Back in the 90s, there was a game, which pretty much took up all of my time, other than attending college, but even then, my mind would be there thinking about how I could tinker and change what I was doing.
That game was Theme Hospital and it had me hooked, so imagine my delight when Two Point Hospital was announced, created by some of the same folk that made Theme Hospital.
I bought the game when it was released on PC, but never really got that much chance to play it due to certain issues with my laptop. This was why I (and my wife) were ecstatic when it was announced as coming to consoles, especially for my wife that it would be releasing on Switch, and for me, it got better when it was announced as coming to Xbox Games Pass.
Fast forward now to February 25th, I had the game pre-ordered on Switch and while I was at work, I was able to get the remote download sorted so it would be ready on my Xbox to play when I got home.
Now, I’m not going to compare both games, it wouldn’t be fair on either, especially with 23 years difference between them, they’re their own games for their own time.
When I started to play Two Point Hospital there was one thing that was bothering me, and from playing the PC version, that was how the game was going to hold up when playing with an Xbox Controller (or a DS4) as I’ve always felt that the way to play these types of simulation games is by keyboard and mouse.
However, after playing with an Xbox controller for a few hours, I must admit that the developers have done an excellent job of making the controls extremely playable on controllers. Simple use of bumpers and triggers for the menus does make life a lot easier and it’s quick to get where you need to go.
Building rooms is very easy and the game helps you along with this, when you’re in the build menu it gives you the list of rooms available from a GP’s office to Psychiatrist after you’ve selected the room that you want, you simply drag it over the area and then it will advise which items are required in the room, and you can leave it there, or you can go a little further and decorate it up with plants, medicine cabinets and more. This also adds to the room prestige level and the higher the prestige the happier the staff and patients are going to be.
The next thing I’m going to say may sound a bit stupid, but the staff that is hired are very important, in terms of patients and how successful they are at treating them. Therefore, I always went for the higher starred staff, sometimes I did have to hire a lower than average staff, but this was only until I could get someone better in the post. The ability to assign certain tasks to staff as well is always a productive thing to do, mainly because you get janitors cleaning everything while ghosts are wreaking havoc and no one is going to capture them, despite 2 of them are trained to capture ghosts. This is why I set them up to do certain jobs, things get sorted quicker, and there is more organisation to the staff’s role.
I love how the game looks, the cartoony nature gives the slapstick comedy that’s within it that added extra, and I will say that some of the tannoy announcements and names of the diseases within the game are pure genius. Mock star, for instance, people walking in as Freddie Mercury and can only be cured by a psychiatrist, pan head is exactly as it says, patients walk in with pans on their heads and lightheadedness, in which patients come in with light bulbs for heads. There is so much more to unlock in the game and as you progress through each hospital more and more gets opened.
A good thing with Two Point Hospital was that as you opened and unlock items such as diseases or décor for your hospital, you can go back to your previous hospitals and jazz them up with new items as well. As new diseases have opened up, your old hospital might need a little rearranging to add new rooms for the new diseases it will deal with. This is an excellent feature as I feel it keeps you on your toes, especially if you go back to the first hospital and try to fit everything in there while keeping patients and staff happy.
One of the most important lessons I learned when playing Two Point Hospital was to utilise the space that is available. Placing rooms in the middle of the building and making corridors for people to walk along so that you can have extra rooms to cover what you need is essential, and also helps get your hospital level up.
But what I loved most was how Two Point Hospital took me back to my Theme Hospital days, reminiscing about the hours lost then will probably be the same here as well, and I am very much OK with that.
Would I recommend this game, very much so, there are hours and hours of fun to be had, and the comedy value is top-notch!