Two Point Hospital is a game that I have waited years to play. Even before it was officially announced, I have been eagerly anticipating this for quite some time. For those who played Theme Hospital back in the day, Two Point Hospital is the spiritual successor to that. In fact, some of the people on the Two Point Hospital development team worked on Theme Hospital many years ago. Two Point Hospital was originally released on PC in August 2018, however, now it is finally available on consoles. Even better, the console version of Two Point Hospital comes with all of the previously released downloadable content for the PC version.
Two Point Hospital starts you fairly easy with the first hospital being an exercise in trying to learn the game’s mechanics. Building different rooms, hiring employees, making sure things are designed correctly so that patients and employees don’t have any problem getting to where they need to be and things of that nature. As you get to some of the later hospitals in the game you will have to deal with some natural disasters, putting radiators down when you are in a hospital in a mountainous region or perhaps putting in some air conditioners if you are in a desert. You are in charge of everything here although, with that said, there are some instances where you don’t have enough control which I’ll get into in a little bit.
As you progress through the game different rooms will become available to you to build. Two Point Hospital is a simulation-lite title with a lot of humor and general craziness. Some of the illnesses you will run into include “verbal diarrhoea” which can be cured in the pharmacy, “Lightheadedness” where your patient’s head looks like a light bulb that has gone out, “Animal Magnetism” where animals are stuck to you like a magnet, and more. Of course, wacky illnesses require wacky solutions. For the “Lightheadedness” illness you go into a room and sit in a chair. Then a machine unscrews your head like you do when you are taking a light bulb out of a lamp. The machine then does a body scan and a few seconds later another part of the machine reaches takes out a new head and puts it on top of your shoulders. For the “Animal Magnetism” illness you go into a room and stand on a machine with a new behind you. A nurse then gets on a gun-type of device that shoots air at you which blows the animals into the net behind you. After that happens the machine sprays you with something and you are good to go. I’ll allow you to discover the different illnesses and cures for yourself but rest assured that even though this is somewhat of a simulation title, there is a lot of crazy and humorous things going on in your hospital at any given moment.
As I briefly mentioned above, you are going to have to try and think of everything when building your hospital. The first thing you will need is a reception desk to check in your patients. Then you will need a GP Office so doctors can diagnose patients. Now, of course, this is only one of many diagnosis rooms you can build. There is a cardiology room you can build, x-ray, “mega scan” and more that will be unlocked as you progress through the game. In addition to that, you will need to build some restrooms so patients and employees alike don’t go to the bathroom on the hospital floor (because they will if there aren’t any bathrooms). As you progress in the game a cafe will become available to you as well so you are going to want to put one of those in so people have someplace they can go to get something to eat whether they are on break or waiting for a doctor to see them. Before you get to that point though you can place vending machines all around your hospital, in addition to some kiosks. You will want to give some thought on the placement of these particular items though. If you put a vending machine down and you notice that it is causing a traffic bottleneck in that area you might want to move it somewhere else so that it is easier for everyone to get where they need to be. The pathfinding of the AI in this game isn’t always great so be sure to keep this mind. There are also training rooms you will want to build so you can train your employees in new skills so that they can be more helpful with patients. Additionally, you will want to build research rooms so that your doctors can research new illnesses and cures for those illnesses. Then, of course, there are the employees themselves. You need to hire doctors, nurses, assistants, and janitors. You have to decide what they learn and also work the books a little bit too. Every so often you’ll get someone complaining that they are underpaid. The easiest way to solve this is to go into their pay review and bump it up one notch. If you pay people too well the hospital will lose money and it won’t be long until you are in the red, so you need to be cognizant of that as well.
As you progress through your career there will be milestones you want to hit. Milestones such as cure 1,000 patients, get 30 stars, train a staff member up to Psychiatry V, and more. Hitting these milestones will award you Kudosh points. These are points that will allow you to unlock items in your hospital. For example, you can unlock a really nice place to sit for your patients while they wait to be seen by the doctor. I bought a couple of arcade machines to place in different parts of my hospital to try and keep my patients entertained. My favorite arcade machine was simply labeled “Arcade Machine” because you could put that in the hospital and then watch your patients play Sonic the Hedgehog for a moment. Two Point Hospital is, after all, published by Sega. There are other examples of entertainment you can provide such as a bookcase so people can look at books, a magazine stand, a leaflet stand, and more. Additionally, you can put paintings on the walls and plants/flowers/trees in your hospital to give it a warmer feel and increase the overall prestige of the space.
