Two Point Hospital review – Got to get out

Two Point Hospital is quirky, funny and finely designed, but lacks freedom of choice and has some design problems.

UPDATE: Two Point Studios keeps its promise and is steadily expanding the Two Point universe. Pebberley Island is the second downloadable expansion after the Bigfoot DLC from late last year. In Pebberley Island you will find three new maps in a separate, tropical region. There, earthquakes, violent storms and even frog rains are commonplace. That quickly makes your hospital messy and dirty, making you need all the more concierges. Moreover, in this tropical climate you have to take into account the smart placement of air conditioning. Two Point Hospital therefore has a new look, but it is by no means revolutionary.

While the expansion brings a whole host of new diseases, that doesn’t change gameplay at all. Illnesses such as the ’empty phrase’ are effectively healed in new rooms, but others simply end up in an infirmary. However, there is little chance that you will want to build your tropical hospital with full courage, because for the second challenge you already have to train twelve janitors and water forty plants. That’s a ridiculous amount in either case, since you have to recruit a bunch of new helpers right away to get all the work done. Finally, Two Point Hospital still has the same problem, namely the long queues for the first diagnosis. Two Point Studios therefore crams its expansion with new, fun features, but cannot fix a crucial design flaw. As a result, Pebberley Island is short-lived entertainment, but the expansion will not provide a smoother Two Point Hospital experience in the long term.

Original review: Developer Two Point Studios has a plan in mind: to create a unique universe full of simulation games that are connected in design and story. The firstborn is called Two Point Hospital. The studio uses all its experience to create a worthy spiritual successor to Theme Hospital from 1997. The well-known, quirky style and humor of the series aims to break the seriousness of other ‘sims’, but also to challenge your inner manager in a smooth way. That works, but not with verve.

Nevertheless, developing a hospital is simple and streamlined. You place rooms that have a specific purpose, such as the general practice and the . During construction, it is immediately clear what the minimum size is and which essential items, such as a desk, should be included. You can also increase the prestige and comfort with a bookcase and radiator. Finally, you assign a staff member to make the room operational. Everything runs smoothly, and you notice that same elegance when your hospital opens: patients spontaneously report to the reception, wait their turn for the consultation and get something from the machine, while staff members take a break and replace each other. That automatism gives the game a low barrier to entry and you the space to focus on other things.

Each hospital has specific challenges to achieve up to three stars. You have to make a profit, keep your patients happy or train your staff. One star then releases a new location. All levels teach you new gameplay elements that you can use retroactively, and that sense of progression is stimulating at first. After a while, however, you come to the painful realization that it makes little sense to fully develop all hospitals, because in the long run they look alike and you do the same everywhere. Two Point Hospital shoots itself right in the foot: each level is themed, but therefore stands in the way of a true sandbox experience. At the same time, you lose some of the fun by only ever completing the challenges specific to the level.

(Two Point Hospital review) Different treatment in each room.

Pleasure can be found amply in the idiosyncrasy that Two Point Hospital inherits from Theme Hospital. As in 1997, staff members have funny and seemingly arbitrary descriptions that also have an influence. For example, your nurse may have green fingers, which means he will spontaneously water the plants. The illnesses are completely fiction, but always hilarious. When a patient feels ‘light headed’, you use a special device to unscrew the lamp from his neck and replace it with a real head. The developer also pays attention to the details: plants make your hospital attractive and sofas provide comfort – all aspects that you have to keep an eye on and have an immediate effect. The animations are also very lively: an assistant rushes to the toilet with his hands on the buttocks and a patient shivers from the cold when there is no heating. Every aspect of Two Point Hospital is airy and adds a touch of ’90s nostalgia.

That lightness is necessary, because sometimes you can no longer see the forest for the trees. Two Point Hospital stumbles over a few design choices. Juniors need training to improve, so you should have them taught in a separate room by experienced staff or a guest lecturer. However, that takes days, so you have to replace those employees. In addition, the day count is unrealistically fast, so that an employee sometimes takes a break for days and a patient spends 150 days in the hospital. All too often there are more than ten people waiting for their first diagnosis, but even three available doctors do not solve that. Moreover, it is impossible to draw the map of your hospital in advance. As a result, you soon encounter unnecessary loss of time and a problematic bottleneck, causing you to lose control of the matter.

(Two Point Hospital review) Patient with a shrunken head? To the psychiatrist with it!

When it comes to really management, Two Point Hospital furthermore seems to be stuck in the 90s in a negative way. The financial overview gives you at most a few trends and graphs, but nothing makes you want to plan ahead. You can adjust all prices at once, but that is shooting a mosquito with a cannon. In addition, the money flows in smoothly, so the chance that you will fire someone or take out a loan to get your till in order is quite small. Two Point Studios wants to keep the game playful, but forget that it takes some challenge to continue to justify that playfulness.

Two Point Hospital showcases Two Point Studios’ good intentions to create a unique universe. The style is idiosyncratic, the tone airy, and constantly doused with a low-witted British humor. All hospitals have an elegant structure and the beauty is often in the details. However, by theming all levels, you cannot do your own thing anywhere. In addition, the loss of time is disruptive and hard management is limited, but the bottlenecks in the queues are especially an annoying factor. Two Point Hospital has as much potential as the nurses in training, but for now it is suffering from a few teething problems.

For the Two Point Hospital review, Nathan played on the PC.