan of bad people are driving here to do bad stuff, stop them!”. I felt bad for not helping, but also felt annoyed for being interrupted: a lose-lose situation.

  4. Gothnak says:

    I don’t think you can blame the flippers for the house prices. They can only buy the cheap crappy stuff that no one else wants to do up. You need to rail against ‘Buy To Let’ gits who stop all the renters they live off from affording the house they are renting back to them.

    • GrumpyCatFace says:


      It’s not a bad thing for people to renovate homes, when nobody else wants to. There are still plenty of disasters out there for purchase, if you really want one.

      • davethejuggler says:

        That and the rich foreign investors who buy expensive homes in london, then just leave them empty for years as it’s a pretty safe bet that they’ll increase in value. Those are obviously not houses that normal people can buy but it, but it forces the whole market up exponentially. A trickle down effect that actually works.

        • Gothnak says:

          I don’t think they affect too much of the market for the average person though. I’m always amazed that even though almost everyone lives in a home, that ‘There aren’t enough houses’.

          There are enough houses, it’s just that too few people own too many of them. If you rent somewhere, your rental payments should give you rights over a % of the house price when it sells based on a lower % of the bloody house price you personally paid off!

          I rented from 21-29 and 32-37, and someone basically profiteered off me paying their mortgage for 12 years whereas i got nothing.

          The really annoying thing is i could clearly afford the mortgage or i couldn’t have been living there in the first place.

          • davethejuggler says:

            Yeah renting is awful. Although the idea that your rent gets a percentage of the house value when it sells sounds a bit far fetched! There does need to be a better way to get that first step on the ladder though. Not everyone can rely on help from their parents.

            To explain my foreign investment point, the foreign investors mean that well to do people can’t afford to live in those premium areas like, so look to slightly less premium areas, pushing prices up in that area and forcing the people who were living there to look at slightly lower value areas and so on and so on. It has an affect, but you’re probably right that buy to let is a worse offender.

          • Gothnak says:

            Agree it does have an effect, but the number of multi million pound penthouses bought in London won’t have a huge affect on most of us living outside London i assume.

            Most of my street is rented now, i have a small 2 bedroom terrace in Guildford and it’s gone up from £300k->£500k in 6 years.

            Even so, i want house prices to drop, because an average 3 bed detached in the countryside that i want to move to, has gone from £400k to £650k in that time, so has actually got further away.

          • ThePuzzler says:

            “Almost everyone” living in a home is not the same as everyone. Thousands of people are sleeping rough every night in the UK. Others are sleeping in homeless shelters. Others are sharing flats when they’d like a flat of their own, crashing on friends’ couches, living with their parents until middle age, etc. If there were more homes available (more built, fewer standing empty), more people would have homes and they’d be more affordable.

          • davethejuggler says:

            Man, thats a bigger issue. The fact that there are far fewer homes being built than needed by the increase in population is nuts. Especially during the financial crisis when building basically stopped. The building industry is kinda growing again now but nowhere near enough to cover needs, and a lot of it is not the affordable type of housing that would actually be useful. I’m not sure that that would help with homeless people much though to be honest, that’s a bit more complicated.

    • GrumpyCatFace says:

      There are far more houses available, than people to fill them. The issue, as pointed out, is banksters buying them up by the block or foreclosing, then letting the places rot for years, to prove some kind of ‘point’ about financial responsibility (and preserve the value of their other investments).

      The very best thing that could happen at that point – for the neighborhood, bank, and potential buyers – would be for someone to buy the wreck from them, fix it up to market standards, and “flip” it for a small percentage. It’s actually what ‘should’ be happening all over the market, but typically only occurs at the bottom end, as large companies don’t like to invest and take the risks in repairing ‘used’ housing.

  5. barelyhomosapien says:


  6. Benratha says:

    “Homes under the hammer”
    The new ‘Interactive Fiction’ game from Telltale.

    • communisthamster says:

      Still waiting for Phil Fish to come back and make the Grand Designs platformer we’ve all been waiting for.

  7. ChatterLumps says:

    There is something vaguely sinister about “Discover Its Secrets” and the stains on the floor/windows looking a little like bloodstains.

    • patrickpeppers says:

      I thought so too. I think it would be funny if that actually was part of the game. You just see these small visual cues that something horrible has happened, but nothing too explicit. It would be even better if the developers didn’t acknowledge it.

  8. otakucore says:

    This looks promising! I hope it conveys useful real world knowledge, like how to clean that dirty bathroom, how to detect pests, how to determine whether a wall is load-bearing, how much various repairs increase the appraisal value of a home, etc.

  9. GHawkins says:

    As someone who works in a DIY store, this is exactly the game I have been waiting for.

  10. ButteringSundays says:

    This is so appealing to me.

    I also really enjoyed Viscera – and tbh I get a similar sense of satisfaction from cleaning in real life. Also Car Mechanic Simulator.

    It’s the methodical, predictable, attainable aspect of it. When you’re done you’re done. It’s done. There’s a finality to it. Little chunks of things you can take from a state of chaos to perfection in a bite size timeframe.

  11. Cvnk says:

    That wall had no studs. WTF. That place is a deathtrap.

  12. Jackablade says:

    There are so, so many house renovation/decorating shows on television. I’m wondering how it’s taken until now for a game that’s more explicitly about about that side of things than the Sims.

    I’m certainly interested, although I hope they make the sledge a little less limp wristed. That should be a two-handed, weighty affair.