It has been for a while that fans have been passionately asking for a sequel or spiritual successor to Theme Hospital, and why wouldn’t they as it was one of the most charming and engaging business sim games of it’s time. Fast forward two decades later and we finally have our wish granted, and it has been granted magnificently.

Two Point Hospital is made in such an humorous and engaging manner that most of my time playing the game was spent laughing out loud or smirking endlessly, there is just so much charm and comedic play on situations and words. You’ve got Janitors running after ghosts, killstreaking the monobrow pests and doctors literally sucking heads of their patients out of their torso, so it does both original and parody comedy that pays homage to the wider pop culture, referencing properties such as Ghost Busters or even the modern shooters.

“… well done animations, staff descriptions and dark situations that truly make you chuckle.”

Comedy in games is very hard to do, because unlike a joke being told or a skit being played, it is usually the player that controls the pace of the joke, so depending on how they are playing, the punch-line may come later or before it’s intended. So instead, it is very important to have the visual element present where you can see or read the jokes rather than just hear them and Two Point Hospital understands this with well done animations, staff descriptions and dark situations that truly make you chuckle.

Do note however, that even though the game is mostly based on dark humour, it is still light-hearted at it’s core so you won’t have to deal with horrible deaths or anything similar, so those who feel a bit queasy at the sound of hospitals can comfortably play this game.

“Two Point Hospital manages to keep the simulation complex, with attributes, limitations, requirement, and different scenarios”

One of the issues I have with a lot of modern business sim games is that they are usually heavily watered down (i.e. Zoo Tycoon for Xbox One) in order for them to really sit well with the mainstream audience, but luckily Two Point Hospital manages to keep the simulation complex, with attributes, limitations, requirements, and different scenarios like earthquakes and the like that truly get the players thinking on their feet. Producer Mark Webley deserves the props for this in my opinion, as he was one of the original designers on Theme Hospital. SEGA easily gets a special thanks as well for believing in a project of this scale. Come to think of it, they have been on the ball with PC support lately.

Even with that in mind, what truly makes it work is that everything is really fun and powerful to build with good feedback, and you can easily come up with fantastic layouts in an hour or two due to the tools available. So, unlike most new sim games, you can easily move, scale, rotate and customise your creations. Not to mention, it comes with a plethora of options that truly make playing on the PC comfortable, everything from Quick Save to keyboard and mouse-centric controls are here.

All in all, it really does feel like a business management sim from the golden era of PC sims, proudly standing next to the likes of games like Theme Hospital, Rollercoaster Tycoon and Zoo Tycoon, especially due to the complexity and flexibility it offers with it’s content and controls. However with that also comes the difficulty and you have to make sure your staff and patients are happy, as staff can threaten to quit which can get frustrating.  The progression is of a classic Tycoon nature as well, where you have to meet certain criteria or milestones to progress.

“The game looks absolutely stunning as well, with simple low poly and vibrant models that help build the charm of the game.”

One thing I have to mention is that the game looks stunning, with simple low poly and vibrant models that help build the charm of the game. The music is equally brilliant and just as entertaining and upbeat with jingly melodies and jazzy tempos that add to the game’s fun outlook. The receptionist and other voice work is also well performed, delivering the lines with accurate timing. I mention timing because as I have mentioned before in this review, timing is key in delivering good comedy.

As a huge fan of Theme Hospital and other classical Tycoon games, I couldn’t be more happier with how Two Point Hospital has turned out, full of charm, complexity and zany situations that could have only been dreamt up by veterans of the golden tycoon era, people like Webley and more. If you like management or comedic games, I cannot recommend this enough.



Author

Haris Iqbal
Haris Iqbal

I am a guy who loves anything with a powerful storyline, whether it be a game, book or movie, it doesn't matter. Just so long as it hooks me in and keeps my imagination captive till the last word/scene! Also, I am huge Silent Hill fan, so I love all things Silent Hill... and anything horror. Huge horror fanatic!