Hello, hello, hello and welcome along to Parcival Plays. This site is a place for a Scottish guy in his 30's to share some of the games he is playing. This will be a variety of older games and more recent titles with most of these being by smaller or indie teams. Please feel free to comment on posts or follow me on Twitter and to drop me an email using the buttons on the right. New posts will generally be weekly on a Wednesday.


Parcival

Wednesday, 5 September 2018

Two Point Hospital (Out Now)

Two Point Hospital is the first game to be made by developer Two Point Studios, formed in 2016, and published by SEGA.  Don't be fooled with the studio being young however.  Two of the founding staff (Mark Webley and Gary Carr) have been working together making games since 1989 when both worked at Bullfrog Productions, now part of EA UK.  Games that the pair worked on previously include Theme Park and Theme Hospital whilst at Bullfrog, and The Movies whilst at Lionhead, so they certainly aren't newcomers to this style of game.  Due to this history of the dev team, some people have called this game the spiritual successor to Theme Hospital and the devs have stated that this will be the first of a series of management games to be set in Two Point County.

I will probably be drawing A LOT of comparisons with Theme Hospital throughout this post, and it's something very hard not to do.  As soon as you load your first hospital the similarities are fairly obvious.  The art style retains the fun cartoon look of its predecessor and is complemented by a fun soundtrack, which is very reminiscent of The Movies as it is in the style of a radio station with humorous presenter interludes, and comedy illnesses, such as Light Headedness and Jest Infection.

Two Point County overview

Each level has a series of objectives,  such as cure a certain  umber of patients or earn a certain amount of cash, and a chance to get a 1, 2 or 3 star rating.  These are not a measure of your success over a set period, but are more like the apprentice, entrepreneur and tycoon  objectives in RCT3, where completing a set of objectives unlocks the objectives for the next star rating.  After completing the first star you can choose to continue with the same hospital, or progress to the next one.  If you choose to progress, you can return to the previous hospitals later, with the advantage of any unlocked items and tech you gain in other hospitals being available, which makes the higher stars easier to attain.

The early hospitals act as a tutorial of sorts, with each introducing different game mechanics, for example Mitton University only allows you to hire junior doctors and introduces research and focusses on staff training.  These will break new players in gently, but will also help to familiarise seasoned management sim players to the specifics of Two Point Hospital.

Humble beginnings, our first GP Office and Pharmacy

Whilst the basic game play is similar to Theme Hospital, there have been a number of changes making the game look fresh.  The most obvious of these is, of course, the look.  Whilst retaining the fun and quirky style of Theme Hospital, the graphics have been brought up to date.  This makes the game at first glance look simply like an HD remake but it is soon evident there are new things to see.  The character models and items all look a lot cleaner and more detailed and, with the free cam perspective, they need to be, as objects can now be viewed from any angle.  This leads on to one of my favourite things.  We have more free placement of objects rather than items being tied to one of 2 orientations.  This is going to lead to the opportunity to be even  more creative when designing your hospital, with many items not being locked to specific rooms as they were in Theme Hospital.

As this is primarily a management game, the simulation is as important as the aesthetics.  This has also been taken up a level compared to Theme Hospital with a wider range of challenges and options.  Are patients too hot or cold?  Provide them with aircon or radiators.  Patients getting bored whilst waiting?  Offer them a leaflet stand or magazine rack to give them something to read.  There are all the management things you would expect from this type of game such as planning and designing rooms, managing needs of staff and patients, research of technologies and training of staff, but there are also some other nice touches.  For example, when building bathrooms, you can now assign these to be male, female or staff only or when designing your reception area, rather than plopping down a single desk, you can now create a reception 'island' (once you have unlocked it) with workstations for multiple staff and all the associated items from a reception area, including filing cabinets, various plants and even a donation tin to sit on the desk.

A Patient being treated for Lightheadedness

In summary the game looks great and will be enjoyed by both Theme Hospital veterans and newcomers alike.  This takes the solid base created by the developers when they made Theme Hospital and really builds on it with new and reworked mechanics and a simulation much deeper than the graphics would have you think.  There is also a completely new list of maladies and associated treatments and clinics and new options for diagnosis and customising your hospital.  It has to be said though that the game is very much a new Theme Hospital, which has resulted in some mixed reviews with people saying it is too similar to its predecessor.  If you are looking to relive the experience of Theme Hospital the game is definitely worth it, if you want something new in a hospital management game check out Project Hospital which comes out next month.

Two Point Hospital is out now on the Steam Store at a cost of £24.99



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