For over 20 years gamers have been clambering for a sequel, remake or re-imaging of the classic business management simulator, Theme Hospital. A beloved classic from Bullfrog, Theme Hospital was released in 1997 and tasked the player with designing and operating private hospitals. All with the goal of curing patients of their odd and silly ailments was also making as much money as possible.
Which is exactly the gameplay we get with Two Point Hospital but with a modern spin and with a lot versatility thanks to tech progression. If you’ve been one of the gamers desperate for a new ‘Theme Hospital’ then this is the game you’ve been waiting for. It even has some of the people responsible for Theme Hospital on the development team (Two Point Studios).
Two Point Hospital is played from a top down perspective. Although players can zoom in and out to get both an up-close view of their hospital floors or a bird’s eye view of the grounds.
You are put in charge of a series of different hospitals, all with their own different challenges. The goal is to turn the empty buildings into thriving places of healing all while bleeding your patient’s dry of their cash.
Build GP offices and diagnosis rooms so you can find out what is wrong with your patients first. Then you’ll be looking at curing them of their nonsensical diseases such as ‘bed face’, ‘grey anatomy’, ‘jest infection’ and ‘mock star’, to name just a few.
Of course, your space is limited so you’ll have to build smartly and effectively to ensure everyone can be helped. While also balancing the needs of your staff and patients with nice looking rooms, seating, drinks, food, heating and more.
All of this costs money and your starting funds will quickly disappear once you begin to set up your hospital. Balancing the books is where the real challenge comes into play, as a bad month of poor work and many deaths will see you plunge into the red quickly. Getting out of debt is not so easy and as it piles up, you’ll find your hospital begin to fall apart. Long queues for service, staff demanding pay rises, not enough toilets… with no money to spend, you may as well restart.
Which is the biggest problem with Two Point Hospital. That it is very difficult to keep the money coming in regularly. The more you expand, the more the needs of your staff and patients increase and the more you’ll need to spend.
The overall goals is to get your hospital star ratings up, to do that you must complete tasks. Tasks that are based around the location you’re in. One such location is all about training and teaching staff new skills so the challenges relate to that. Another is based around researching new cures and rooms to help patients so the challenges relate to that.
Most are very straight-forward but some prove to be very difficult such as the ‘increase hospital value’ one. Something that is tied into how successful you are with money which as we’ve already established is the most difficult thing to balance in the game.
It seems as though once your balance is heavily in the red, you may as well restart the level completely as it is near impossible to turn it around.
Through a massive amount of detail, you can adjust a lot of where your money is going but the knock-on affect is felt almost immediately. Up the cost of using your hospital? Your reputation will be in the dirt. Lower staff wages? They’ll threaten to quit and work poorly causing more deaths and failed cures.
It’s got a wealth of strategy to it, detailed to such an extent that to list everything you can do in Two Point Hospital would make for a review thousands of words long.
Later, as you earn something called ‘Kudosh’ you’ll be able to unlock more items that can be used to improve your hospital. Some of these, when unlocked are really beneficial to improving problems you run into.
Like Theme Hospital, Two Point Hospital has its tongue planted firmly in its cheek. From the illness you deal with, to the ghosts of dead patients haunting your halls, to hospital announcer making barbed comments about the real-life commercialisation of medical care. It is an amusing game, although repetition does become a problem after a while.
Two Point Hospital is a game that anyone can enjoy but with so much depth and challenge to it, hours can be lost in one sitting. It’s not perfect but for a modern spin on a classic game, it’s the best we’ve had.
Two Point Hospital
The Final Score - 8/10