Its medieval times and the idea of having oodles of gold is a dream that you’ll never achieve. Living in your mud hut, you are more likely to die from a horrendous disease than you are to become rich. You decide that you’ve had enough of the oppressive regime and the only way to make it in life is to work hard. You put your skills to the test and take on cleaning and building jobs to earn as much gold as possible. If you save enough, you can build a castle and be the lord of the manor. This is the dream that is realised in Castle Flipper! So don’t shy away from work thrown your way and prove “the man” wrong.
Developed by Pyramid Games and published by Ultimate Games, this is a ye olde house clearance and renovation simulator. You are a peasant who is down on his luck. Fed up of having little to be proud of, you gather your tools and start helping the elite of society. The jobs keep flowing and the gold builds up. Pretty quickly your fortunes are turned and that dream castle becomes a reality.
Castle Flipper, a standard simulator with some amusing twists.
Now, house renovations games have been available for quite some time. People love to get to grips with wrecked properties. Adding their creative flair, they allow their imagination to run wild. Castle Flipper has all the standard mechanics you expect, but its crazy quests add depth and character to a familiar prospect.
What I particularly enjoyed was that many of the jobs were intrinsically linked. For example, one person would ask you to smash up their neighbour’s house because of money owed, or a hatred for one another. The next quest you are given you return to the scene of the crime only to be paid to rectify the damage caused. It was brilliantly amusing, if not a little repetitive revisiting the same location so soon.
A world that’s devoid of life.
When I was shown the medieval landscape, I was hoping this would be a game full of life, dirt, and disgusting characters. Sadly, other than the dirt, the rest failed to materialise. The game adds new shops for you to unlock blueprints and to exchange or sell goods, but interactions are restricted to ledgers and numbers. It was frustrating as it’s an opportunity that slipped the developers by. The world should be alive with people milling about, but it’s quiet and serene.
If you love the meticulous nature of the genre, you won’t mind the emptiness, but I would have preferred quests to be offered by real people, rather than a quest board found by your house. The flow of jobs was nicely balanced, and you always received a blend of different objectives. You may have to build a house for an Earl or repair a castle for a Lord. Whatever task you had to do, it was thorough, comprised plenty of minor jobs, and kept you entertained throughout.
The world is split into two distinct areas; the free play section and the quest section. The first is where you may build your house/castle, become a landlord, and purchase materials. The second transports you to different locations where a list of tasks is shown on the display. You’ll have to; mop up stains, repair walls and furniture, clean rubbish, and destroy broken furniture. It’s repetitive, but the variety of jobs and the different locations prevent this from becoming monotonous.
Gold and skill points.
Money makes the world go round, and Castle Flipper has bags of gold on offer. Materials are expensive but gold is never scarce. If you wish to make more money, and who doesn’t? Build some small huts, fill them with peasants, and become a medieval landlord. After all, what is the point of having a mighty castle if no one is there to admire it?
As you complete each task, you earn XP for a job well done. As you level up, you are free to upgrade skills to help you work faster. No one likes to spend hours scrubbing floors, hammering nails, or cutting down trees, so improve those abilities and get the job done quicker. This is a standard mechanic for this genre, and I would have liked Castle Flipper to have done something original. Maybe the chance to hire surfs, or to subcontract work to make more money. Either of these ideas would have been interesting and would have added a twist.
A gritty medieval world turns into a fairy tale.
What I loved about Castle Flipper is the grimy dark world you live in. The medieval land is wonderful to look at and its earthy tones set the scene perfectly. This poor existence quickly alters to become a glamorous and regal landscape. With plush furniture, grand walls, and flowered gardens, it moves from a nightmare to a fairy tale in a flash. It’s by far the best looking house renovation sim I’ve played and it ran like a dream.
Now, I wish I could say the same for the audio. Yes, it was apt and screamed ye olde vibes with its light stringed soundtrack. But it quickly became annoying and tedious. I had to turn the sound down to eliminate the repetitive tunes. Once I removed the songs, I appreciated the realistic sound effects. This was where the audio shined and I wish Pyramid Games had added a variety of songs to listen to.
Simple to play, with good use of hotkeys.
This had the potential to be a pig to play. Loads of tasks to complete and mammoth stages to explore were all a recipe for disaster. Luckily, the simple UI and the great use of hotkeys made this a joy to play. My only gripe was with the furniture placement. It didn’t snap to the allotted spaces, so if you wished to create a tidy room as intended, it was pretty fiddly and time-consuming. I ended up dumping the furniture and walking away. I’m not sure this is what the developers intended, but it worked nonetheless.
If you love the genre, you’ll adore this. With loads of quests and the chance to build a castle, what’s not to like? Earn money, increase skills, become a landlord, and more. There is a large achievement list to work through and lots of blueprints to unlock. Simply put, there is plenty to keep you playing.
Castle Flipper: The medieval builders dream!
I didn’t know what to expect with Castle Flipper, but I thoroughly enjoyed myself. Its variety in gameplay, in-depth quests and building mechanics make it a dream to play. It’s a must-have game if you love the genre, so buy it here! Don’t let “the man” crush your dreams! Work hard, save your gold, and own that castle you’ve always dreamed of.