When you are first starting to build up a new hospital you will have limited funds. There might come a time when you are in the red. If that happens there is no need to panic, you just need to be careful of what is going in and out of your hospital, financially speaking. If you have too many doctors and not enough patients, perhaps you fire a couple of doctors. If you don’t want to go that route you can control prices. For example, the standard price to stay in the ward is $2,000 for people. If you want you can increase that price but if you do, you risk patients not wanting to pay it. You can also drop the prices as well but obviously that means less money to support the hospital. You also have a price reputation meter too so you need to be careful about what kind of reputation you are developing. You can check out an overview of the situation to see what the trends are, what your profits and losses are, and more. If all else fails you can take out a loan from a bank. There are three banks to choose from with “Two Point Bank,” “Swindles,” and “Smell My Cash”. Two Point Bank will generally loan you $50,000 with 5% interest, Swindles will give you $100,000 with 10% interest, and Smell My Cash will give you $250,000 with 15% interest. Now if you are someone who doesn’t like to deal with any of this stuff, let me assure you that you barely have to touch any of this. You can if you like to get into details like this but if you don’t want to concern yourself with it, you can ignore this for the most part. There have been times where I have had to take out loans to keep my hospital afloat as I was building it and other times where I was able to build up a hospital completely by myself without any financial help. It is a learning process and you will make some errors in the beginning but you’ll get it down in no time.
There is quite a lot happening in Two Point Hospital but unfortunately, not all of it is good. I briefly mentioned above that the pathfinding is not the greatest for the characters in the game. Another thing I didn’t really appreciate is the lack of control you have in certain situations. There were times when I had to order a doctor to do something two or three times before they actually did. There is also a random nature to the game that isn’t a good idea and I don’t know why the development team thought it would work well. More specifically, I’m talking about some of the requirements to build your hospital up to one star, two-star, and, eventually, a three-star hospital. What I’m talking about is the requirement to cure a certain percentage of people. For example, in the last hospital, I played one of the requirements to earn the full three stars was cure 90% of my patients. Now when you initially read that it doesn’t sound bad. The problem is that the game has somewhat of a random number generator-esque type of thing going on in the background. I can send in a patient to surgery but once the surgery is done you have to wait a moment to see whether you passed it or failed and you really don’t have much control over it. So you might have a string of successfully curing five people in a row but then you end up killing the next five. It seems to be pretty arbitrary and that is compounded by the fact that it doesn’t even register well. I had to successfully cure 18 out of 20 patients to get my third star. The problem is if I cure 17 patients and get to 85% cure but then the next three die, I’m back down to 70% cured. Then I might successfully cure the next five patients but it doesn’t register properly so the game didn’t track it and I’m still stuck at 70%. It can be maddening when I’m sitting at 85% and then I look back at the television a few moments later and I’m down to 60%. That can work the other way as well but I would have preferred to have more control over this aspect. You can help somewhat by having your best doctors helping patients (which is why training is important) but it still feels random and I don’t like that when you have mission requirements (and some achievements as a result) tied to that.
It is important to note that the PC version of Two Point Hospital has a sandbox mode and the “SuperBug Initiative” mini-game. Both of these are set to arrive in the console versions at the end of March. So with that said they were not available to be reviewed during this process.
Two Point Hospital really is a tremendous amount of fun. Despite my above frustrations, I have spent many, many hours with this title, both on PC and now on Xbox. A few nights back I turned it on to play for a “quick” 30-40 minutes to try and set things up for when I could sit down for an extended session later. The next time I really looked at the clock over two hours had passed. This is one of those games where you can sink a lot of time into it and not even realize it. I am really having a great time with it and it satiates my desire for another Theme Hospital type of game that I have had for a while. What is even more exciting is that I believe this is only the first of many games that Two Point Studios wants to make. Also, if you are an Xbox Game Pass member, you can download Two Point Hospital right now and try it out for yourself. If you have any interest in these types of titles, I highly recommend you download this game and give it a try. Check out the trailers above to get a quick glimpse into the humor and gameplay this game provides. If you are on the fence and belong to Game Pass, download it and give it a shot. It is a free download and you might find out you really enjoy it.
Originally posted on Gaming Target