House Flipper and Far: Lone Sails (Zero Punctuation)

House Flipper and Far: Lone Sails (Zero Punctuation)


I have a feeling it’s going to be a long summer. E3 hasn’t even been and gone yet and I already
emptied out the retro review bucket. Alright, Steam, stop kicking that visual novel
developer in the stomach for a second so I can see what’s on your top sellers list. “Well, you know what all the kids have been
talking about this week? House Flipper.” Hm. Intriguing. Just one question: Are you taking the piss? “No seriously, it’s had even more user reviews
than Wizard of Legend. It’s a thrilling first person RPG in which
you play a proud, stoic adventurer who comes to a land blighted by the forces of a less
than satisfactory housing market, and must battle sinister oil stains and mismatched
internal decor with naught but your mighty stippling brush and the colour swatches of
Xen’Thar.” Ohh. You ARE taking the piss. But you know I’ve occasionally found some
value in games that fall into the genre of “what it’s like to have a real job.” I’ve wiled away many an hour in Stardew Valley
and Euro Truck Simulator, and I do have a lot of podcasts I’ve been meaning to listen
to, and House Flipper is the kind of thing we’ll all be playing for escapism in a few
years after society collapses and we’ve got a few hours to kill before Lord Humungus raids
us at dawn. So this is where we are, I’m reviewing a daytime
television simulator for frustrated spouses who want to imagine trussing up their fantasy
dream home even as their real life home descends into filth and squalor around them. So you play a sort of mercenary handyman and
at first to get to grips you’re given some contract jobs where someone just wants you
to come into their house and clean, repaint, buy specific furniture and/or shag the missus,
but once you’ve got a handle on things and more importantly a big sack of cash, you can
start buying your own houses, all of which were apparently recently vacated by meth-dealing
cockroach farmers who never quite pinned down the difference between a toilet and a floor. So first of all we clean. You remove the litter and crystal meth gift
baskets by pointing and obliterating them with your laser eyes, and then you clean all
the stains by holding out a perfectly dry mop and waving it a bit. Now, annoying as it was in Viscera Cleanup
Detail to have to pick up every shell casing and severed knob and carry them all to the
furnace in a bin while walking like you had a pogo stick strapped to each leg, I don’t
think you’re doing us any favours in a job simulator game by removing work. Isn’t that what we’re here for? And using the mop in Viscera Cleanup Detail
had a cathartic and for want of another word visceral feel to it, it was satisfying to
thrust a newly wetted mop into a big stain while imagining it was the face of your supervisor. In comparison, using the limp-ass mop in House
Flipper is frankly humiliating. This is supposed to be house flipper simulator,
not stoned air traffic controller simulator. So after that comes the painting, and again
I feel it suffers from oversimplification. Point paint roller at bucket, point paint
roller at wall, hold down button. Even if you can only glimpse half an inch
of the wall between a bookshelf and a meth lab you can still merrily roll away. I’d have appreciated this more if there’d
been a more systematic aspect to it, you know, not moving the furniture before you start
painting results in ruined furniture that you’ll have to halfheartedly jab with your
mop. You also need to install appliances like showers
and washing machines in weirdly obsessively detailed minigame sequences where all you’re
expected to do is click on components as the game highlights them and gameplay-wise it’s
about as involving as leafing through a booklet of IKEA assembly instructions. And once the contract gigs are done the game
isn’t much more than an interior design creativity toy with a number representing your cash flow
that you can close your eyes and dream is real. I think we could have done with a bit more
gameplay structure, a win state, like, say, earning enough to buy Disneyland and sell
it to the Russian mafia. “Thank you for your assessment, Yahtzee, now
please supply an explanation and apology for reviewing House motherfucking Flipper.” Ahh, I got no excuse. Of all the new games I played this week it’s
the one I kept coming back to. So there’s something absorbing about it or
maybe it’s the kind of downtime I seek after a long shift at my day job as an international
jewel thief. And the thread of “games about working a repetitive
job” leads us loosely to our second game, FAR (HURK) Lone Sails. Which is a narrative indie game from the post
9-11 politics school of game design, i.e., keep moving right until you can’t anymore. Far is a game about… that doesn’t sound
right. Lone Sails is a game about… that doesn’t
sound right either. I’ll just call it Bollocks. Bollocks is a game about making a journey. And because you’re a little waste paper basket
person with tiny legs you obviously have to make that journey in a gigantic land sailing
vessel the size of an average suburban McDonalds. There was an obscure LucasArts game called
Night Shift back in the day that I used to like about running around a big Heath Robinson
machine checking on all the components as it ran, and I think it’s a core gameplay concept
worth exploring ‘cos it captures all the thrill and excitement of turning on a self-assembled
PC for the first time not knowing if it’s going to run or embed a fan blade two inches
into your fucking eye socket. And Far Bollocks scratches that itch to a
degree. The idea is you’ve got to keep your ship going
by running around it loading fuel, putting the sail up and down, releasing steam, putting
out fires, making sure everyone’s got cheesy biscuits, and it’s well designed enough that
this is all effectively tutorialised without dialogue. But I’m afraid I’m going to have to inform
you, Mr and Mrs Sails, that your child is suffering from a severe case of indie game-itis. If only you’d brought her in when she first
started emitting sad music and washing out most of her colours, it’s now progressed to
a terminal case, complete with bog standard deliberately ambiguous unsatisfying ending. I’m afraid there’s not much more we can do
now except submit her for the Best Art Direction prize at next years Game Awards and hope she
can one day rejoin society. No, small child scary world standard indie-brand
atmosphere doesn’t inherently worsen a game, but I still think Far Lone Bollocks is missing
something. Maybe the attempt at a thoughtful, understated
tone doesn’t match the inherent concept of piloting a fuck off giant roadster that wouldn’t
have looked too out of place with Mad Max hanging off the front looking like he’s undergoing
a wasteland teeth whitening procedure. The sort of thing I’d want to push up to top
speed and then ride on top of going “Clang clang clang goes the trolley! Ring ring ring goes the bell! Crunch crunch crunch go the bones of old people
not getting out of the way!” That might have stirred a little engagement
up from the dried-up store of emotions I keep repressed so hard that they dangle out my
asshole like a prolapsed surgical glove. But having to stop every fifty yards to pick
up some fuel or solve another gate-opening puzzle killed the pace – yes, I know there’s
a vacuum for picking up fuel but I turned it off ‘cos it kept messing up my fuel storage
organisation system. Maybe it would’ve helped if we’d established
a need to get to or away from something quickly, to justify going in the vehicle. There’s one brief bit right at the end when
you have to go full speed to escape a volcano and otherwise it’s the video game equivalent
of a vegan diet: watery, anaemic, and disappointingly low on stakes.


