Two Point Hospital Review. Tycoon Games Are Back!
Two Point Hospital is the spiritual successor to the classic hospital management game by Bullfrog Productions, Theme Hospital. Does it capture the charm and brilliance of the original? Read on for my review.
What is Two Point Hospital
There are two types of philosophies on developing a modern version of an old classic. There’s the modern reimagining of the old classic which identifies what makes the old classic fun and wraps that around a completely new game (think XCOM).
And then there’s the faithful remake of the old classic with modern bells and whistles. Two Point Hospital falls in the latter’s camp. At its core, it set out to bring Theme Hospital to the modern era while improving on some aspects of the game that dragged the old classic down.
In Two Point Hospital, you are tasked at building your hospital, hiring and managing your staff, and deal with whatever challenges that arises.
It’s not the most complex strategy game, but what it does brilliantly is to capture the simple elegance in mechanics of Theme Hospital. Behind the veneer of its simplicity though, there’s depth that is easily missed (I’ll get to this later on in my review).
Building Your Hospital
At the core of Two Point Hospital is the task of fully utilising the space available. How big your rooms are going to be, and where are they going to be placed.
You’ll start every Two Point Hospital with your reception desk, which is manned by an assistant, a GP office, a General Diagnostics, Pharmacy and Ward. That is the basic rooms you’ll need.
As you expand with newer rooms for specific ailments, the space you initially start with will not be enough and you’ll need to buy new plots of land right next to your hospital.
With that in mind and the scarcity of space, you might think that creating the smallest rooms would make the most sense as you’ll be able to cram in more rooms with the limited space.
But Two Point Hospital tells you right at the start the size of the room and what you put in it will impact the happiness of the staff working in them.
So how does happiness impact the performance of your staff and the cure rate? Well, if your staff are very happy they get a buff in treatment and diagnostics. Essentially, they’ll do a better job.
Larger rooms also mean you could put in more things into the rooms. These things, such as posters, bookshelves, medicine cabinets and more increase the prestige of the room which impacts the overall prestige of your hospital and the happiness of your staff.
Increasing your prestige leads to increasing your hospital level which in turn brings in more patients to your hospital. More suckers to make a buck from… or rather help them get better.
Running a hospital isn’t easy. You’re going to need to hire capable staff, or cheap staff… depending on your financial situation… to get the job done. There are four different staff in Two Point Hospital
The stars of your hospital. It goes without saying that your hospital lives or dies by them. Not all doctors are equal though, look at their skills to place them in the perfect role.
Only psychiatry will require doctors with psychiatry skill, so you’ll want to hire those when you find them in your hiring list.
While it may be tempting to skimp on quality and go cheap with less experienced doctors, good doctors are always worth it… unless of course, you’re bleeding cash and need to reduce your costs.
Cheap doctors with lower ratings and less skills will have poorer cure rate leading to failed treatment or worse… death.
The ones that really run the show. Nurses are super important to your hospital as they will be running a vast number of rooms in your hospital.
From the pharmacy, to your wards, having a highly skilled nurse could reduce deaths and increase cure rate. You don’t want to save on these guys.
Quality nurses always pay off.
Assistants are your frontline staffs. They man reception and any other kiosk. You won’t need to many of them around. The Customer Service skill would be most important for them.
Perhaps not the sexiest job in a hospital but in Two Point Hospital, they keep your hospital from breaking down. Janitors don’t just keep your hospital clean, water the plants and empty the trash.
They also repair equipment and upgrade them for you which makes them super important in increasing cure rate and avoiding any… fiery… catastrophe.
A good janitor with the maintenance skill will be an absolute asset for your hospital.
Your staff will go about doing their thing on their own will. As long as they have the energy to do their work, they will do so… but you’ll still have to keep an eye out to see if there’s any staff that’s not tired, taking an unnecessary break (I warned you this game was going to make you a manager from hell).
Two Point Hospital doesn’t force you to micro-manage your staff or any other mechanic for that matter. It’s completely okay with you cruising through the game building and hiring with the general objective of fulfilling most of your patient’s needs.
You’d be able to progress without much of a hitch in the campaign as long as you stick to completing the main goal of the mission. But for me, doing just okay and progressing to the next level simply isn’t enough.
As a strategy gamer who likes to maximise efficiency and do things that yield greater results, you’ll have to utilise every tool in your disposal to monitor your staff, make the ones slacking-off work, promote them, train them to gain new important skills and fire them if your situation is dire (if you’re bleeding cash).
