Back in the 90s there was a strange game about running a hospital where you had weird doctors and even weirder patients and thankfully it was a blast to play. This game was Theme Hospital and has been a fan favourite ever since. Now in 2020, we are finally getting a spiritual successor in Two Point Hospital.
So, what is it all about? Well your career starts you off as a hospital administrator with a basic hospital to get you into the swing of things and get used to what the game has on offer and what you can achieve. You are tasked with building a hospital from the ground up and it starts you off at a pace that is not too overwhelming as you familiarise yourself with the controls and the games mechanics. First thing you need to do is start building a reception desk and deciding where you want to place it. After that you will want to build a GP office and Pharmacy room too. Once you have these built, it’s time to start hiring some staff, as you can build more rooms as you go.
Hiring staff is a straight-forward process of just accessing your menu and checking out who you can pick for the job. Each of the staff that are on offer has their strengths and weakness, plus some will probably have some funny quirks or bad habits. Thankfully before you hire anyone, you can check out their profile and if you think they would fit your hospital. Also, keep it in mind that your staff can receive training later in the game as you progress. So, you are not stuck with certain staff who are just bone idle.
Once the doors of the hospital are opened, patients will start to come in looking to be cured of whatever illness that currently have. As your GPs and nurses give them a diagnosis, you will get email alerts on what they need, whether it’s a trip to the psychiatrist, spend time in a ward or perhaps a more weirder illness like Jest infection, where the patient thinks they are a clown. To cure this aliment, you need to build a Clown Clinic, which is basic a room with a circus tent. These are just a few ways to heal your paying guests and the further you venture into the game, the weirder and crazier the illnesses and treatments are.
With each of the rooms/wards you build they can look at bit on the bland side. However, you can spruce up these rooms by adding in all manner of items, from filing cabinets and bins to radiators and plants. Each of these are designed to make the hospital more appealing, more pleasant while your patients are being looked after by your staff or while they wait to be checked on. The halls and reception area of the hospital can also be made more practical and appealing as well. You can place in some vending machines and drinking fountains to make sure everyone has something to drink and eat while they wait. You can also drop in a bookcase; magazine racks and leaflet stand to keep them entertained. There is quite a lot you can add in and you are only limited by your creative mind as to how you want your hospital to look like.
Each hospital you visit has its own set of challenges and conditions whether its weather conditions or the kind of patients you receive. Each hospital also starts off at a slow pace and eases you into it, but if you get too reckless or not keep your eye on things, that’s when everything can collapse around you. It’s when patients with emergency illnesses that flood it is what will keep you on your toes as you try to meet demand and have equip the hospital with what is needed at that time. However, if you manage to get past the craziness and deal with these emergencies, the rewards you receive are well worth it.
The presentation of Two Point Hospital is beautiful and the hospitals you build are colourful, bright and cheerful. The patients and doctors that walk around your hospital are all created with their own unique style with how they walk when they are tired, hungry, cold or if they have a bizarre illness. For example, there is one illness that sees your patients dressed like rock stars, thinking they are the greatest in the world, but are a little ga-ga! The humour in the game is like a typical day in the life of an Aardman Animations movie, like Chicken Run and Wallace & Gromit. The announcements from the hospital radio to the receptionist chatter over the tannoy, which have some funny announcements like, ‘Patients are asked to pay without thinking’ and ‘Earthquake warning! Staff should secure patients before they secure themselves’ There are many more that you will hear during your playtime and probably a lot you will miss due to how involved into the game and running of your hospital.
Helping your patients receive the proper care is always at hand when you have the right staff and it’s important to remember that your staff are the most important part of your working hospital. From time to time you will need to train up your staff to improve on their bedside manners, whether they need to be trained in research to find better ways to cure their patients or to learn a new skill like psychiatry. When it comes to the keep and maintenance of your hospital, you will need some janitors that will make sure your hospital will run smoothly and be clean and risk free in terms of sickness spreading etc…
Some janitors that you will hire will have a certain skill set that make them invaluable to your team, like ghost hunting. If you are like me, you will probably see a few patients falling over and kicking the bucket. If this happens sometimes, they will come back and haunt the hospital. This is where your janitor will kick into action and grab a trusty hand hover and suck that ghostie right up! It may not be the most conventional way of ridding ghosts, but its fun to look at and does the job!
From time to time your staff will set you challenges as well, like cure so many in a certain amount of days or will ask for a promotion or even a raise to inspire them to work that little bit harder. They will also see how many days you can go without killing anybody. These challenges that are completed, help you reach your overall goal of levelling up the hospital and earning rewards at the end of the year. It also makes you earn more points in your overall career which in turn then opens up more locations and hospitals to run.
As your career continues to various locations and hospitals giving you their own unique challenges you can unlock newer cures for the latest illnesses that will visit your hospital. Also, the learning curve in Two Point Hospital is challenging, but not a difficult one that will leave you stuck or unable to move forward in the game. If you ever find yourself in a bit of a cashflow problem, you can ask the bank for a loan and then pay that back once you are earning enough in your hospital. While you are free to do what you please in the game, there is room to improve on what the developers could offer. Perhaps explaining certain aspects of the game with their multitude of menus and the UI to navigate through.
A lot of people who will watch gameplay videos or trailers of the game and those that will play it will obviously make comparisons to Theme Hospital as they are both similar games. The reason for this is due to some of the development team having worked on Theme Hospital and Two Point Hospital. I think it’s a good thing as it brings a lot of what I loved from Theme Hospital to a new generation who can appreciate such a fun and addictive game!
Two Point Hospital is a must have game for fans of the brilliant Theme Hospital and those who love addictive strategy games. There is so much to do in the game as you work towards earning your fortune and build a hospital empire that there will be rarely a time where you are sitting still. While there can be a few annoying moments in the game like most, it doesn’t distract you from what Two Point Hospital is made for, FUN!!
GoG Rating: 8.5/10