The strategy and simulation genres are seeing a great boost in console presence in recent years. Following a prior lull in console ports, recent successes are proving that these type of games really can succeed outside of the PC environment. Now the latest time-management port to arrive on consoles is ready to continue the trend. Get ready for Two Point Hospital from Sega, available for Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One—including Xbox Game Pass.
Two Point Hospital Details
Platform: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Reviewed on: Nintendo Switch
Developer: Two Point Studios, Red Kite Games
Modes: Single-player, multiplayer
ESRB Rating: E 10+ (Everyone 10+)
Two Point Hospital is your standard time-management simulation, with a healthy dose of capitalism. Players tackle the game from the God-view perspective. Acting as hospital administrators, the task is to oversee the growth and development of burgeoning healthcare facilities.
You’ll be responsible for hiring staff, overseeing hospital layouts, balancing budgets, and much more. Turning a profit and increasing your current hospital’s prestige will unlock new maps and challenges to tackle. There is always a new challenge around the corner.
Overall Two Point Hospital is a perfect balance of challenge and reward. Your first few hospitals really just introduce the basics, which seem simple enough. However, just when you think you have the loop mastered, the game introduces a new mechanic or problem.
The result is a very satisfying gameplay experience. With time-management simulations the challenge is always to keep the game from getting stale or too easy, while simultaneously not overwhelming players or adjusting the difficulty balance too far in the other direction. In this respect Two Point Hospital nails it, and the game remains engaging throughout.
Treating your funny bone
One thing that really sets Two Point Hospital apart from other time-management sims is its humour. Everything from the animations to the art style to the writing intends to elicit a chuckle out of players. And for the most part, it’s a big success.
The light-hearted art style and character models create a jovial environment from the start. Employees and patients have body shapes that just slightly skew from realistic to humourous. They move around with an amusing lean to their gait, like a retro cartoon character might.
And of course, the illnesses themselves are purely fictitious puns and amusing efforts in word play. Patients suffering from lightheadedness saunter in with light bulbs for heads. Mentally unstable rock star wannabes dress in Freddie Mercury cosplay and move with farcical swagger.
The cherry on top however is the game’s soundtrack, courtesy of Two Point Radio. Here the DJ regularly chimes in with jokes and comments of their own. It’s something akin to the “Grand Theft Auto” method of providing background chatter via talk radio, which not only serves up a few laughs but also immerses the player in feeling like they are part of a regular day at the office.
Interface and controls
In spending most of my time playing Two Point Hospital on Nintendo Switch, I can happily say that the port is extremely well done. There could be concern among some about the lack of touch controls, but it’s not inhibitive in its absence. The controls and interfaces are very well set up, with an intuitive design.
My one issue with the interface is that it’s a little difficult to use the “cursor” to interact with an individual employee or patient. The idea is to hover over the character, thus allowing players to see important data, and also pick them up and reassign them if necessary. Given the scope of the game however, the characters are small, and it can be a bit of a nuisance to lock on—particularly when they are moving.
I originally thought this might be an issue primarily when playing in handheld mode. However it seems to persist across the board. Even testing the Xbox One version of game on the big screen, I have the same problem.
Clearly this is something that is fairly simple when using a mouse on the original PC version. Yet in the end it’s not a deal breaker, if nothing else it just takes a bit of time to get a feel for lining the cursor up. Nonetheless while there are other ways to get the info you may want, this is one area where touch controls would have really given the Switch port an advantage.
Plenty of value
Things are even brighter for new players of Two Point Hospital, with the console ports benefitting from the growing pains of the PC version. For example, the console port includes a number of quality of life fixes that weren’t initially present on PC. The most beneficial of these is undoubtedly the ability to copy an entire room outright, saving copious time and effort.
Not only that, but the console version also includes two expansions. Both the “Bigfoot” and “Pebberly Island” expansions are standard on console, bringing the total number of hospitals available to 21. That’s an additional 6 hospitals on top of the core release.
And while the console port isn’t quite yet up to par with PC, future updates promise to continue adding features. An upcoming March 31 update from the publisher is slated to add two more huge features. First up is a sandbox mode that grants players the freedom to build endlessly without campaign restrictions. The second is an online “Superbug” mode that revolves around multiplayer cooperative initiatives.
Two Point Hospital is a fantastic port that proves simulation titles still belong on console
The current console generation is a dream come true for fans of strategy and simulation games. The genre that once barely left its cozy PC habitat is now leaping to consoles more than ever, and Two Point Hospital is yet another example of why that is a great thing.
The gameplay itself is a wonderful balance of skill and reward, and the console port nails the interface with intuitive grace. It’s a bit of a shame the Nintendo Switch version doesn’t have touch screen support, if only because the one obvious hang-up the game has is the difficulty in locking in on characters with the cursor. Nevertheless Two Point Hospital is humourous, well-designed, and a fantastic example of time-management done right.
+ Balanced gameplay
+ Plenty of humour
+ Two Point Radio
– Occasional cursor difficulties
OVERALL ASSESSMENT OF TWO POINT HOSPITAL
Lasting Appeal/Replayability: 4.5/5