House Flipper30th September 2019
publisher: Frozen District
I love this game. I’m not even sure what it is about it that has me so hooked, but it’s become my go-to game when I want to relax. It’s very casual, I like to put on something to watch, and just get to work fixing up houses.
It’s very simple. The idea is that you buy houses, a lot of them run-down, and you fix them up and sell them for a profit. You start off pretty broke, so the first thing you do it take on smaller jobs – people hire you to clean their houses, install radiators, paint their walls, all sorts. You build up your cash from these odd-jobs, and then you start buying houses! Once you start buying houses, you have various buyers who have very strong opinions about what they want in their house.
I have to admit, my favourite part of the game is just cleaning – why clean my own house, when I can clean a virtual house for virtual money?
I really wish cleaning was as easy in real life.
Having played House Flipper on both Mac and PC, there are several things I need to discuss.
I first played on Mac, and the game ran. I did have to reduce all the graphic options, but it worked pretty well, considering I have a pretty old MacBook. There were some issues, such as being unable to clean windows – every time I tried to clean a window, the game would crash out completely. The simple solution to this was to run the game with the OpenGL option. In fact, if you’re on a Mac, and want to play House Flipper, always use the OpenGL option, just don’t bother trying to run it without.
There was a subsequent update, and since then… there have been many more problems. The steam discussions have had a very steady torrent of bug complaints. Now that I’ve played on both Mac and PC, I’m very much getting the impression it’s mostly a Mac issue.
I don’t want this to reflect badly on the devs. I see them active in the forums, offering suggestions on how to fix things, asking for specifications and save files so they can pinpoint the problem. I’m definitely getting the impression that they are trying. However, I think their main problem, which also happens to be a source of frustration for me, is that when people go on the forums to ask for help with bugs, and you offer suggestions, or ask them what they’re running the game on, they don’t respond. I imagine it’s extremely frustrating for the devs; they’re there, giving detailed instructions on how to send them your game files, so they can work on it, and I’m pretty sure they don’t get many responses.
If you already own this game and found this post while looking for answers about the game crashing, invisible cockroaches and glass, the percentage not increasing when spreading gravel, etc., then I would like to urge you to provide the devs with your save files. They seem very nice, and judging by response rates on steam forums, they’d probably really appreciate being given something to analyse.
Mac woes out of the way, my impressions on having played it on PC. Now, my MacBook is old, and my PC is a shiny new super upgraded beast, such a beast that I don’t even bother looking at game requirements. So please keep that in mind, and I’ve written out all my specs here, in case you want to compare your machine to mine, so you have a decent idea of where you stand.
House Flipper runs beautifully on my PC. Super smooth. I’ve got all the graphics settings on maximum, and it’s glorious. But. My laptop gets hot. Can’t actually touch the area above the keyboard hot. I’d probably be able to fry an egg on it, if I were so inclined. For peace of mind, I crank up my fans to maximum, and my CPU & GPU temperatures stay around the 80 degree Celsius mark. Now, it’s nowhere near overheating, and it still runs perfectly smoothly. If I had a desktop, I wouldn’t even notice, I’d be carrying on until my computer actually told me there was a problem. On a laptop, however, there’s a constant thermal reminder under your fingertips at all times. Just something to keep in mind.
My Starting Tips
Being very aware that my warnings are a lot longer than anything I said about a game I really enjoy, I’m adding in some starter tips, little things that might help getting off to a good start, things that I wish I had discovered earlier, and things I’ve seen people get confused over in forums.
- You unlock your tools by doing orders, so when you get to your first office, and all you can do is remove the trash blocking the door, and nothing else, don’t panic! You go to your laptop, head to your first order, and you unlock your mop. You do your first order which involves painting, you unlock the paintbrush, etc.
- Rotating objects – pressing shift while rotating objects, turns them by 90º
- You can run, jump, crouch, and even have a flashlight – I only realised when I tried playing around with key bindings.
- Increased pay! Every time you finish an order, it contributes to levelling up your negotiation skills, and an important starting point is increasing how much you get paid every time you finish an order. My personal recommendation is to redo the first few quick and easy orders, maximise how much you get paid, then tackle the longer orders. You can redo any completed order as often as you like, head to the laptop, and in your mailbox, you have the archived tab, there you can accept previous orders as often as you like.
- Painting. Painting can be a bit tedious, so your first instinct might be to upgrade your painting speed. I would recommend that you don’t. When you start off, you will be wasting a lot of time and money by painting over areas you already painted, so it’s best to invest in the ability to automatically stop painting a section once it’s finished. That’s my first skill point in
painting, then I tend to invest in using up less paint. Even if I upgrade the speed of painting, I find that it doesn’t speed things up much, as you’re constantly having to refill your paint. Reducing how much paint you use also helps to save on paint costs . Demolition. I find the knocking down walls part of the game rather fun, and I find that upgrading the hammer first makes things faster, and also a lot more satisfying.
House Flipper is the ultimate casual game for me, perfect for just sitting back and relaxing. If I’m not up to doing much, I can always choose to redo some less laborious orders. With the addition of the Garden Flipper DLC, I can add pulling weeds and mowing the lawn to my list of activities to chill to.
If you’ve played it, or decide to give it a go, let me know what you think in the comments! …If you need a shoulder because you’re struggling with some of the bugs, let me know too, I can definitely empathise.