House Flipper: Why Is This Non-Horror Game So Terrifying?

Flipping houses is a risky and oftentimes scary business. But the potential for losing your investment isn’t what’s so scary about Empyrean’s 2018 game House Flipper. While this game was created to simulate the ups and downs of renovating and redecorating fixer-uppers, many players have discovered that what Empyrean actually managed to do was create an unintentionally terrifying game.

Alone in a run-down location

One of the first things that will give you a sense of unease in this simulation game is the fact that you, as the silent protagonist, are always alone in these often rundown and remote locations. Of course, the fact that many of these houses also play host to mysterious underground bunkers doesn’t help with the eerie atmosphere. While flipping houses during the day by yourself isn’t too bad, as soon as darkness falls and you turn on your headlamp, you’ll soon become extremely aware of just how alone you are. It’s the perfect setting for a grisly crime or terrifying haunting to take place.

Primed and Ready for Jump Scares

One thing many players of House Flipper have noted is the fact that this game is just made for jump scares. The fact that the jump scares never actually come only makes the situation that much more tense. While cleaning up these fixer-uppers, you’ll usually have to clean windows that are so caked in grime that it’s impossible to see the outside world. It doesn’t take long to realize that as you’re cleaning the windows, something may be watching you from the outside of the house, just waiting for you to clear your vision enough to see it. This feeling of an impending jump scare is only heightened by the fact that when you first enter a newly purchased home, all of the doors are closed, forcing you to open up each and every room yourself. You never know what will be behind the closed doors until you open them, which, in and of itself, is the perfect groundwork for some truly superb jump scares.

Are Those Blood Spatters?

The fact that a few houses are labeled as “hiding something” and many contain hidden rooms that you have to knock down walls to access only adds to the creep factor. The first time you manage to find a walled-off room in one of your properties, you will forever be checking the blueprints of your future homes to make sure you haven’t missed any more hidden areas.

The Actual Horror Level

It seems that after its release, Empyrean realized that they’d unintentionally created a horrifying experience with House Flipper. With this knowledge, they finally just gave the people what they wanted and made an actual haunted property to flip. As previously stated, it didn’t take much for Empyrean to turn their normal house flipping game into a horror game. They just had to make things a bit more deliberate.

For players who are hoping to flip an actual haunted house, the Samantha Myer level is the one for you. Upon entering the house, you’ll hear a sinister laugh that probably belongs to Jason Voorhees, since he’s hiding in the bushes across the street. You’ll also be met by a stuffed rabbit toy with a knife in its head, a Ghostface mask that constantly changes facial expressions, and an actual human (or, in this case, ghost) in the upstairs bedroom, ready to crawl away from you the second you open the door. You’ll also find some fun surprises in the basement if you’re brave enough to venture there. For those players who are staunch completionists but don’t like the idea of having to flip a haunted house, you can simply bury the coffin in the backyard to lift the curse.

Many games have tried and failed to cultivate an eerie atmosphere, so the fact that Empyrean was able to create such a tense environment without really trying is a feat to be applauded. And with how unintentionally terrifying House Flipper ended up being, fans are hoping for more creepy DLC in the future.

Next: Prey Vs. Bioshock: Which Is The Better Immersive Sim?

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Shannen Camp is an avid gamer and film school graduate. She loves all things creepy including indie horror games and smart horror movies. Shannen also has 13 novels published under her pen name Shannen Crane Camp and a YouTube gaming channel under the name Persephone Plasmids.

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