In the past couple of months, I’ve turned 36, gotten married, and started working through the inevitable and insurmountable post-wedding checklist of life’s deferred tasks. While I like playing games for more than half an hour at a time, transient experiences are often the only option – I didn’t think the best game on Xbox Game Pass now would emulate my life away from consoles.
This month, Xbox Game Pass quietly announced a strange but tempting addition to its service: Flipper House. Originally released on PC in 2018 before the console release in early 2020, this simulation game seems like many of its contemporaries right from the start: it’s not groundbreaking, engaging, or particularly enduring beyond the first 30 minutes. However, appearances are very deceptive.
Whether it is through careful planning, luck, or a possible combination of the two Developed by Frozen DistrictAnd the Flipper House It might be one of the most relaxing games ever to give Game Pass – and if you’re open to escape, it might be the best pseudo-realistic, hilarious and silly RPG you’ll play this year.
in Flipper HouseYou take on the role of an unknown, multidisciplinary man with a penchant for home repair. Living in a gun hut and armed only with a laptop, a tablet, a squeegee, a hammer, and a toothpick, you have to be a hero to those countless people whose outlook seems less “DIY” and more “that doesn’t sound like I’m a problem.”
No job is too big and no request is too silly. You start out with nasty tools and limited abilities to clean small dwellings, but in no time you level your skill trees, smash walls, install lavish tubs, and are given the freedom to swipe across half a dozen rooms to realize someone else’s vision of local perfection.
Fortunately, you are given creative license: you are told what is required, but not always where and how to apply it. What’s more, you never meet clients, or even get feedback after you’re 100% done, which is the best part of the whole game – it opens your mind so much that you start creating your own backstories for each and every one of them.
At first, it seems a bit hard to imagine Flipper HouseClient. The only visual glimpse she ever got was by uploading header screenshots, accompanied by vague phrases like “The bedroom should always have a TV,” “We’ve always dreamed of a beautiful living room,” or “I don’t want kids and I hate.” Kids Games “. These weird, complementary, out-of-context phrases, if said by someone sitting next to you on the bus, would likely see you jump from the next stop.
However, these odd phrases, when combined with work email requests and homes sent out for repair, remodeling, or re-imagining, don’t require a very active mind to separate the story of your rise from handyman to real estate agent, as you do. On increasingly unforgettable challenges.
Sometimes, job requests are honest. A widower asks you to redecorate the family home because he can’t handle the loving memories of his late wife; Another big girl, who has rented her house to the students who destroyed the place, just needs a Manly man to do the work because she simply can’t stand what they’ve done to her beloved property. You take time and care about the task at hand, even making the beds and picking up the furniture even though it is outside your purview.
However, there are also some jobs from people who look really terrible, that almost require you to judge them early and use your bias to inform your design choices. Examples include:
- Someone, whose grandmother has recently passed away, carelessly asks you to sell everything in her room for profit – including photos and cherished possessions – to make room for a nice new cycle. She’s pretty and dead now, so it’s not like she needs those sweet family photos anymore.
- A young man, apparently a lazy person, hosts his very conservative mother at Christmas and needs to clean up the place and furnish it with traditional festive decor; 90% of the house is cans of beer and pizza untouched by a stranger.
- The man who bought a miserable house on the cheap – a country he blames on a “gentleman who has his own shopping cart” has moved in for a few days – shrugs off deeper social problems in favor of making a quick buck and asks you to clean up a horrific mess that can’t be the only reason for a man Homeless looking for temporary shelter.
After crafting stories in my head before and during the clean-up and install process, I gave Dead Gran House the worst bathroom fixture possible, with an unlocked shower opening onto the toilet, and a bathroom roll holder on the other side of the room. La-Z-Boy got the most LGBTQ+ friendly Christmas decorations imaginable, only to annoy what I imagined she would be an especially fundamentalist mom. The homeless Blamer will return home to find every piece of furniture stacked in one room. It’s the little things.
Sometimes, you just start taking liberties, giving in to your darker side. Although it cost me a fortune, I went through the stage of installing every bathroom with orange units that had green LEDs on, because it was the worst combination imaginable. I had fun, and that’s all that matters; I was paid and had a good tail up before I had to have an uncomfortable conversation with the owner, whose restroom now looked like a Halloween nightclub.
All the while, you learn the ways certain things are put together. You’ll gasp in awe as you screw not one, not two, but four door clamps onto a high-end two-door shower. The shock will bounce as you reconnect the third plug socket of the day, wondering if putting the ground cable on end was really the best idea, since the electricity isn’t turned off. The number of crickets that can fit in your vacuum bag will be thrown. You are really living the dream.
Just when you think you’re out of ideas, or bored with specific tasks (hello, drawing), Flipper HouseThe skill tree, which upgrades your squeegee, hammer, paintbrush and more, continues to breathe new life into those tasks you’ve been putting off, making them faster, easier, or more like an actual game – something you might forget sometimes Flipper House he is.
Soon, you have more money than meaning, and from here you can focus on building your little empire. You can browse and buy homes to your liking. Most of them are quite talented, from detached houses destroyed by floods to holes in which you do not dare to shine a blue light. With your job’s money, you can convert and sell it for a massive profit – or just decorate, remodel or remodel and have fun. There is even a property on the moon, so why not?
Clearly, Frozen District knows they’re working on something good. In the years since this initial release, DLCs have been created including Cyberpunk finAnd the garden finAnd the luxury fincute appearance fin pet housebecause objectively everything is better with dogs.
Flipper House Not the best game engine, its visuals won’t blow you away, its console controls are a bit choppy, and it’s repetitive. But life isn’t perfect, life is repetitive, and you find ways to make it so much more.
I hope to capture the skills and ideas to transfer them to my partially decorated home into a perfect dwelling. However, since my spare time is now equally spent between life maintenance and Flipper HouseMost likely not.