100 thoughts on “House Flipper and Far: Lone Sails (Zero Punctuation)

  1. 0:12 ¬_¬. I had to piss in the kettle. I'll help ◕▽◕! 4:37 O益O! ♫♪CLANG CLANG CLANG GOES THE TROLLEY!♫♪ ♫♪Crunch crunch crunch go the bones of old people not getting out of the way.♫♪ Oh Dear.

  2. for the UK, House Flipper is too unrealistic. 'Buy a house, clean it and sell it on'? No. It'd be more like 'Buy a house, don't clean it, rent it out at a ridiculous price, earn the money without lifting a finger, rinse and repeat'
    Naturally, this edition would only be playable if you're over 45.

  3. I somewhat enjoyed House Flipper, but then I was told to install an electrical socket and paint a house.
    The painting part was easy, thing was that I couldn't fucking find the broken electrical socket I had to replace, neither could I find any place to "mount devices" on.
    I couldn't turn the fucking mission in until I installed that electrical socket, because painting the house was less than 60% of the work needed to be done (apparently).

  4. i know that it is highly uncharacteristic of you to take a suggestion, but if you are this starved for a good game, maybe give this a try? http://fractalsoftworks.com

    an open world spaceship buildy-shooty game. combine the in depth ship customization of FTL, with the open 2D interactive open world with a surprising amount of things going on in the background that you can interact with and influence to some degree based on your actions in and out of combat.

    also, this game is harsh but fair. very harsh. think of the spaceships in it as the soldiers from xcom: enemy unknown, but with more variety in playstyle. also, those ships can go boom, and you lose them forever. hope you're not too attached to the battleship you christened the USS Enterprise when she makes a valiant last stand against a vast enemy fleet, to be lost in battle, buying enough time for the rest of your fleet to escape the hordes of enemy interceptor frigates and torpedo bombers.

