If you’re ancient like me, you’ll remember the Bullfrog game “Theme Hospital” from 1997. It’s still playable today if you download it from GOG. Why I am telling you this in a review of a game that is made more than 20 years later? Because you’ll find more than a few similarities.
Is that a bad thing? Well, it depends on how much you like management sims and how much you liked the original Theme Hospital. However you look at it, it’s almost a remaster of Theme Hospital. So if the ‘original’ is on your top-10 list, then go forth and just let them take your money ;-).
If you aren’t old enough to remember Theme Hospital or simply haven’t played it at all then let me introduce you to some 90’s glory.
Two Point Hospital takes you into the world of running a hospital (badly) with all the usual trappings of a tycoon game. You start out with a very simple tutorial that takes you through the steps of becoming a (half)decent manager of healing people. The game really is a tycoon game, so if you like titles like Game Dev Tycoon, OpenTTD or Cities Skylines then you might just enjoy this one.
Once you unlock the sandbox mode, things become interesting. I am not much of a campaign player so sandbox is the place to be for me. When I unlocked the sandbox mode and went straight into it after my third campaign victory (of sorts) I found myself in tycoon nirvana. The tutorial was a bit tedious for me, and it left me screaming “yeah. yeah! I get it. Move on already”. Your mileage may vary, as I have played just about every tycoon game that exists on this planet.
The silly disease names were a bit of a hit and miss. Lightheadedness (see below) was just a little on the nose, but the pan-demic made me chuckle. Just be prepared for these jokes as you will be peppered with them. Especially the hospital announcements are quite an interesting affair: “Please leave the toilets as you want to find them, not as you expect to find them”. Hear hear!
Building your very own hospital, with everything attached in a complete sandbox mode is just fun. But Two Point lacked a bit of a challenge. I ended up building just about everything I could and then go in full management mode and just try to keep the sludge (patients) moving through the hospital. With that done, I wonder what else Two Point could offer me beyond the curing factory I build. Hopefully expansions and some awesome Steam Workshop support will help out with that.
Bottom line is that Two Point is a pleasing game with a well thought out interface and gameplay objectives. That being said, if you are like me and want to go sandbox all the way then you might want to look somewhere else with a bit more complexity.