Two Point Hospital, an injection of nostalgia and 2ccs of upgrades.
Put your hands up if you can remember Theme Hospital?
If you can, please bare with me whilst I explain to the new generation what they missed out on…
Long before Two Point Hospital was Theme Hospital a simulation game about, you guessed it… running a hospital. You took charge as the head of the hospital and you were in charge of hiring the staff from Doctors to Janitors, helping cure patients with a whole spectrum of silly conditions – such as Bloaty Head where their enlarged head was cured with a simple prick of a pin, it popped like a balloon to reveal a more normal head beneath. However, like many of the other simulator games of the 90’s it wasn’t all fun and Elvis impersonators, you had to make sure the cash kept flowing, patients would die if you hired the wrong staff and if there were no toilets.. well you can imagine.
Well, since 1997, there really hasn’t been a game like it.
UNTIL NOW- paging Two Point Hospital
In 2018, former Theme Hospital developers, Mark Webley, and Gary Carr joined up with Ben Hymers at Two Point Studios. It was a match made in Game Heaven – for Ben had played Theme Hospital when young, and a decade or so later, he was able to work with the creators behind it. And it was that passion which lead Gary, Mark, and Ben to bring to life a game inspired and based on Theme Hospital, but for the 21st Century.
And thus – Two Point Hospital was born!
I, being a fan of the original incarnation, was near to hyperventilating with excitement for the many joys and surprises this game promised in all its marketing and media.
And I am proud to say it has not disappointed – it is beyond my hopes, dreams, and expectations – and guess what? It’s still adding and developing and growing!
What’s the diagnosis Doc? : Game Context
As a player you are transported to Two Point County – a wide landscape which has villages, towns and cities, each in different environments such as countryside, urban metropolis, dirty slums, dangerous chemical plants, mountain escapes and more. These environments and landscapes may be earthquake/avalanche zones, prone to lightning storms, severe increases or decreases in temperature, good or bad quality public hygiene and often the centre of a couple of specific illnesses and diseases.
So as you progress through each hospital, earning 1-3 Star Ratings (progression is unlocked at 1 Star), you gain experience in how best to treat illnesses and conditions of all types and unlock new diagnosis and treatment options or training options for staff.
As a Hospital Administrator, you are responsible for EVERYTHING and EVERYONE!
There is a certain amount of funding available to build GP Rooms, Diagnosis Rooms, Treatment Rooms, Training Rooms, Research Labs, Cafe’s, Toilets and don’t forget the Staff Room! Then you have to recruit staff from a wide variety of pleasant to outright horrid candidates who’s qualities, will aid or hinder their care of patients. You may have to train staff in new treatments or skills – such as surgery or improve pre-set skills for Diagnosis/Treatment or give your assistants good customer service training if they keep angering patients and of course, make sure your Janitors can upgrade/repair any electrical equipment.
Then of course, when your hospital is built, equipped and staff – you have to deal with the lovely folk of Two Point County and all their wonderful whacky and oh so humorous health conditions. Some may be cured and go home with a cheery step, some may sadly die due to inadequate care or maybe waiting too long for treatment to be made available and their ghosts will haunt your hospital and scare everyone. Some may walk out angry at having had no access to food e.g. a vending machine of Cheesey Gubbins snacks, or from dehydration e.g. lack of a water fountain or pop machine, or they may be too cold e.g. did you forget the radiators? (I always did!) or even too hot e.g. did you also forget air con units for hospitals in sunny climates? They can even storm out if they are not entertained – providing a Sega Sonic Console or even a bookcase will keep them content.
Your hospital, of course, will be inspected regularly and the inspector’s feedback will increase or decrease your reputation, and you may even get visited by local celebrities like Jasmine Odyssey, Two Point County’s Madonna! So ensuring your hospital is running well, nothing is on fire, not patients are dying in every corridor and of course placing enough bins that there is no way a patient could possibly think of dropping litter – is important.
What’s the treatment, Doc?: Game Play Overview
Now the overall gameplay is relatively simple, the options and menus are really easy to use and the training provided in the very first hospital really helps get you grounded on the basics of room construction, placing of objects, decorating environments with posters, changing wallpaper or flooring, recruiting staff, etc. Being able to zoom in and out, and of course, the ability to pause the live gameplay is also super handy for when you have just enough money to invest in a new treatment/diagnosis room before the end of the month hits and it all goes on staff pay.
The ability to progress from one hospital to the next also takes the pressure off those who just want to play casually and not take the success of a hospital and at the same time, for players who want to unlock all the money, kudos (currency you exchange to unlock items in advance) and overall reputation/success rate than they too have a target to aim for. And you can go back and continue to play in any of your previous 1 Star hospitals so even casual players can turn back and work on earning their 2nd and 3rd Stars ratings.
Test Results are in! We’re Cured!: Final Thoughts
As I stated at the start – Two Point Hospital, as a successor and offspring almost of Theme Hospital – it smashed the ceiling on all my expectations. There isn’t a thing about this game that I don’t like – I only wish I could play it every night. Now you might think, “well, Becky, if you did that, you will complete it in a matter of weeks.” Firstly – I haven’t even completed 1 Star at all the main game hospitals let alone spent time enough to earn 3 stars in each. Secondly – That really isn’t possible with this game for the team of Two Point Studios have given it no limits!
In the past few months, a brand new aspect of the game has been added – The Superbug Initiative – where players across Steam unite together complete challenging goals across the TPC Universe. For example, ‘gathering the most Dead Patient Ghost Goo’ which would require increasing death rates in your hospital, in order to unlock the Ectovat – a storage bank for goo or “A new innovative answer to the age old question of where you go when you die.”