Transform Your Computer into the Best Mobile Gaming Device!
Download for FREE BlueStacks and play your best mobile game on your PC for FREE. TRY IT NOW
The tinny music begins, the isometric hospital outline pops up on screen. Your hospital doesn’t have any rooms yet, let alone patients, but you need a reception desk. It’s angular, purple. You place it by the sliding glass front doors of the hospital lobby, ready for the first people to file in. Now you’ll need a receptionist, maybe a potted plant or two. Benches, of course – I like constructing two neat rows, back to back. And so it’s on to hiring doctors, building a GP’s Office and a Pharmacy, hiring a nurse to staff that. A handyman to water those plants. A vending machine. So begins every game of Theme Hospital – and so begins Two Point Hospital, as well.
If anyone was going to make a successor to Theme Hospital, then why not the team behind the original? Led by Bullfrog and later Lionhead veterans Mark Webley and Gary Carr, startup Two Point Studios has – to this Theme Hospital fan – done something remarkable: made a game which feels instantly familiar, 21 years on. Of course, it has the visual updates you’d expect – those rooms you’re building within your hospital drop and plop into place, their walls gently rippling as you set them down (and yes, you can finally edit them on the fly, and make their floorplans other shapes than rectangular), your patients and staff are now little 3D people, and you can see how they’re thinking and feeling via all sorts of colourful overlays. But the resemblance to Two Point Hospital’s source material is astonishing – right down to those angular reception desks.
“I don’t think we wanted to reskin [the original] and make an HD version,” Webley says to me. “The character trait system, how you develop people, is designed to make you care about the staff and make them memorable,” he adds, suggesting one particular new feature. It’s an admirable idea, though there’s no time in the hour-long demo I played to linger and really find out if it makes an impression. Just like in Theme Hospital, your first scenario in Two Point Hospital is a basic facility with the ability to cater to and cure only a handful of comedy ailments. Still, the pressure is immediately on to keep the whole enterprise profitable, ensure staff remain happy and, of course, try and keep patients alive. The initial level I played takes you through the basics of managing your hospital simulation and concentrates on just a couple of diseases only. Light Headedness, for example, is this game’s version of Bloaty-Head Syndrome. You’ll need to build a De-Lux machine to unscrew a Light Headed patient’s lightbulb head and twist their real one back on. And again, just like in Theme Hospital, there’s a Pharmacy and Ward to build and cure other ailments.