While Two Point Hospital is not a new game—it’s been released by SEGA back in 2018 on Linux, MacOS, and Windows—it was recently launched on the PS4 and Nintendo Switch just last month. It’s a successor to the Bullfrog Productions’ Theme Hospital (1997) and revolves around building functional hospitals and treating patients with hilarious illnesses.
Fun fact: Within weeks from its release, this popular business sim is the 2nd most downloaded game in Europe, Middle East, Africa, and Australia! Is it worth the hype? Let’s take a closer look.
It took me a while to get used to the controls, but luckily, the starting tutorial was very helpful, plus most of it is intuitive. You mainly point and click to select areas of the hospital or pick up your hired professionals. You’ve got your objectives on the upper right corner of the screen. By pressing triangle, you can choose from the bottom left menu to buy and install items, from trash bins to food pyramid posters.
Use the analog stick to move the cameras and L2/R2 to zoom in and out. The coolest bit: You can pause the game anytime using the Options button! Definitely a must-have because the patients don’t have patience at all. (Trust me, it gets ugly pretty fast when you’re at a 3-star level.)
The game is reminiscent of The Sims and other life simulators which give you a God-like overview and control over people and decor. By clicking and selecting personnel, you can also customize their uniforms, give them a raise, fire them, or force them to take a break. If they’re unhappy, they’ll eventually leave you. With great power comes great responsibility, indeed.
Players can easily place plants, benches, air conditioners, fire extinguishers, and bookshelves strategically, though you can’t copy paste rooms. Buy more land by a simple click when you gain enough money, and hire excellent (but not expensive) doctors. Maintain and upgrade machines, too, and you’re likely to cure more patients.
Players can also gauge how much profit you’re making in a year, along with work performance reviews, staff training, and awards (like a real manager). The game will also give out tips on the screen, for example, if you hired too many nurses and most of them are idle. Overall, smooth gameplay.
By the time I built my third hospital, I started to think that I was running a hotel, too. In order to get a higher rank, you need to level up the ‘prestige’ of your hospital rooms. That means more items and decorations. A health inspector, reporter, or someone important might drop by, so you need to make sure everything is running smoothly. After all, you’re the hospital director, HR, finance manager, interior designer, and god of this universe.
The problem is there are just too many patients (just like in real life), making for hilarious outcomes. The sardonic descriptions of the illnesses and staff personalities will make you laugh out loud, too. Some patients have lightheadedness, so they have literal lightbulbs for heads. Others look like Freddie Mercury and have the “Mock Star” illness.
I had to quickly hire janitors before the inspector walked in because there was crap all over the place—a result of not placing enough bathrooms.
A lot of patients keep dying, too, and turning into ghosts. They mess up the place with ectoplasm and affect the mood of both my employees and patients. Funnily enough, my left-wing clinic was often haunted, while my right-wing area was doing great. The difference? I placed a lot of magazine racks on the right one.
Keep the guests entertained or else they’ll die and haunt the place. I’m not kidding. You can also tap on patients to advance their queue numbers or send those with low success rates home to die. Yup, I’m definitely guilty.
Overall, the game is very enjoyable for both beginners and expert life sim players alike. Some elements do get repetitive, but once you get tired of your current hospital, you can go ahead and build the next one without consequences. You can bet there will be a uniquely themed illness there, and you can implement different strategies to cure the most common ailments there, too.
Of course, nothing is stopping you from causing everyone eternal pain and suffering if that’s more of your thing. Make a hospital with only janitors or put everyone on break and watch what happens. There are too many things to do to maintain your sanity as the hospital owner, but that’s the fun of it. The better you get, the busier you become—an essential characteristic for a good life sim. Whether you become a great or mediocre hospital chain owner, Two Point Hospital is an addictive “pick up and play” game that’ll treat your boredom whenever you wish.
Download Two Point Hospital including Bigfoot and Pemberly Island DLC, on various consoles.
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