Juan from the SwitchWatchTV gang has visited Two Point Hospital and has come back with a review. How did this hospital fair? Did they treat their patients well? Or was it a disaster that resulted in all kinds of lawsuits and angst? Well, look no further! Juan knows the ins and outs of Two Point Hospital, and he will let you know about it in the video below. For those who are not able to watch this yet, feel free to read the script here on SwitchWatch.co.uk.
Back when I was a boy, which was a while ago now, there were 3 games which I remember fondly made by a company called BullFrog. A British company which made games like Populous, my favourite Theme Park, and of course Theme Hospital. Theme Park was always my favourite, something about building successful parks with great roller coasters never got old to me, and over-salting chips so people would buy more drinks was always amusing. It was just one little thing that made these games so great to play, and that was the sense of humour. Theme Hospital was good as well, but in a different way.
BullFrog was eaten up, or should I say bought, by EA, and when Peter Molineux left, the company was dead which was a great shame. But Peter went on to form Lionhead games along with Mark Webley. Mark Webley was the producer of the original Theme Hospital and wanted to make another that had a broader appeal. A project he had on his mind for a number of years which came to fruition on PC and other consoles in 2018 named Two Point Hospital. This has now been ported to the Switch. So has it been worth it? Let’s take a look.
Two Point Hospital is a simulation game, and your goal is to run a successful hospital. The controls and interface can be sought through with ease, and it’s quite accessible on the Switch, which is paramount to get the casuals among you willing to give this a shot. There is plenty of information that you can access to get going in building, and placing staff is nice and simple. It’s not 100% perfect, but I think it’s almost as good as it can be.
Two Point Hospital has a number of modes, but the one I have always had most fun with is endless mode but more on that later for now. The main campaign consists of you going through 15 challenges in which you will be given the opportunity to build hospitals in differing areas each with different demographics and requirements.
For example, in one area, you have a high number of people taking part in risky activities and so they break a lot of bones. That hospital’s main focus is to have a big enough fracture ward to cope. Another hospital may have a high incident of people requiring psychiatrists, and so you position your hospital and prices accordingly. It is super-compelling, and one night I was up playing till 4am not even realizing as I was so engrossed.
Complete a number of challenges where you will want to succeed in making sure you are at least a 1 star hospital before being able to move on to the next area. Getting a star in each hospital may mean you need to get your hospital to a certain value, cure a number of patients with a certain type of ailment, and so on and so forth.
In essence to complete this mode, you will have built 15 hospitals, all with various new upgrades, staff, training, and challenges you will need to overcome in order to succeed.
For me, this is the game’s tutorial mode. Each new hospital will introduce you to new rooms you can build, new upgrades, and also throw in new problems. The further you get, the more stuff you will have to juggle and get right in order to overcome the challenge.
For example, in one area you will have to build psychologist rooms, because everyone in town seems to think they are a rock star. You need to employ doctors with the relevant qualifications to treat these people, and if you do it right the hospitals reputation will increase and the more you can charge for your services. It’s essential you train your staff, but each time you do that you take them out of work so you need to prepare.
The more money you can make, the more you can invest into better hospitals with the latest equipment.
Placement is of course key and having the right amount of space between each room is absolutely essential. Each plot of land allows for expansion too, so hospitals can get rather large. How big do you make your rooms? How many beds should you have in the ward? Should you have a large room for the staff to chill in or a small area? Making use of space that you have is a commodity you can ill afford to waste if you want to make your hospital a successful business.
A return on investment is absolutely key to making sure you don’t run into trouble, and I went bankrupt a number of times because I was too impatient, letting my hospital’s reputation go bad, ramping up prices to cover my spiraling costs, and people getting even more upset and telling others. A recipe for disaster. You may need to expand by buying up land and may need a loan to do so. Even this can be fraught with danger if you don’t make enough cash.
There are all sorts of things that can go wrong, and it’s all down to you. Not enough toilets or place them in the wrong places and you are going to get people shitting on the floor. Sorry for the language, but I need to make a strong point that having liquid pap or pee on the floor is not a good look for any hospital, especially when staff or patients slip on it.
