Overall - 90%
Two Point Hospital is a colorful clown car of character, warmth, and comedy. Spend some time under the hood, however, and you'll find a deep, rewarding, and challenging simulation experience.
Two Point Studios wears their inspiration on their sleeve with the spiritual successor to Theme Hospital, Two Point Hospital. Does the wacky and comical approach to the world of medical science and research stand up to today’s high standards, or is this purely a trip for nostalgia-seeking oldies?
Two Point Hospital Review
It hardly seems like a week goes by without a remake, re-release, or a HD mumbo jumbo version of an old game once again makes its presence known. Sometimes these games offer a worthwhile trip down memory lane, while others remind us that the industry has come a very long way over the years. While Two Point Hospital is not a direct remake of Theme Hospital, it is very clear that the team at Two Point Studios took inspiration from the game, and they are not afraid to show it.
Within minutes of starting my first hospital, I felt entirely comfortable with every element of the user interface. The controls were fluid, intuitive, and easy to master, making the initial learning curve so short that I was immediately welcomed into the world of hospital management. Minutes later, I was rushing around trying to find a janitor with a special ability, one required to catch the ghost of a dead patient that was terrorizing my staff. Ah, good times.
These outlandish and entirely unrealistic scenarios continue to occur throughout the entire game. Ghosts haunting your patients, staff fighting in the corridors, people vomiting green goo all over my shiny new SEGA arcade machine; there’s no respite from the onslaught of comedic remedy. Typically, in other games not so expertly executed, I find these elements to retract from the overall experience. Often, when comedy takes the center stage of a game the gameplay suffers, but not here.
While there’s many hours of fun to be had watching the characters of your hospital interact in real-time, there’s just as much enjoyment from turning up the speed dial and making a play as the greatest hospital manager of all time. Two Point Hospital’s colorful combination of crazy characters and illnesses may be the initial appeal, but it’s the stellar simulation mechanics backing it up that make this hospital worth the visit.
As you continue to build up your hospital, adding new rooms and ensuring patients and staff have access to basic needs like food and water, everything feels exciting and new. Whether you’re managing an outbreak of a new disease as you rapidly attempt to research the cure before death comes knocking, or you’re hitting up the bank for a loan with a struggling bottom line, the combination of micromanagement and challenging active scenarios makes for an engrossing experience that quickly eats away at the day.
Progression works in a similar way to simulation titles of old. You arrive at a new location with a skeleton hospital ready to be molded into your image and a set of new and increasingly difficult objectives to meet. These objectives vary from researching a specific piece of technology, to reaching a certain level of hygiene in your hospital. I personally found each of the challenging levels to vary enough in objectives to void any potential boredom or repetition, but the lack of a complete sandbox mode may be off-putting for some.
The team at Two Point Studios didn’t set out to merely modernize Theme Hospital; they set out to raise the bar. Two Point Hospital features a robust and in-depth management system that gives the player the choice and freedom to take as little, or as much, control as they would like. You can train staff to be better at specific tasks, you can assign them singular, permanent jobs, or you can make them eligible to work in all fields as a backup, should another member of staff need a break.
Managing your finances, patients, and staff is light years ahead of the competition with approachable and easy to read menus, graphs, charts, and log records. Whether you want to have a laugh checking out the long list of pop culture-filled diseases and illnesses or want to challenge yourself to make a well oiled, medical profiting machine, Two Point Hospital manages to combine a casual, comical simulation experience with enough depth and character to appeal to even the more hardcore of simulation fans.
Marring the near perfect execution of Two Point Hospital are a number of launch day problems; some minor, others severe. On a couple of occasions, my save file for an individual hospital was corrupted, resulting in losing progress for that particular level. Staff and patients would often appear stuck with no obvious remedy or solution, and tabbing out from the game often resulted in a hard crash. Luckily my lost progress was mostly in hospitals I had already completed and the stuck patients were more an aesthetic issue that a mechanical one but I can see these issues being frustrating for those less fortunate.
Finally, as I feel it’s worth a mention, there is a competitive multiplayer function in the form of leaderboards and events. You can challenge players on your Steam friends list to various events, such as reaching the most Research Points or earning the most money over a period of time. You can even send a screenshot showcasing your hospital prowess along with a banter filled caption. While not exactly a game seller, I had a lot more fun with it than I expected.
Two Point Hospital is a colorful clown car of character, warmth, and comedy. Spend some time under the hood, however, and you’ll find a deep, rewarding, and challenging simulation experience.
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