Two Point Hospital is a hospital simulation game that was released in August 2018 for PC and Mac and February 2020 for PS4, Xbox One and Switch. It is a spiritual successor to Theme Hospital by Bullfrog and even has some of the same developers. Throughout the game, players are tasked with building, operating, and maintaining a selection of different hospitals in the fictional Two Point County. In addition, you have the goal of curing fictitious comical illnesses such as animal magnetism, cubism, eye candy, jest infection and pandemic to progress through each hospital.
When this game was announced, I knew that I would have to play it. It looked almost identical to Theme Hospital – if with improved graphics – and because I spent so many hours playing that game, I just had to play Two Point.
Two Point has the same tongue in cheek humour as its predecessor and does its best to satirise the entire hospital experience. I mean, no one likes going to the hospital, so having so many humourous illnesses that poke fun at the real world is never a bad thing.
When you start the game, and you’re put in charge of your first hospital, everything seems so simple. You’ve only got a handful of illnesses to cure, and you only have to build a few rooms, like GP’s Offices and pharmacies. Still, as you progress through the levels, things get decidedly more complicated. You have to deal with more patients with a wider variety of problems, which means you have to build more rooms, ranging from psychiatry to x-ray to all the different machines to cure the ailments.
But that’s not all. As well as managing and curing your patients, you also have to maintain your hospital. This not only means hiring janitors to clean up and fix your various machines but also hiring/firing doctors and nurses, putting your staff through training, promoting them when necessary and making sure that they’re all happy lest they quit. You also need to make sure that you’ve got enough staff available so that when some tire and require breaks, you have others there to fill in for them. Sometimes this may mean that you end up with more doctors than you necessarily need at any given time just so you have them when you need them, which may mean you’re paying more for salary than you might need to and therefore end up spending more money than you have. It’s all a juggling act to make sure that your hospital runs as efficiently as possible.
Two Point Hospital is fun and challenging and, at times, infuriatingly so. There are so many times when you feel like you’re doing everything right. Still, for whatever reason, patients start to die (and haunt the hospital), you run out of money, or your reputation tanks, so you end up not getting as many visitors as you need to keep afloat. To see how you’re doing, at the end of each game year, you have the chance to win a selection of different awards such as Doctor of the year and the no death award, these serve to increase your hospitals reputation and also come with cash bonuses that can help you at difficult times.
I spent hours playing Theme Hospital back in the day, and although I haven’t played Two Point anywhere near as much, I feel like it wouldn’t take a lot for me to get hooked and while away hours in-game running my hospitals into the ground. There’s enough to this game to keep you coming back for more, and even if you play the same hospital multiple times, it’s always different. For example, you get the same illnesses but not in the same ratio. Also, things like the random VIP visits or emergency patients you have to treat in a specific time period come at different times, so you’re never truly prepared for them to happen.
There is so much to this game and so many different ways to play it that it never gets tiresome. If you enjoyed Theme Hospital or even just simulation games in general, I think this is a game that you will enjoy. I love both, and Two Point will be a game that, much like Theme Hospital, I will come back to time and time again. However, unlike some games in the genre, it’s not too tricky, and although it eases you in gently with the first levels, there isn’t the sudden spike in difficulty that you can experience in some simulation games.
I’ve played the game on both PC and PS4, and even though the controls are different on console with having to use a controller over a mouse, I haven’t experienced any glaring issues, and the port works just as well as the PC version.
I would recommend this game to any fan of the genre and I’m going to give it an excellent 9/10.
If you’d like to see the game in action before you pick up a copy for yourself, you can check out a stream that I did the other day over on Twitch.