Then you got the poor janitor who is probably going to projectile vomit cleaning it up. I mean, no man or woman should be cleaning that. Hilarious? Why, yes it is. Good for your bottom line? Not so much. Lose patients, and they will come back as ghosts to scare the living daylights out of your patients. Don’t have a janitor with the relevant ghostbuster expertise, then that’s your problem, pal.
I always found that a lot of the newer sims were just too basic to really get me going, but here you have all the information you need. From how much you are charging for each of your treatments to how much profit you are making in any given month. It’s all about providing a good service and charging a reasonable amount for those services so more people want to come to your hospital over others in the area.
Of course the busier you get, the harder it’s going to be to keep on top of things too. And that’s where the fun is, in finding the right balance. I found this best playing on the big screen, and I found it a little harder to manage everything going on the little screen to be honest. But it still plays great either way.
There are still some frustrations like having to build hospitals from scratch every time in challenge mode. However, there is now a nice copy and paste feature of rooms you have built before which was a previous patch. This is very welcome, indeed. I mean, I am looking for some bad points as you probably want to know them, but I honestly was just having too much of a laugh and a good time.
Okay. There are a few small gripes, like the AI at times does not do what they need to do.
I had one where I built the research room, and the announcer kept telling the researcher to go to the room over and over which was getting on my wick, but you can micromanage the staff if need be and put them in the right place. You can manage all the staffs salaries and training schedules, so you have the best people available. In all honesty, I thought with each new hospital I may start to tire, but each new challenge thrown up is just fun and funny to deal with.
The mode that I was most looking forward to was infinite mode, and in fact I wanted to just play that from the start. However, that would be doing the campaign a real disservice, because it’s very enjoyable. Once you do unlock endless mode, then it’s one massive challenge of keeping on top of everything you learned in the campaign, and you can spend hours and hours and hours managing your hospital and building it until it’s massive. I mean, what else can I say other than this for me is a return to form, and I wish we could have Theme Park remade to this same degree.
The audio is fantastic in Two Point Hospital! You have a Hospital Radio and the announcer is pretty funny to listen to in that over-the-top kind of way. The announcer telling staff and you as the player what is going on with the hospital is equally hilarious.
I can’t tell you how many times she would let me know very helpfully that the hospital was on fire. I must remember to put those fire extinguishers in every room! Then you have the nice little backing tracks which feel like those types of songs you would hear in a shopping mall but equally feel right for a hospital game.
VISUALS & PERFORMANCE
The visuals for me are just right, although sometimes the writing is hard to see, especially when in handheld as there is quite a bit of information. As I already stated, the menus are simple to navigate and the top-down view which you can zoom in and out of and turn 360 with the analog stick is perfect for what you need to see. You can access every angle, so you can place what you want with minimum fuss.
I like the cartoony look, and it achieves what it sets out to do with minimum fuss and no hamper on performance, even when things are going mental when you have a large hospital. This is what you want from a game like this.
Digitally Two Point Hospital in the UK is £34.99, in the USA it’s $39.99, and in the EU it’s 39,99.
Is it worth it? That depends if you own a PC or another console. Sure, it can be bought cheaper elsewhere and some may just prefer a game like this with a mouse and keyboard. However, on Switch, it’s very playable even in handheld, though you may need your glasses if you are a bit older like me!
In terms of hours, I really can’t see as there will be a load of failures where you will need to build your hospital again, and endless mode is just that, endless. So replay value is certainly there.
If you are a fan of simulator games, then this has the perfect balance for me. It’s not going to bore you to death with menu after menu but has just enough information so you can make decisions which will affect your hospital. It’s accessible and superb fun building functioning hospitals, and you will laugh when you get it wrong as this game has a great sense of humour going for it.
Sure, it can be annoying when you fail or a little repetitive building the same stuff over and over, but if that is going to annoy you then I suspect this is not going to be for you. Everyone else, it’s time to save lives and have fun while doing it!