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Flipping the Switch on Home Renovation

House Flipper is a game that lets you buy, renovate and sell houses. Think of yourself as a contestant on The Block, only its way grubbier. It has recently jumped up into the top 10 sales on Steam, thanks in part to a few streamers who have been putting some blood sweat and tears into their homes and also to the Steam Summer sale which dropped the price down to $15.

The game is very similar to the Car Mechanic series, you’ll start out basically as a cleaner taking jobs from your laptop to earn some quick easy money. There is no tutorial for House Flipper but the jobs progressively become more advanced and soon you will have a grasp of the controls and the numerous tasks that are available. Some of which are tedious, I’m looking at you tiling and wall panelling.

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There is a perk system to improve your skills, but these are pretty limited and mainly just speeds up the animations or lets you use less paint.

The jobs that appear your emails are entertaining and give you a hint of a story, you will read about a student party and your sent in to clean up the result. When you arrive at the house it will reveal the rest, from the amazing amount of alcohol bottles to rooms that have been completely trashed, and not to forget…. cockroaches.

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But don’t worry, if you suffer from katsaridaphobia (a fear of cockroaches) there is a setting to replace them with broken glass.

It’s not all about the cleaning though. Installing appliances, lights and furniture is a big part of this game as well as being an interior designer. Early on I couldn’t believe how many radiators I was putting in people’s homes, it must be that time of year and everyone is freezing.

But the real fun and also the real money maker in this game is purchasing houses, fixing them up and then auctioning them off, making sure you have the right number of bedrooms, bathrooms or even if the house has decorative flowers. It will take around 1-3 hours to fully renovate a house, depending on the level of detail you put into it. Once you’ve fixed all the problems and given the house a once over, its time to sell. The auction is where you get the feedback for your efforts as six real estate moguls raise their hands to outbid each other and secure a home for their buyers. The first house I did up I forgot to replace the dilapidated bed that I sold, when it came to auction time this really lowered the price as no one wanted to buy a zero-bedroom house. You really need to nail the desires of the buyers to get top dollar at auction time.

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There are a few problems with House Flipper. What needs to be added is landscaping. At the moment you can remodel the most beautiful of houses but if the grass is overgrown there is nothing you can do about it. When it comes to these sorts of games the people who play them are putting the hours in for perfection, why have a camera mode when you can’t take an exterior shot of your home because the weeds have overgrown the driveway.

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Also pipe extensions, so far you can only put a sink where the existing one was, same goes for showers and toilets. Forget it if you want to move a bathroom upstairs.

And finally, there is no way to extend the house. You can knock down and put up walls inside, but if you want to add a ground floor room, or knock the roof down and extend over the garage, it can’t be done.

However, the developers are consistently patching this game and sure it won’t be to long in the future where these features will be added. But after about 6hrs of playing House Flipper I felt as though I had done everything, the game was becoming quite repetitive and all that was changing was the houses were becoming bigger.

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If you liked the particularly odd Viscera Cleanup Detail then this game is a more straightforward semi realistic house flipping simulator.

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