Two Point Hospital: LAUNCH TRAILER | Build, cure, improve!
Who it Caters to
There are three types of people that may play this game: those who like micro-management and simulation video games, those who like beautiful indie games, and those who two decades ago fell in love with Bullfrog's Theme Hospital. In the 90's and early 2000's, games like Railroad Tycoon, Theme Park, and SimCity were in bloom, not only with a lot of clones around but also spawning many sequels and spin-offs. Nowadays, there aren't many options that truly capture those games' soul, and that's why people was so hyped about Two Point Hospital.
Marketed as Theme Hospital's spiritual successor, being developed by some former Bullfrog employees, Two Point Hospital is a game that will take you back in time in so many aspects, still feeling fresh when it needs to. Naturally, you don't need any medical background to enjoy this game, and you'll be really disappointed if you come looking for medical realism.
What to Expect
This is indeed a 2.0 version of Theme Hospital, only with a different progression system and a few new mechanics to keep the game up to date. As soon as you start the game, an introductory cinematic will let you know what the tone of this game is: you will have the fate of a set of hospitals and its patients in your hands, but everything will be treated with such humor that you won't feel any pressure.
Two Point Hospital is a game to be played calmly, knowing that sometimes you will be pausing the game constantly while at other times you'll be staring at the screen with nothing to do, just waiting for something to happen or a goal to complete. Put like this, some of you will think Two Point Hospital is boring, but that's not the case at all!
Two Point Hospital plays from an isometric perspective, although you can turn the camera, zoom in and out, or just move around the building using your mouse and keyboard. Unlike Theme Hospital, this game presents us with real 3D models instead of pixel art, using a cartoony style that will unquestionably remind you of British animation Wallace and Gromit, and that fits perfectly in this humoristic world. Characters and medical equipment are pretty well animated too, so that's a plus for those who value the graphics as much as they value the gameplay. For those who played Theme Hospital some items will look extremely familiar, using updated models but keeping the original design.
Just by using a little transparency, some things like the hiring interface or reading your mail look less intrusive than in Theme Hospital, and thanks to the revised menu now it's easier to manage your hospital in just a few clicks, all of this while keeping things clean. Colorful and vibrant, Two Point Hospital really stands out when compared to similar games, and that's really important when you try to attract people with a somewhat outdated idea.
There's not much to say about Two Point Hospital's music since the whole soundtrack is composed of elevator music. Oh, don't take us wrong, the soundtrack perfectly fulfills its function, but don't expect licensed songs to distract you and make you dance. Most of the time you'll be so immersed in managing your hospital that you won't be paying attention to the music... until you see the popping notification when a new song starts playing. In fact, songs names and performers are another unmissable chance for Two Point Studios to make a joke, and you can’t blame them.
Apart from instrumental music, all songs are part of Two Point Radio's broadcast, so don't surprise when funny commercials start playing or when the DJ makes an appearance. If you do pay attention, however, their comments will add a little depth to the game, learning a thing or two about your current hospital and its surroundings. The other thing to mention in this section is the female announcer, who helps you with your management. Aside from calling doctors and nurses when a room is unattended, or asking for maintenance when there's no janitor nearby, she plays a significant role in helping you keep track of your hospital, especially when you get to the last levels. If she yells at the patients that "urinating anywhere in the hospital will not be tolerated", just go and build some more bathrooms!
We finally get to the gameplay, the aspect where Two Point Hospital definitely shines. First of all, you'll need to buy and build the basics for every hospital, like a Reception desk and a General Diagnosis room. Once you have those, the next step is hiring people to take care of it. Easy, right?
The game divides the hospital staff into 4 groups: doctors, nurses, assistants, and janitors. All employees will have different specializations and ranks, so for example, you'll find doctors ranging from student doctor to senior consultant, or janitors ranging from intern janitor to head janitor. At the same time, they all have different specializations according to their job, and you can increase them up to level 5. Once an employee has enough experience, you can train them and promote them to obtain better results when dealing with harder illnesses, or to be more useful and efficient if they're janitors or assistants. Another thing you need to learn is the difference between the doctors and nurses roles, for it's a rookie mistake to hire a doctor for the pharmacy, or things like that. Trust us, you won't have a problem differentiating a janitor from a nurse, though.
