Two Point Hospital – Review
Back in 1997, a game that changed my life forever was released, Theme Hospital. The game seemed simple on the outside, manage a hospital with absurd illnesses and make sure you don’t go broke. It was amazing. I fell in love with the simulation genre, though I loved Sim City, Theme Hospital will forever be a part of my gaming upbringing. Fast forward 21 years. Two Point Studios releases Two Point Hospital. With the studio itself forged from veterans of Bullfrog and Lionhead, some of them actually working on Theme Hospital, I had my hopes high. I was not disappointed one bit.
I was lucky enough to be invited to San Francisco for a Two Point Hospital event as press. I got my hands on the game for a few hours with some of the Two Point Studios team. This was a few weeks before launch and I wasn’t sure what to expect. I was blown away. That far before the estimated launch day, this game felt good and I couldn’t stop smiling like an idiot while playing it. The Lead Artist Mark Smart was amazingly awesome and took the time to do a little interview with me (which must have been hard as we just watched England lose in their final cup match.) Before I dive deep into the game, I’d like to leave the video here for anyone that would like to listen in to what Mark had to say.
If you aren’t familiar with simulation games like this one, it may be overwhelming at first. There is a lot to do. Hospital management, staff management, and patient management. Thankfully Two Point Hospital does a good job of easing you into the game. Even Theme Hospital veterans will enjoy how the game is presented and not jammed right into the mix. There are 15 levels in total and each one is VERY different. Depending on the locale of the hospital you will get different illnesses, for example, snowy areas will have more ski accidents happen. With that being said you will spend a lot of time trying to make rooms just the way you want them just to go into a tailspin when an emergency hits and you realize your head doctor hasn’t rested in 200 days.
Progression in the game is much better if you want to compare it to Theme Hospital. Each level has a ranking of three stars. Once you get three stars you have mastered that hospital level. You do only need one star to continue to the next hospital level though. You can also leave a hospital and go back to another one previously played. Bringing along anything you unlock with Kudosh (more on that later) and room technologies. I did find myself moving ahead to save a failing hospital to be able to unlock a better way to cure the patients for a previous hospital.
Hospital Management is one of the most fun things to do in Two Point Hospital. Laying out rooms, adding bathrooms, setting up decorations, and adding those fun touches like vending machines and such. This isn’t as easy as it seems to balance everything. You need a balance of plants, trash cans, heat or AC if needed, things to eat or drink, things for distraction such as a magazine rack. All of these can only benefit how your staff and patients feel. The setback though, is that things can get expensive trying to cater to the people’s needs and wants. Another issue could be that you haven’t unlocked it yet. These items are unlocked with Kudosh (K) Points. You can receive these throughout your work. Sometimes from health inspectors as a reward for having a clean hospital, one of the best ways early on is to complete some of your career goals. There are quite a bit but the easier ones are obtaining a certain amount of cash. Later on in the game though, you can set up research to obtain K Points easier. Once the items are unlocked you will need cash to purchase them. The items can be upgraded existing things like furniture, or something new like a water fountain.
Staff management is a huge necessity. Staff breaks down into four categories; Doctors, Nurses, Assistants, and Janitors. Each individual has their own strengths and weaknesses. You must play to their strengths and train out their weaknesses. While staff training doesn’t come about for a couple of hospitals, it is very crucial to know that this will make or break your hospital. Where you place your staff is also crucial. Doctors with good diagnosis need to be in GP. Nurses that are better in pharmacy or wards, make sure they are in those areas. Assistants can have specialties in customer service, and janitors can specialize in repair, maintenance or my favorite…ghostbusting. If you do not play to the staff’s strengths and have untrained people in the wrong spots. People WILL die. Even if you have a 99% diagnosis if you have an untrained nurse in pharmacy you very well can lose a patient. That is where the ghostbusting janitors come in. If a patient turns into a ghost they will haunt the halls of your hospital and spook staff and patients basically halting all operations. Each staff member is allowed 5 training points, you can hire staff with some training already done, others will be bare bones empty. You choose what to train and who to train. If you don’t have a trainer..well trained you will have to hire one out for 10k and it’s 5k a trainee. Needless to say, training isn’t cheap but you cannot get far without it.
As for patient management, like the other two, is much different. Patients will come flocking in with different needs so you need to be ready. Some sicker than others, some with more personal needs such as being hungry, thirsty, or needing to go to the bathroom. It’s all up to you to queue them properly so sicker people get moved to the front of the queue while others can wait a bit more. The more decorations and amenities you provide, the better experience the patients will have…in theory, if you don’t kill them
The artwork is amazing, it fits so damn well with the theme of the game. There’s a lot of humor all throughout the game. Especially in the illnesses. Damn are those good. My all-time favorite? The Mock-star. Where the patient looks and acts like Freddy Mercury. The poses and walk just absolutely kill me. While the illnesses are over the top, so are the cures…Just take a look at the cure for lightheadedness:
This game is wacky and a blast to play. My wife asks if I was done playing at nights so she could take care of her hospitals. Gamers of all ages can play and enjoy this game just as much as the hardcore player. It doesn’t take long playing Two Point Hospital before you realize hours have passed and you have to question you’re own sanity at 3 am if you can achieve the next star.
+ Fun challenging gameplay mixed with humor
+ Gamers of all ages can pick it up and love it
+ Very easily lose hours playing it
+ Characters are gorgeous and a blast to watch
- Minor Slowdowns
- Really nothing to gripe about