As someone who grew up playing games like Theme Park World and mainly Theme Hospital we decided to take a small trip down memory and nostalgia lane. Considering that Two Point Hospital is considered to be the spiritual successor to Theme Hospital it made sense to at least try this one out.
What also helped motivate our decision to play this one was the fact that we were still going through a small period of binge watching a certain television show that also mainly focuses on hospital dramas. For those interested, the show I am referring to is the 2014 series known as House. Which starred actor Hugh Laurie as the main character.
So anyway lets begin our review…
As many people may already know the classic 1997 title Theme Hospital was known for its humour and crazy hospital madness. Having patients suffer with the most bizarre and unusual cases that you can ever imagine. Cases and illnesses such as bloaty head and King Complex. Which basically either made the patient have a bizarre swelling head or try to impersonate Elvis Presley. Though having to find a cure for the latter may seem to be strange when everyone that enjoys music will more than likely be a fan of the king himself. However, that is what made the game such an iconic staple into the world of business simulation titles.
So how does this one compare to such a great classic?
Well to begin with the short yet, shall we say interesting, introduction was certainly a good start. Here we were already introduced to some of the content that we were about to get into. Not only that but the humour was also very much present. This, of course, made us hungry for more.
As we started to get used to the new mechanics we were quickly introduced to a character known as Albert Crank. He is apparently our assistant advisor, nice and friendly individual. He basically told us all that we needed to know in order to get started.
Our first job and hospital was one known as Hogsport. This is where we would be setting off in our new job as a hospital administrator. For me personally, it also made me want to role-play into the world of Princeton–Plainsboro too but there we go. Now to look for House… yes..
Though this game is indeed a spiritual successor to Theme Hospital this game also manages to give us some Sims related vibes too. Perhaps this was all down to the gameplay mechanics such as building and creating a vast range of different equipment, rooms, and basically, long story short, designing your own buildings. Though, unlike with the Sims, you cannot create a custom character or force characters to talk to each other. This is strictly a business simulation game and not a social simulator. So that is probably where the similarities come to an end.
As we are indeed in the role of a hospital administrator we will be tasked with maintaining the hospital, a very big and important job. Which will task us with having to create and insert reception desks, hiring staff, create funding for the all important medical equipment. Plus so much more. It will be our job to make sure the hospital reaches its full potential.
Regarding staff, there will be many to choose from and each one comes with their own merits and downfalls. So making sure we pick the correct individual is a very important requirement if we want to succeed. Some of these downfalls are quite imaginative to say the least. Having a staff member that is known to be very boring or unhygienic can perhaps prove to be very problematic.
After we had managed to complete the basic tutorial phase and hired our first few staff assistants we were then pleased to be informed that our hospital was now officially open for business. What madness are we going to get ourselves into now?
I’ll admit things didn’t get off to a very good start. As our first patient made their way inside our hospital all was going according to plan. They managed to seek out the reception desk rather easily. However, from there it didn’t last long before it all went a bit crazy. Our GP doctor decided that now was the perfect time for a stroll outside and our poor patient had an unexpected wait. Eventually we managed to chase our preoccupied member of staff and everything was eventually set right once again. I will be deducting his wages a bit later.
Apparently our patient had a case of the Grout. Which is said to be a bathroom related illness and at this point I felt sorry for them. On the other hand though I was also pleasantly surprised that the game humour was still around. It really did feel like a trip down nostalgia lane.
In fact to make the nostalgia ever more present the hospital had a female announcer, just like with Theme Hospital. This was definitely one of the highlights back in the day. There was many times where you would be concentrating on finding cures to your patients illnesses, then all of a sudden a female announcer would then report something else out of the blue and completely distract you. It was all part of the humour.
One of the many announcements back then that still occasionally enters my head now and then was regarding patients being asked not to die in the corridors. Plus the announcer apologising for the amount of litter. We were only young back then so we were not that great at playing Theme Hospital or understanding how to maintain a business. So, long story short, the female announcer enjoyed reminding us of all of that.
In order to progress through the game you will be required to read messages on what your staff may need help with or if they recommend something we perhaps need to do. Such as creating new rooms, discovering new illnesses, and so much more. Making sure your hospital is constantly running at its full potential can actually be rather hard work. However, when each term ends and we have completed our goals for each chapter we are then rewarded with bonus kudosh and potential room decorations. All of which is rather nice and will no doubt help with future challenges.
Two Point Hospital manages to do a good job in trying to relive those happy days with Theme Hospital. It certainly has its funny side with the various announcements that either relate to the hospital itself or to anything outside of that. There is even a rather humorous one relating to the bureaucrats, or is that bureaucats?. Plus, of course, the patient illnesses also come with its own twist of funny and comedy value.
At first I was unsure how I would manage to appreciate a game like this again. It had been a very long time since I had last played a business simulation game. Almost too long. On top of that I was also slightly worried about the mechanics of the game, as for some reason, I had assumed a game like this would require many buttons and configurations that perhaps only a PC can handle.
However, it did not take me long to then realise that I was worrying over nothing. The mechanics are great and the game itself, though perhaps basic, is still a great and enjoyable title.
I would recommend this one to anyone that wants something simple to play. Something basic and yet still enjoyable. Perhaps someone, who, like me, enjoys watching House too much and has a wild imagination.
Developer: Two Point Studios
Release Date: August 30th, 2018
Platforms: PC, Playstation 4, Xbox One, Switch
Genre: Business Simulation
Main Story Length: 40 hours
Platform Reviewed On: Playstation 4
Overall Rating: 3/5
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