Once your first hospital is open for business, people will come to you hoping you can cure them, but you may not have enough diagnosis resources or the proper training and equipment required. In Two Point Hospital, diseases are nothing like cancer, the flu or respiratory infections. No, here we have conditions like Mock Star (people who think they are Freddie Mercury), Lycanthropy, Jazz Hand, Mime Crisis, Grey Anatomy and things like that, and the treatments are as funny as you could imagine.
Every stage divides into 3 levels, each of them asking for goals like curing a certain number of people, reaching a certain amount of money or reputation, or increasing your overall hospital value. In the process, every hospital will set its own goals, like building a specific treatment room, training your staff, or starting a marketing campaign. Once you earn 1 of 3 available stars, you can move to the next hospital or keep playing until you reach the best rating. With every new milestone or level, you can unlock a set of new items to help you keep your patients happy and entertained. The other way you can buy better items is using Kudosh, a currency you earn by completing career goals, getting good reviews from VIP guests, or through researching.
For those who like playing with an objective in mind, Two Point Hospital has the Hospital Awards Ceremony at the end of every year, where you compete against other 4 companies in 8 categories, being Rising Star, Employer of the Year, No Deaths, Best Teaching Hospital, Patient's Choice Award, Most Prestigious Hospital, Best Research Hospital, and Hospital of the Year. While some of these categories are extremely easy to win, it's really hard to avoid patients dying in the first years of a hospital... unless you really put your micro-management skills to shine, taking care of every single patient and sending people home if you're not 100% sure about a treatment.
Another thing to mention is that you can play against your friends using the online Steam challenges feature, where your hospital competes in 3 categories: curing the most patients, diagnosing the most patients, or earning the most money, always in the lapse of 180 days. You can brag about you being in the first position —or having the most beautiful hospital even if you’re being defeated— sending up to 3 captioned screenshots too!
Honey's Gameplay Consensus:
Two Point Hospital really hits the nail and shows us that the micro-managing simulation genre is still alive and kicking, giving us hours and hours of funny but not-so-easy challenges to beat. Once you learn the basics, it's difficult not to get immersed in this intelligent simulator, pushing yourself to do your best and not letting a single patient die... or, you know, only caring about the money!
Unfortunately, the game feels rather short if you're good at this kind of games or you happen to be lucky with your patients, so here we are wishing for some more updates and new hospitals to manage. All in all, this is the perfect gift for those who were missing Theme Hospital and similar games, and building and designing a beautiful hospital is an excellent meta-game in itself.
Lives up to the hype of being Theme Hospital's spiritual successor.
Nice and colorful art style.
You can compete online against your friends.
As funny as always!
The game needs a tool to copy rooms ASAP.
More decoration and bonus items would’ve been more than welcome.
It feels kinda repetitive once you know what you’re doing.
Honey's Final Verdict:
Two Point Hospital is not the best game ever, but it will keep you busy for some days, especially if you are the perfectionist type. Every time you find yourself with nothing to do it means there's something you could be doing to improve your hospital, even if there's no need to in terms of level objectives.
The best/worst thing here is, once you get a high ranking for a particular hospital, restarting the level will not only keep your stars but also let you use equipment from the later levels, helping you deal with some tricky diagnostics and treatments. Just like in all this kind of games, you can create your own rules and try some meta-games, like working with the lowest/highest, only hiring male/female employees or stuff like that. The sky is the limit! We can only but hope for more free content somewhere in the future, maybe not only adding more difficult scenarios and missions but a sandbox mode.
If you want to tell us your experience with Two Point Hospital feel free to use the comments section, and stay close to Honey’s Anime for more gaming reviews. See ya!
Author: Rod Locksley
Hey! I'm Rod, and when I'm not watching anime or playing video games I'm probably writing about them, but I'm also a graphic and web designer, and I even published a comic book and worked like 4 years for a well-known MMORPG. Curiously, my favorite series are quite different from each other, so I'm still trying to understand what I really like in an anime...