Simulation games are slowly starting to come over to the Switch in all sizes and forms. And Although we still have to receive the behemoth that is ‘The Sims’, we already have plenty of superb sim games for us to enjoy long and happy game sessions with. One new game that has just arrived is Two Point Hospital, sprirtual successor to Theme Hospital, and boy is it a joy to play!
PC gamers are probably still familiar with these simulation and construction games dripping with black humor. Two Point Hospital is a spiritual successor to one of these old classics and impresses just as much as the template with the right mix of satire and challenge. But let’s start at the beginning. So for my first building and the work involved. Since a sandbox mode is still a long time coming, career mode is the only way to progress. This leaves me stomping one hospital after the other and can be described as a fluffy tutorial in this function. With each new city I get to know more facets of the game and have to take more into account in my planning. However, Two Point Hospital also gives me the choice whether I jump to the next object immediately after reaching the first star rating or continue to study the current cycle before it has a full three-star rating. Of course, you can also return at a later date to continue working with new premises and objects.
The tasks are diverse and it is rare to be able to leave everyday hospital life to your own devices. Patients first come to the reception, are put off for diagnosis, which then prescribes medicine, seeks advice from an expert or initiates inpatient treatment. For all of this, of course, you need the appropriate premises and dedicated staff. This also needs break rooms, toilets and sometimes further training to meet the rising standards of the medical world. The waiting patients should also be entertained and may need a few magazines, vending machines or the like in addition to seating. And don’t forget the disinfectant dispenser or trash can, otherwise the caretakers will soon be unable to keep up with their work. To do all of this, Two Point Hospital gives me two important resources. Healed patients earn dollars and benefit the equipment of the hospital. With the special currency, various upgrades of existing objects can be purchased and distributed through successful missions.
The cartoony art style is strongly reminiscent of the British claymation studio Aardman, the sometimes flippant comments in between make me smile just as successfully as they provide help during the course of the game and the oh so important bustle factor is served in the best possible way. This is matched by the harmonious background music provided by the hospital radio and the really wacky illnesses that I see in the course of my career as a hospital manager. There is a bit of variety missing in the hustle and bustle of everyday life and occasionally the frame rate drops a little – if there is too much going on on the screen – but Two Point Hospital is not so easy to pretend in its presentation. What annoyed me a little was the forced restart in every new hospital. Although you learn from previous mistakes and there is a certain routine involved, it was not always easy to get through again to rebuild all the facilities that had just been created in the other building. In general I would say handheld is where Two Point Hospital is king on the Switch, as some text boxes on your television might be a bit hard to read with the small text being used.
The presentation is where the game truly shines. Although the game has a few small shortcomings. Two Point Hospital delivers a great simulation game that will be asking for more once you’ve played through a few of the tutorials.
Two Point Hospital is a hilariously good simulator that will make you come back for more for quite some time.