  5. Yahtzee lowkey bashing on wizard of legend to compliment house flipper isn't even shocking at this point

  6. I think a retro review on Chrono Trigger would be interesting. Every time you do bring up a JRPG, you often refer to games like Earthbound and Chrono Trigger, so I think it would be neat to here your insight on what a SNES game from over 20 years ago has over modern JRPGs that just utterly drain the player and you.

  7. Dark souls 4- I mean dark souls remastered needs you to talk about it you see it’s a thing that requires your attention really soon

  8. LOLed so hard at Yahtzee singing while mowing down granny imps! XD Also the Twix car with chocolate candies as fuel! Also the funny bits in House Flipper when the human shanks the female imp! XD

  9. 3:43 I'm going to be building a new PC soon and I have looked at that case. The front just looks tacky/cheap imo. I have my eye on a Cooler Master gaming tower that looks more stalwart and less faddy.

  10. At the 50 second mark, talking about all the "job games", made me think…yeah, when jobs no longer exist once the Automation Era gets into full swing, then yeah, the only way we will be able to experience what it was like to have a job will be with these so-called "games".

  11. seriously why has yathzee never done a review on resident evil 4 what do you mean retro review bucket is empty

  12. Have got considered reviewing Moonlighter? It's a pixel art rougelite action rpg with shop keeping mechanics. Is pretty fantastic.

  13. i swear im only checking these games out because theres a ZP video about them and i wanna understand Yahtzee's jokes

  14. Sorry, but at one point you show your due painting a house green…it seems you have forgotten:

    Green is not a creative colour

  15. Is 2018 shit? I mean 2017 had game of the year material by June. Resident evil, Zelda Zero dawn

    What has come out this year at all? God of war and I think that's it

  16. Does anyone remember the episode where Yahtzee goes "BORED NOW!" ? I can't find it for the life of me, really starting to bug me now.

  17. Does the “zero punctuation” part mean that it kinda sounds like you’re reading one long sentence? Or is it just the series name? I’m sorry, I’m kinda new here and love your style

  18. Either you're just taking the piss for the sake of laughs/views or you've never researched vegan food at all. I'll grant you the "low on steaks" if you're talking corpses but maybe you've never tried an awesome tofu steak?! As for watery and anaemic, nope, not at all. More tasty food and more available iron in legumes than red (carcinogenic) meat, sunshine! Seriously, research it. You'll be amazed at what bullshit you've been fed your whole life, literally and metaphorically!

  19. I would actually like a quick half review of Wizard of Legend, as it does have an interesting start then going to normal dungeon crawler stuff

  20. House Flipper is strangely absorbing. I'm like never having that much fun with it but I can't wait to go home and spend hours cleaning a virtual house to flip it.

  21. Can't wait for house flipper to go ta consoles. Id be happy for a week or so until i get bored and buy another shooter…

  22. Okay I confess to being that boring person that actually really liked House Flipper. It's not as good as Viscera Cleanup Detail but there's satisfaction in just..making something that looked like crap look nice again, I suppose? At any rate, I've loved the reviews that Yahtzee has done on the games I like, even when he's mostly dumping on them. It's like getting roasted, because his criticisms are accurate and even when you like a game you have things about it that you don't like, and he always points them out.
    Haven't played FAR: Lone (hGH) Sails but maybe I'll take a look at it and give it a go.

  23. How come he didn't mention the price of House Flipper on Steam? I think it's a ridiculous price tag for a game that shallow.

  24. watches a "negative" review of a game from Yahtzee -> adds that game to a wishlist on Steam based on said review

  25. Clang clang clang goes the trolly!
    Clap
    Ring ring ring goes the bell!
    Clap
    Crunch crunch goes the old ladies who won't get out of the way!
    Clap Clap Clap

  26. My best moment in House Flipper was taking the mission in which you have to renovate a widowed man's house, and doing everything he asked…with the exception of mounting huge pictures of the Grim Reaper all around his house. Apparently he was thrilled with the makeover.

  27. I'm disappointed with lone sails. I adored sailing in black flag and couldn't help but wish it was more detailed in that game.

    Now we get a meticulous sailing game that's just kinda… blah. No forward momentum like FTL, no swashbuckling adventure like black flag, and no excitement and liveliness like… well mad max

  28. At this point, the "OMG, so sad and artsy" style of indie games have more bog standard, deliberately ambiguous, unsatisfying endings than my sexual performances.

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