The 1990s brought us some of the best simulation games for tycoons and businesses, from memorable classics like Sim City 2000 to the first game, Harvest Moon. Among the largest is a look at the management of life (and death) in an original and humorous hospital setting with a game by Bullfrog Studios called Themed Hospital. The game received excellent reviews and was loved by fans at the time. After another two decades, the spiritual successor to the developer Two Point Studios, Two Point Hospital, was released for Nintendo Switch. Can the fans of the original run the hospital again to their full satisfaction? Or will they try to wash their hands of innocence? Let’s build a hospital and find out!
Two Point Hospital is the most efficient hospital in the whole country and helps interesting and confused patients with all their ailments. As with most simulation games, you start with an empty, unmanned hospital, but thanks to a fun and accessible tutorial, you’ll be able to set up your first doctor, nurse and support staff in no time, as well as a doctor’s office and a pharmacy with one of the simplest console controls I’ve ever experienced.
The attraction in the game unfolds at a steady pace and with progressive difficulty. More advanced techniques and management functions are taught in early hospitals as they progress. This means that while your first hospital is quite rudimentary, where you will only encounter and treat a few diseases, your third hospital is likely to treat almost a dozen, has expanded to multiple buildings and hired a whole bunch of staff to deal with the hustle and bustle of battle to prevent these beautiful people from dying in the middle of your waiting room.
For newcomers and old fans: The characteristic of Two Point Hospital as a simulation game is that it doesn’t take itself seriously at all. While many simulation games do their best to replicate their lifelike counterparts, Two Point Hospital can boast fictional and imaginative diseases. For example, Vertigo shows patients entering your hospital with a light bulb on their head. To treat this condition, your patient is placed in a rather confusing device that disconnects the lamp and replaces it with the normal head. Again, there is no shortage of mental illnesses, which requires therapy rooms and qualified personnel. You’ll meet patients who need help getting rid of their Freudian lips, or Mock-star disease, where patients think they’re actually famous rock stars.
In any case, this humour is carried by the game, both in the dialogues and in the visual style. With cartoon-like graphics and characters that seem to come from Wallace and Gromit, this game is a feast for the eyes in every way. When it comes to treatment, of course, you build new machines to treat specific diseases and then watch their animations play to heal your patients. It’s a crazy, fun, busy hospital.
Every new hospital level you enter has important goals that earn you a star. The hospital can earn up to 3 stars if you meet the objectives of each level. The first hospitals were very easy to reach. Over time I realized that I had to invest in my space, optimize it and man it with competent people to get a better assessment.
The transition to later hospitals also shows how incredibly profound the management side can be. Although all mechanisms are usually available from the beginning, you don’t have to pay much attention to them in early hospitals when you are taught the more introductory elements. However, you quickly become micro-managers of their pauses, moods and characteristics, and teach them new skills to improve their workplace. Add to this the management of the spaces you build and make sure they are leveled and decorated and that your maintenance staff operate all your equipment. But no matter how much data you have, if you keep a notification turned on in the game, you’ll always get a boost in the form of text boxes that appear periodically when the game makes you feel you have a problem to solve or something urgent. For me, the fact that I have not completely lost sight of an important part of my large hospital environment has been a welcome feature.
At any time during your hospital stay, there may be a crisis or an urgent patient transfer, requiring you to respond quickly and with the right staff to an influx of patients requiring a particular type of care due to a specific condition. These are effective challenges, and if you manage to meet the challenge conditions, you will be rewarded with XP, cash and premium Kudos game currency.
This award in the form of Kudos has proven to be a great motivation for me to accept and pass the difficult tests and to get a 3-star hospital, but also to pursue more important career goals. There is not much praise, but how you spend it can often be a difficult decision, as I quickly learned. Two Point Hospital offers many customization options to customize any hospital to your needs. You can change the style of the floors, walls and others in your rooms, as well as the colours of your staff’s clothing. However, all these custom purchases can only be made with Kudosh, and not all prices are low, which means that you’ll have to make wise choices if you decide to go for a different color palette.
Even more important is the purchase of goods. Although some new items that can be placed in your hospital are often made available in case of a problem or in addition to an asterisk, most improvements to your hospital also come from the purchase of Kudosh. Would you like to replace the rigid waiting room couch with an upholstered couch and vending machines to make your patients more comfortable? It will cost you a few good words, but in return it will increase the value of your hospital and at the same time relieve the stress of your customers. Many articles have positive properties, some of which also have unintended consequences, but it is these articles that will certainly create the most suitable hospital environment you can imagine.
There are a lot of nice nuances you will discover as you dive into the title. I’m not gonna mess up the way your hospital deals with death, but this is serious business… Phantom blast. As hospital facilities expand, you’ll need to move around regularly and review all your dashboards to make sure everything runs smoothly. After the PC debut of Two Point Hospital, the game had to be refurbished to be ready for the consoles and the Nintendo Switch. I am happy to say that this transition went well and as smoothly as one would like. My only minor criticism is that navigating through some submenus can be a bit confusing, especially the way to access them, but for the most part it is quite efficient, with special attention to the buttons to press for the most common actions and menu entries where the game is needed.
Running a hospital couldn’t be more fun than running the Two Points Hospital, with the added bonus of not catching a pandemic disease. Fans of the theme hospital should receive a welcome follow-up, and newcomers to the game will enjoy getting to know the sick and eccentric patients who will walk through the doors of their hospital in no time! We can only hope that Two Point Studios will bring the theme games of this generation to life!
Two-point hospital overview
- Graphs – 9/10
- Sound – 8.5/10
- Gameplay – 9/10
- Late call – 8.5/10
Final thoughts: EXAMPLES
Two Point Hospital tackles this case as humorously as possible and places him on top of his kind. Although it’s a revival of a 1990s classic, the new game creates a balanced and surprisingly deep simulation without ever creating a frustrating experience. Playing on the Nintendo Switch is easy, and the hours will fly by as you treat patients for stupid diseases, setting up your hospital, and expanding your services to maximise sweet profits! Although I generally avoid hospitals like the plague, I like to make an exception for Two Point Hospital.
Alex has been in the gaming industry since Nintendo’s release. He has turned his hobby into a career, has been developing games for just over ten years and is now creative director of the studio.
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