Many players from the 90s enjoyed it to the fullest Theme hospitalA wonderfully dumb sim from Bullfrog where you have to run the most dangerous business of all: a hospital. Unfortunately, there was no sequel, as the developer gradually dissolved into the Electronic Arts business (a process akin to being absorbed by Borg, according to Mark Healy, lead artist at Bullfrog’s Dungeon Keeper).
But fortunately there is Two Point Studios, a developer made up of former employees of Bullfrog and Lionhead, which has created a spiritual successor to Theme Hospital: Two Point Hospital. This game turns out to be successful enough to warrant a sequel, in which, oddly enough, you don’t build a national network of hospitals or provide medical assistance to the Martian colony. No, this sequel takes a completely different path and allows those interested in building a complete university with a campus and all the attendant college worries like partying, junk, and messing around with robots. Yes, with Two Point Campus, education will be more fun than ever!
Because of course you wouldn’t create concrete educational prisons in a fun game like this. No, a college campus in its two spots is colourful, cartoonish and crazy! The dorms have double hop beds, the libraries have funny workbooks, and the staff room has a Burp machine! And members of the Speed Walking Club get into an accident on a giant running wheel in the hallway. Meanwhile, the Secretary of Education offers you additional funding if you make your students “less stupid” and a voice over the intercom says “Plagiarism is not a belief system.”
It gets really funny once the bot box is available, when a huge robot is assembled in Robo Construction during a lesson called It’s Alive: A Terrifying New World. Furthermore, in Robo Design, students ask students to raise a giant thumb for the “Mega-Hand” while teachers research the next version of this learning tool in the research lab. And yes, you see that right, some robotics students already have Deus Ex-esque extras, just the cute, cartoon-y kind.
But before you can build a university where robotics is a curriculum, you first have to run a cooking school, while later the game asks you to train jockeys, for example. So you have to build the necessary training rooms, classrooms and lecture halls, but it is also important that students can sleep, wash, pee, eat and party. Not necessarily in this system. In the beginning, the game keeps you nicely on your hand and every aspect is explained in a fun and well-arranged manner. But as you progress and wear a new outfit over and over again, you become more and more unleashed. Actually exactly as you want.
How gradually increasing the challenge in Two Point Campus actually gets 10 from me. For example, you can choose to build each of your schools, increasing in size and complexity, into a 3-star educational paradise, by making your campus more beautiful and your students and staff more to their liking. But this is
Just a little more administrative pressure than moving on to the next school, starting other courses there and discovering new and crazy things. Follow the sim of your heart
Just like in Two Point Hospital, the controls are remarkably good for the sim on consoles. Building rooms, placing objects, and maneuvering around the stadium is seamless, although the frame rate is not specified. The latter is a shame, because at times it prevents me from walking around a college campus and watching what these crazy Aardman-esque (reminds me of clay dolls from this animation studio) students, assistants, teachers, and guards. The possibilities are hilarious. Or at least funny. or completely angry.
Two Point Campus may be a sim, a genre in which many fairly complex and time-consuming games drop, but just like its predecessor, it plays surprisingly easy and nice. So there’s not much of a challenge to be found, but this maintains the typical sim pressure, as it looks as if your entire meticulously designed structure is collapsing like a house of cards, for most of the game on a delightfully low profile. Meanwhile, Two Point Campus feeds enough basic gaming needs: unlocking rage, for example, or the desire to arrange things the right way, finish menus, and organize clutter.
I had a great time with Two Point Hospital and in fact I am once again enjoying exactly the same way and extent with this sequel. Sure, an extra game mode could have been added along with the campaign and sandbox, the clumsy music gets a bit boring after a while, and building a lecture theater for the umpteenth time isn’t very interesting (tip: save the templates!). But if you look at all the bustle on campus of college students swinging to helium baboon music and guards firing water pistols at knights while you quietly set up some extra Cheesy Gubbins and Sleepy Sheep vending machines, you might almost miss your school days…
Two Point Campus will launch August 9 across Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4 and Xbox Series X | S, Microsoft Windows, Linux and Mac OS
“Thinker. Coffeeaholic. Award-winning gamer. Web trailblazer. Pop culture scholar. Beer guru. Food specialist.”