House Flipper 2 is an absolute dream (at home)

It's remarkable that a smaller game is given time to grow into something special. When Empyrean'S House Flipper arrived in 2018, it felt less like a house-flipping game than a bare-bones cleaning sim. While major updates and DLC became more and more to do over the years, it was an experience broken down into chunks. On the other hand, House flipper 2which came out earlier in December, is a completely cohesive game right out of the box.

While the first game dealt with voice acting or dialogue choices, House flipper 2 takes full advantage of narrative elements to immerse the player. You play as a returning resident of Pinnacove, a small coastal community that has seen better days. With the help of an old friend named Tom Marino (who calls from your smartphone), you want to become a full-fledged house flipper and spread your name among the townspeople by cleaning, unpacking, and renovating the neighborhood's homes and businesses. the Bay. All of these tasks, emailed to your in-game laptop by city residents, will help you learn all the tools and menus the game has to offer. After you've got a handful of jobs under your belt, you'll unlock the ability to completely renovate and sell homes (which is a recurring feature from the first game), hoping to lure some picky homebuyers from the area by catering to their needs. provided. (It's no House huntersbut it's close!)

Although similar to the original House FlipperEmpyrean has expanded the sequel's gameplay with tons of great quality of life changes that make using the tools easier and more integrated into the user interface. First viewed in the final DLC of the original game, House flipper 2's hero feature is the Sandbox mode that gives aspiring flippers a full suite of creation tools to build a house from the ground up. The mode even gives players complete creative freedom to design their own quests for their custom homes, all of which can then be shared on the House flipper 2 place.

The exterior of a crab shack in House Flipper 2

A nice yellow living room with blue sofa in House Flipper 2

spray the floor with water in House Flipper 2

Images: Frozen District, Empyrean/PlayWay via Polygon

You don't have to have played House Flipper not to enter at all House flipper 2. If you are someone who loves Unpack, Animal Crossing: New Horizons' Happy home paradise DLC, or if you're just an HGTV enthusiast, this game offers great value, allowing you to show off your creativity in a relaxing way. Even if you're struggling with the idea of ​​interior design, the game lets you experiment as little or as much as you like, and even offers color swatches for quests or ready-made palettes for customizable furniture pieces. You will never be judged on your design skills, just asked to help other residents with their homes.

I'm a die hard House Flipper fan and find the sequel to be a very charismatic and compelling update to the franchise rather than a rehash of the original. But getting used to such massive changes was a small adjustment; While the amount of customization is enormous, long-term players may find the size of the actual catalog so far to be quite limited. This is further exacerbated by the fact that House flipper 2 does not yet allow you to use customized content from other users. I need more rugs! I can't live without my beautiful rugs!

Despite having an improved set of tools, I still found myself struggling with design and decorating in some ways. The biggest problem I had was the way items interact with each other; Moving items as a set is sometimes difficult, and placing items within other items is almost impossible. It would be great if I could have a bowl full of hand-picked fruit in the kitchen, or maybe even individually select items to move as a whole without having them placed on a surface. However, a large part of this seems to be the limited resources of a smaller development team, and will hopefully be added in the future.

While I did encounter a few bugs and a bit of jankiness as I made my way through the game, I consider it an acceptable trade-off when it comes to being so engaged and excited about something I've waited so long to play. Empyrean has earned my loyalty in the past with numerous community-driven improvements and DLC that expands the base game in a very compelling way. I have no doubt that this is another game that the development team will quietly build on over the coming years, ensuring that I will always return to Pinnacove.

House flipper 2 was released on December 14 on PlayStation 5, Windows PC and Xbox Series X. Vox Media has affiliate partnerships. These do not influence editorial content, although Vox Media may earn commissions on products purchased through affiliate links. You can find Additional information about Polygon's ethics policy can be found here.