Two Point Hospital is the latest in a long history of simulation/management games, and comes as a spiritual successor to 1997’s Theme Hospital. It’s safe to say, however, that things have progressed in the medical world over the last 21 years.
The game is set in the fictional Two Point County, where you are tasked with running several hospitals to a high standard. Not only do you need to ensure that as many patients walk out of your hospital cured as possible, but you also need to make sure you’re running at a profit so you can expand your hospital with more rooms, buildings, and better staff.
This creates a dilemma between hiring the best staff – you’ll need doctors, nurses, administrative assistants and janitors – who obviously cost more, or taking on a few less-than-capable staff members to make sure your hospital runs efficiently.
It’s also important to think about how space is used. Some of the sites you’ll be managing will be one big building, while some allow you to buy more land and build more buildings, creating a sprawling metropolis in hospital terms.
When you open the doors to patients, however, you see what sets Two Point Hospital apart from other management simulators. Taking some inspiration from its predecessor (although with a refreshed list of ailments), you’ll come up against Lightheadedness – a lightbulb for a head, Pandemic – someone with a pan stuck to their head and Mock Star – patients who are convinced they are a rock star. These are some of the more ridiculous maladies, however you’ll also get patients with minor troubles like Bedhead.
All of these diseases are likely to need a specialist treatment room, staffed with a doctor. Some rooms such as the pharmacy or the ward can treat multiple diseases or even patients at a time, while the De-Lux clinic is only capable of curing Lightheaded patients. The discovery of new diseases keeps the game refreshing, and keeps you on your toes as you try and manage the staff in each room, carefully time their breaks and ensure queues don’t build up.
Throughout the game, you’re given various challenges (which are helpful during the tutorial as there is a reasonable amount of information to process) though not as many as in most city management games. At times they do feel slightly unnecessaryMany of them, like earning $100,000, are things you would accomplish during regular gameplay, and it’s reasonable to prefer that people were left to their own devices once they’ve got the hang of it. Surely creating the hospital of your dreams is why you bought the game in the first place?
That is, however, a minor detraction from what is a good game. The vibrant colours and gameplay keep it interesting, while the humorous staff, patients and illnesses set it apart from other games of its ilk.
Image: Two Point Hospital / Two Point Studios