For well over 20 years players have been enjoying management simulation games such as Sim City, The Sims, Roller Coaster Tycoon and Zoo Tycoon. Before most of those however were Theme Park and Theme Hospital, the latter being a quirky hospital management sim released in 1997 on PC and the original PlayStation that required the player to control every facet of a large hospital. Fast forward 23 years and most of the team from Bullfrog Productions are back, joining Two Point Studios to bring us Two Point Hospital.
Originally released for PC in 2018, Two Point Hospital is the 21st century remake of Theme Hospital and as a fan of Theme Hospital back in its day, this feels so familiar yet so different but in a very positive way.
The premise of Two Point Hospital is simple, as the administrator of several hospitals in Two Point County, it is the players job to control everything from hiring and firing staff, upgrading to new advanced medical technology and expanding their hospital to meet the increasing needs of the patients and staff. As the game progresses, the player will get into the flow of how the hospital is run, adding air conditioning when the hospital is too hot or radiators when it is too cold and changing the room colours for example and just generally being a good hospital administrator. Available to assist the player during the game are loans, these loans assist in providing the player a healthy boost of funds to help upgrade each hospital. However, while tempting to take out a loan when funds are low, the repayments are huge each month and could make or break your bottom line, the player would just end up swimming in further debt if not spent wisely.
As any good administrator will tell you, your people are your greatest strength. Treating the staff fairly, letting them have breaks, promoting, training and re-educating them to be more efficient and hiring more staff to help lighten the load of their fellow employees will keep them happy. They will thank you in the long run by making the patients healthier faster and boost the reputation of the hospital to reach that coveted 3 star rating.
Staff and management of the hospital aside, the main aspect of this game that will take up most of the player’s time is managing the patients. Patients will come into the hospital in waves, so the player needs to prepare for their hilarious needs because in Two Point Hospital there are no common run of the mill illnesses. Getting a “Jest Infection” requires the player to de-clown a patient, while being “light headed” means removing a light bulb from the patient and replacing it with, well, a human head and combined with the colourful nature and cartoon-like design, this makes Two Point Hospital a delight to play.
Management simulations ported from the PC sometimes have a rough transition to console. Although, just like the recent Games with Gold title, Jurassic World: Evolution, this game has also translated really well from PC. Overall, the transition from keyboard and mouse to controller works well, but it does come with a little bit of frustration at times. Room building, remodelling and other intricate movements are required in this frantic medical environment to keep patients, staff and inspectors happy and each action on its own is straightforward. Get lost in the frantic environment with too many tasks on your plate and chaos ensues. This is where the pause function helps as it allows the player to stop, gather their thoughts and do what needs to be done, without any patient passing on to the other side. Upgrading each hospital is also an integral part of the game, so players need to ensure that they utilise their time in the first “tutorial” hospital to understand the mechanics of the game. The mechanics involve not just the building of a hospital but also catering to patient needs through upgrading and modifying hospital facilities. This includes upgraded patient facilities, vending machines, arcade games and more to ensure you cure those mystery illnesses or keep them happy while they wait for a bed. To help with building that successful hospital, the game brings with it a copy and paste function for rooms. This allows the hospital manager to copy that perfect room and utilise its design right across the hospital without having to rebuild it each time. Rooms can also be appended together to upgrade to those larger areas with ease. Perfect for those times where you in a rush or have perfected the art of the Emergency Room. This feature saves time and increases the hospitals reputation reasonably fast.
Outside of these fairly minor faults, the fun I have had every time I have jumped into Two Point Hospital has by far outweighed them. I have found myself invested in each hospital location I was managing and I never wanted to leave or move on to a new hospital until I had achieved the highest rating of stars. This game pushes the player to move on to other hospitals at a solid pace when the player achieves their set goals. Players will eventually unlock a new hospital and each new hospital helps unlock new research or diagnostic tools for all the new cases that will flood through your doors. These new tools can then be applied to the players already established hospitals.
Two Point Hospital comes with all the previously released DLC that has been made available in the PC version except for the Sandbox and Superbug Initiative – that will introduce collaborative community gameplay to achieve specific goals and unlock new unique rewards. These will launch in around a months time.
This game is very family friendly and there is no inappropriate language, adult themes or gore. Two Point Hospital is a single player title with no co-op or online functionality. Although, it has a lot of replay value to perfect your hospitals.
Two Point Hospital released on February 26th and is currently available on Xbox Game Pass as part of the subscription service. It is also available on PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch.
+ Visual aesthetics.
+ High replay value.
– Can get very busy and at times difficult to find where or what is going on in the Hospital because there are no clear markers to signal.
– A deeper and more in-depth tutorial required to master some of the more advanced features.
– Need some further zoom gradients to make navigating easier.
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*Please note that this review code was provided for review purposes. All thoughts on this title is that of the reviewer and the OMG team.