Two Point Hospital is a spiritual successor to Theme Hospital, a 1997 business simulation game developed by Bullfrog Productions. Some of the developers who worked on Theme Hospital, such as Mark Webley and Gary Carr for example, even helped to design and develop Two Point Hospital. As such, the game has some experienced surgeons, but does the port to the Nintendo Switch make the cut? Here’s our Two Point Hospital (Switch) Review.
In Two Point Hospital, players take on the role of a hospital manager. As such, players are responsible for maintaining and running fifteen different hospitals spread across five different regions. While that may seem overwhelming, the game does an excellent job slowly introducing players to each hospital. Most hospitals start as a blank slate. Players decide where to place each room that patients will need throughout their hospital visit. Players decide the placement of reception desks, diagnosis rooms, and treatment rooms to serve the needs of the patients. Where those will be placed, and how big each will be is all decided by the player. Also, don’t forget to place enough bathrooms because if the line to the loo gets too long, things tend to get messy.
In order to move on to the next hospital, players must complete specific tasks unique to each hospital. Once the tasks are complete, the hospital is rewarded with a one-star rating. Afterward, players get to choose if they want to continue with the current hospital or move on to the next. Players are never forced to move on to the next hospital if they are not done with their current one. Continuing with the current hospital opens a new set of tasks to accomplish unlocking additional stars. With each additional star achieved, new items become available for all other hospitals. That means that if a player so chooses, they can stay with any given hospital until they have three starred it unlocking everything it has to offer before moving on to the next one.
There are a few things that define a simulation game: menus, control, and depth. Two Point Hospital has these in spades. Choose which staff members to hire and fire. What staff members do we promote? Who gets the extra training? Who do we overwork and underpay until they threaten to quit? Managing each of these is paramount to the success of your hospital. Hospital policies, such as deciding if a diagnosis needs to be 100% accurate before fast-tracking patients to treatment, or is 30% enough? Should staff members be promoted automatically or is it preferable to evaluate each employee’s accomplishments before making the decision? Can we cover the expenses this month or do we need a loan? Two Point Hospital provides real options for all of these questions.
Two Point Hospital has a unique style, as it seems heavily influenced by Aardman Animations (creators of Wallace and Gromit, Chicken Run, etc.) With about fifty different illnesses and over ten different treatment rooms, each room has a unique and quirky animation when treating patients. Each of the songs that play in the background has a toe-tappingly lighthearted feel. Players may even find themselves humming along to the music long after putting the game down. Speaking of putting the game down: Two Point Hospital makes it very hard to do just that.
The gameplay itself is nothing short of addicting. The combination of queue management at each step of a patient’s journey from diagnosis to treatment, along with the task of keeping both staff members and patients happy, and a plethora of other factors, keeps players constantly planning for the next thing that needs managing. Having the ability to control the speed of gameplay by setting it to either double, normal, half-speed, or just pausing it altogether grants a level of power that prevents the game from ever becoming too overwhelming.
Two Point Hospital Review – Verdict
Two Point Hospital on the Nintendo Switch accomplishes everything that it needs to in order to be considered an excellent port. Even after several hours of game time, the size of the joy-con sticks still presented a problem in precision controls. However, it still translates surprisingly well when docked to a TV or monitor. Even though the controls and smaller screen on the Nintendo Switch tend to get in the way, the loss of quality is not enough to affect just how fun playing this game is.