Your customers essentially. And what a goofy bunch these people are. From Freddy Mercury impersonators to peeps with lightbulbs for heads, Two Point Hospital showcases its kooky sense of humour with this funny bunch (and the way you treat these patients).
Every patient that comes in normally has to get directions from reception, then they’ll head to the GP’s Office to be diagnosed and then sent for further diagnosis or treatment.
In some special cases (in medical emergency challenges) you’ll get patients heading straight to the treatment room.
Each patient has their needs: thirst, hunger, boredom. And how they feel about the environment: comfort and hygiene. They also have to vital stats: happiness and health.
The longer they linger around to get treated they start to get bore, thirsty and hungry. If you don’t have adequate facilities in your hospital to fulfil these needs, their happiness falls and if it falls too low, they’ll storm out of your hospital.
Patients with low health that undergo a failed treatment will die and there’s a chance they might turn into a ghost that will haunt your hospital and scare everyone in its vicinity (this messes with the efficiency of your hospital as people waste time running away from the ghost. You’ll need a janitor with the ghost hunting skill to make it go away).
The patients behave natural enough… well... most of the time. I noticed the AI has a habit of waiting near the room they have an appointment, even if it means standing when there is a bench a few metres away.
There’s also a bit of a bug I’ve encountered when I moved rooms and edited doors in a room. Some patients with appointment there seem to get confused and get stuck, not knowing how to get to where they want to go (even when the door is right in front of them).
But for most of you, you’ll hardly even encounter this bug if you don’t move rooms you’ve built around. Two Point Hospital is generally a pretty solid title that’s not impaired by game breaking bugs.
For the Stat Nerds
Two Point Hospital looks deceivingly like a simple game, but underneath that simplicity, it oozes depth. Using the information overlay, you could learn lots of info on how well your hospital is doing. From which needs repairs to how your staff and patients are feeling.
For the power strategy gamer, you’ll be using the information overlay a lot to build the perfect hospital… or at least you’ll try.
If you want to see charts, Two Point Hospital has plenty of them represented in a light-hearted fun way… with bouncy line arrows and all that.
You could find out which illnesses brought in the most patients, had the lowest cure rate and the highest death rates. Very handy when it comes to strategizing what to improve in your hospital and prioritise.
You could even set your staff to specialise in specific tasks. This is extremely important if you want to run an efficient and tip-top hospital. For instance, if you had a bunch of janitors, you could dedicate one janitor at only doing maintenance.
What this does is that this janitor will be freed from his other duties making him keep the machines and equipment in your hospital in good condition at all times.
But there is the danger that if this staff has to take a break and there’s no backup to take over from him or her, you’ll have a problem in your hands.
I’m absolutely impressed by Two Point Hospital’s ability to have this almost dual personality. It could be a light strategy game, or a micro-management heavy in-depth strategy game.
It all depends on how you want to approach it. It never forces any specific way of playing it which is rather neat. You’ll find much to enjoy regardless how you approach it’s many levels.
Two Point Hospital is fantastic return to the old-school formula of tycoon games with a modern polish. It evokes the charm of Theme Hospital with the elegant sheen of …..
It’s so well-done that it could cater to casuals and hardcore strategy gamers. It never really brutally punishes you for mistakes. It just makes mistakes… comedic.
But if you want a challenge, the multiple optional challenges the game presents to you will test your management skills and strategic thinking.
Some element of the game, such as building out rooms, do get a little repetitive as you’ve played past your fifth hospital. The early game is always the same as you will need to build the same few rooms… outfitting them with the items you usually put in them… time and time again as you play a new level.
But trying to beat the challenges you face in each level is very satisfying and that gives Two Point Hospital the longevity it needs against the repetition of building the same rooms.
Two Point Hospital is one of the best tycoon games this year, and in a year that’s not had too many huge strategy games, one of the best strategy games of the year. It’s easily one of my favourite games at this moment and I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a good tycoon game.
Requires a 64-bit processor and operating system
OS Windows 7 64-bit
Processor: Intel Core i3 6100 or AMD FX-4350
Memory: 4 GB RAM
Graphics: NVIDIA Geforce GT 1030, 2GB (Legacy: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460), AMD RX550, 2GB (Legacy: AMD Radeon HD 6850), Integrated: Intel HD Graphics 630
DirectX: Version 11
Storage: 5 GB available space
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