Think back to your last hospital experience. You probably remember the wards, the waiting rooms, and even the GP surgeries, depending on the hospital nearest you. Do you also remember ill patients dropping dead on the floor right in front of you, and suddenly reanimating as a ghost?
In the time of the Coronavirus sweeping across the globe, something like that might not seem too far beyond the realms of possibility. But all those things are present and correct in SEGA’s Two Point Hospital, a wacky management sim that you will absolutely love if you had fun with the likes of Theme Hospital or Theme Park back in the day. This is all about constructing a hospital from the ground up, setting up rooms with different functions in a layout of your choosing and hiring doctors, nurses, and janitors to keep the place running, while turning a profit until you can expand the hospital outwards.
The hospitals in Two Point Hospital are no ordinary establishments, however. Patients will come in with all manner of unheard-of afflictions, from Jest Infection, which has them inescapably dressed as a clown, to Mock Star, which might see them prancing around the place dressed from head-to-toe in Freddie Mercury garb. Yes – realism of actual illnesses is thrown out the window here, but you’ll need to make sure you have the budget to purchase the facilities needed to cure them.
Starting up a hospital, you’ll need a reception desk to direct patients to their treatment. After a doctor has made an attempt at diagnosis, every patient will be off on their merry way to whichever part of the hospital can help them. Naturally, hospitals early in the game begin with a small selection of rooms and items which you can make use of, but after honing your craft you can move on to more sizeable hospitals with new mechanics and resources.
Running a hospital isn’t just about securing the right treatment facilities, though. You need to make sure patients are happy throughout the course of their stay. That goes from making sure they have benches to sit on as they wait to be seen, to having snacks and drinks machines readily available. Select any patient to get a reading of how they’re feeling at any given moment, and you can take action to fix their gripes and grievances to improve the hospital’s visitor satisfaction rating. Later hospitals are set in icy locales, so installing radiators all about the place will stop patients shivering, while it’s always advisable to place plants around the hospital to suck up all that unwanted CO2. Leaflets and posters are also available to brighten things up.
It’s not just the patients you’ll need to keep happy – the staff want just as much care and attention paid to them. You’ll want to be sure to establish a plush staff room with a seating area as soon as possible – staff will head here to chill for a set number of in-game days when they’ve been working awhile. You can grab them and insist that they get back to work if you’re suffering from any shortages, but this will result in their satisfaction level dropping. As you move through the hospitals, you’ll continually get pop-ups from staff hoping for a promotion, at which point you can negotiate their wages, with a smiley face showing their level of satisfaction with whatever they’re getting. Some will still be unhappy, though, and demand a certain level of change before possibly resigning.
One of the most frequent requests from staff is for more training, for which you’ll need to build a classroom. You can train as many staff members at once as you have seats in the classroom and can either get an experienced member of staff to train them or hire someone externally for a steeper price. But training is essential for giving staff new skills – doctors cannot work on psychiatric patients without psychiatry training, for instance, and janitors without the ghost-hunting ability can’t hoover up the ghouls which terrorise patients and staff alike.
There’ll always be a challenge to keep you occupied. These can come from the staff themselves, rewarding you with extra budget and a chance to unlock more items or be part of the overall goal of raising the hospital level. You’ll be tasked with promoting a number of staff, curing a number of patients or dealing with an outbreak, where a certain number must be cured. Chief execs of a rival hospital can scout the place to give a spirit of competition. But the game’s main drawback is that things seem to so easily become out of control – you’ll think you’ve started small then have seemingly unavoidable patient deaths on your hands.
For that reason, Two Point Hospital isn’t a 100% satisfying experience, but it comes damn near.
Two Point Hospital £34.99
Two Point Hospital is an addictive management experience which you’ll adore if you enjoyed the likes of Theme Hospital, Theme Park and Rollercoaster Tycoon. There’s a deep sense of satisfaction in getting things to click and watching the money rack up – and who doesn’t like making money?