capsule review

Flip or Flop Home Edition

In real estate parlance “flipping” is when you buy a property then sell it in a few months, often for a huge profit. Now it’s the subject of a casual game title from Toybox Games, available for download from

The goal of Flip or Flop Home Edition is to turn your small seed investment capital into a big enough pile of money to save Grandma, who is in trouble with the Feds for not paying her taxes. You’ve got to come up with enough money to get Grandma’s beautiful home back from the IRS.

Flip or Flop Home Edition is a twist on the infinitely popular and infinitely varied “match three” style of puzzle game that’s become so popular over the past few years. The renovations you make are the puzzle part of the game—match three or more sinks, for example, and you’ll collect points and work towards your goal. The same goes for windows, paint, wallpaper, doors, flooring and other objets de renovation .

A timer (in the shape of a tape measure) tells you how long you have left to go, and a bulletin board gives you useful information, like how many renovations you have left to make, how complete your renovation is, how much money you’ve spent, and how much value you’ve added to your property.

Do everything in time and you can trade up—first, from a trailer park with very limited income opportunities to a rural town with slightly better prospects; then, to suburbia, where property is more expensive but where you can make a tidy sum. Finally, you move on to the land of the filthy rich, where people have more money than sense. All the while, the clock is ticking, and you have to work fast and smart to get the work done.

There’s a bit of strategy in Flip or Flop Home Edition, too. Different houses—even different houses in the same neighborhood—require different types of renovation. Some might only require some paint, wallpaper, and floors to turn a profit, while others might need more extensive work. You’ll have your choice of which properties to fix up in each given neighborhood, limited only by your budget. As you amass more cash and complete more renovations (changing the houses from drab, sometimes filthy and boarded-up pits to respectable looking homes), you’ll unlock the new neighborhoods that will let you work toward your dreams.

The puzzle part of the game takes place on a square blueprint that’s pegged to large pegboard. Clicking on arrows at the edge of each row or column of the blueprint causes icons representing each renovation to move over one space—match three and they’ll vanish from the puzzle in a flurry of paper, leaving you with some more cash and getting you closer to your goal, replaced with new icons that descend from the top. It’s a fun and interesting variation on the popular “match three” genre.

The game will offer you hints by highlighting which row or column you can click on to make a match. Sometimes if the action becomes fast-paced enough it’ll actually make wrong hints, though, which can cost you time—I’d occasionally click on a highlighted arrow in a row or column only to discover that it was indicating a match that was no longer valid.

The game has great production value, chock-full of cartoon-style animation and a catchy custom soundtrack that’s quite whimsical and toe-tapping.

You can maintain up to three different user profiles, so three different players can all keep track of their progress. You can quit and come back when you’re ready, picking up where you left off, making it a good choice for the commute or in between meetings at the office.

The bottom line

Flip or Flop Home Edition takes a cultural touchstone—real estate flipping—and mates it to the common “match three” puzzle genre for some light-hearted entertainment.

Flipping Out Flip Or Flop Home Edition is a variation on the popular “match three” style of puzzle games—you match icons representing renovations to improve your real estate holdings.
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