The 1990s brought us some of the best business and tycoon simulation games, from memorable classics like Sim City 2000 to the first game Harvest Moon. Among the biggest is a look at managing life (and death) in an original and humorous hospital setting with a game from Bullfrog Studios called Themed Hospital. The game received excellent reviews and was loved by fans at the time. After another two decades, developer Two Point Studios’ spiritual successor, 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 it? Let’s build a hospital and find out!
Two Point Hospital is the most efficient hospital in the entire country, helping 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, as well as a doctor’s office and pharmacy in no time with one of the easiest console controls I’ve ever experienced.
The appeal in the game unfolds at a steady pace and with progressive difficulty. More advanced techniques and management functions are learned in early hospitals as they progress. This means that while your first hospital is fairly rudimentary, where you’ll only encounter and treat a few diseases, your third hospital will likely treat nearly a dozen diseases, has expanded into multiple buildings, and has hired a whole bunch of staff to handle the hustle and bustle of fighting to keep these wonderful people from dying in the middle of your waiting room.
For newcomers and old fans: The hallmark 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 real-life counterparts, Two Point Hospital boasts 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 put into a rather confusing device that disconnects the bulb and replaces it with the normal head. Again, there is no shortage of mental illnesses, which require therapy rooms and qualified staff. 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 humor is carried through the game, both in the dialogues and in the visual style. With cartoonish graphics and characters that seem to come from Wallace and Gromit, this game is a delight in every way. When it comes to treatment, of course, you build new machines to treat specific diseases and then watch their animations play out to cure your patients. It’s a crazy, fun, busy hospital.
Each 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 I needed to invest in my space, optimize it and staff it with skilled people to get a better rating.
The transition to later hospitals also shows how incredibly profound the management side can be. Although all the mechanisms are usually available from the beginning, you don’t have to pay as much attention to them in the early hospitals when you are taught the more introductory elements. However, you quickly become micro-managers of their breaks, moods and characteristics, and teach them new skills to improve their workplace. It’s also about managing the spaces you build, making sure they’re leveled and furnished, and making sure your maintenance staff is running all your equipment. But no matter how much data you have, if you keep a notification enabled in the game, you’ll always get a boost in the form of text boxes that appear periodically when the game gives you the impression that you have a problem to solve or something urgent to do. 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 have the right staff available to manage the influx of patients who require 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 motivator for me to accept and pass the difficult tests and get a 3-star hospital, but also to pursue more important career goals. There’s 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 make any hospital to your liking. You can change the style of the floors, walls and others in your rooms, as well as the colors of your staff’s clothing. However, all of these custom purchases can only be made with Kudosh, and not all prices are low, which means 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. While some of the new items that can be placed in your hospital are often made available for broadcast or as an addition to a star rating, most improvements to your hospital will also come from purchasing Kudosh. Want to replace the stiff waiting room bench with an upholstered bench and dispensers 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 while relieving stress on your customers. Many items have positive attributes, some of which also have unintended consequences, but it is these items that will certainly create the most appropriate hospital environment you can imagine.
There are many fun nuances you’ll discover when you dive into the title. I’m not going to spoil the way your hospital handles death, but this is a serious matter…. Phantom blast. As hospital facilities expand, you’ll need to move around regularly and review all your dashboards to make sure everything is running smoothly. After Two Point Hospital’s PC debut, the game needed to be revamped to be ready for consoles and the Nintendo Switch. I am happy to say that this transition has gone well and is going as smoothly as one would like. My only minor criticism is that navigating through some of the submenus can be a little confusing, especially the way to access them, but for the most part it’s pretty efficient, with special attention paid to the buttons to press for the most commonly used actions and menu prompts where the game needs them.
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 get a welcome follow-up, and newcomers to the game will have a lot of fun getting to know the sick and eccentric patients who will be walking through the doors of their hospital in no time! We can only hope that Two Point Studios will bring this generation’s themed games to life!
Two Point Hospital Overview
- Charts – 9/10
- Sound – 8.5/10
- Gameplay – 9/10
- Late Call – 8.5/10
Final thoughts : EXAMPLES
Two Point Hospital tackles this case in the most humorous way possible, placing it at the top of its class. Although it’s a revival of a classic from the 90s, 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 silly diseases, set up your hospital, and expand your services to maximize sweet profits! While I generally avoid hospitals like the plague, I’m happy to make an exception for Two Point Hospital.
Alex has been involved in the gaming industry since the release of Nintendo. He’s turned his hobby into a career, spending just over a decade developing games and now serving as creative director of the studio.
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