Five Reasons Sim Fans Should Seek Treatment At Two Point Hospital
Before working on the Fable series, Mark Webley and Gary Carr created a lighthearted hospital management sim called Theme Hospital. Now, twenty years later, Webley and Carr have formed an independent studio called Two Point Studios in order to create a spiritual successor called Two Point Hospital. We spent nearly two hours with this delightful business management sim and walked away with five reasons that fans of games like Sim City, Planet Coaster, and Prison Architect might enjoy playing with disease.
1. It’s Easy To Find Your Own Fun
Two Point Hospital aims to deliver an experience that lands somewhere between free-form sandbox and mission-based gameplay. Throughout the course of the game, you work through a series of hospital scenarios guided by miniature objectives that involve hiring hospital staff, building specialized wards, and curing patients. Your ultimate goal is to manage a five-star hospital, but you have a great deal of freedom when it comes to building each hospital. You can construct a giant medical ward with wall-to-wall beds and try to pack in as many sick patients as possible. Or you could acquire specialized equipment and personnel that treat rare diseases. Or you could focus on your hospital’s feng shui and deck the halls with soothing décor that makes patients feel at ease. Or you can mix-and-match any of these strategies. Everything you add to your hospital ultimately helps improve its reputation as a world-class institution.
2. The humor is absurd in a good way
In the original Theme Hospital, players cured diseases like chronic nosehair and broken wind, and Two Point Hospital is taking this level of absurdity to the next level. You won’t cure any real-world ills in Two Point Hospital, but diseases like Friday night fever and verbal diarrhea run rampant and add levity to the medical facility theme. Two Point also isn’t shying away from absurd puns. One disease, called light-headedness, turns patients’ heads into giant light bulbs. I found humor embedded in almost every layer of the game. The medical bios for doctors and nurses are filled with comments like, “Eats pasta disgracefully,” “Immaculate depth perception,” and “Always wanted to be an admiral.” I got an Aardman Animations (Wallace & Gromit, Shaun the Sheep) vibe from Two Point Hospital, and fans of British humor should feel right at home.
3. Rebuilding your institution is a snap
Adding to a hospital is very rewarding, but after filling your clinic with waiting rooms, doctor’s offices, treatment facilities, pharmacies, and restrooms your floorplan can start to feel a little cramped. Two Point noticed new players tend to build rooms that are bigger than they need them to be, so the studio has made it easy to adjust the size of existing rooms after the fact. I shaved off the sides of a room and added corners to existing wards with Two Point’s simple drag and drop tools. You can create rooms of virtually any shape or size, and can even pick up and move rooms to the other side of a building after they’ve been created.
4. You can agonize over the fine details … if you want
Two Point knows that some sim fans like to analyze a game’s systems, so players will be able to pour over in-game bank statements to see how their money is being spent. Statistically-minded players can analyze profit/loss ratios, manage staff’s break policies, and look at heat maps that show which areas of the hospital patients feel least comfortable in. Fortunately, a lot of these systems are optional. Players who like to optimize their business to the nth degree can tinker with all this minutia, but everyone else can let the game automate these systems.
5. Finding exploits is a lot of fun
System-driven games practically beg players to find loopholes. In the original Theme Hospital, players discovered several unique ways to make extra money. One exploit involved turning up a hospital’s radiators, which encourage the spread of disease. When done properly, cured patients would get sick again as they walked out the door, causing them to immediately turn around and seek additional treatment. This allowed hospital administrators to make more money because they were spreading disease. Two Point Studio recognizes that fans like playing system off each other and promises that Two Point Hospital’s systems are even more layered than Theme Hospital’s, so fans should find some pretty creative exploits.
Two Point Hospital is set to release on PC later this year. For a look at the game in action, watch our playthrough on New Gameplay Today.