As huge fans of Theme Hospital, spiritual successor Two Point Hospital is one of our most anticipated games this year. We’ve finally got a look at the game in motion and we can tell you, just based on the short amount of gameplay we’ve seen, we’re already very happy.
Doctor: attend immediately in the Impressions Room, stat.
Check out our list of The Best Strategy Games on PC!What Theme Hospital Fans Want to See in Two Point Hospital!
If you don’t know about Two Point Hospital, or Theme Hospital, start here – otherwise feel free to skip to the next paragraph. Theme Hospital is a hospital management sim made by Bullfrog in 1997, and is still playable and beloved today due to its charm, accessibility, and gameplay. Two Point Hospital is made by a lot of the team behind Theme Hospital, who also previously worked at Lionhead, and is very much a successor to the legacy of Bullfrog’s Theme series.
And we can tell you right now, it’s looking very pleasing. In every aspect it’s defiantly Theme Hospital… but better. The hospital is played entirely on a single level, like its forebear. Apparently Two Point Studios experimented with multiple floors and it just proved too cumbersome, and took away from the accessibility. Single floor it is. And you don’t know how much of a thrill we got seeing a huge empty hospital and then a receptionist’s desk getting plopped down.
Rooms are now no longer just solid blocks. The first GP’s Office that got put down was done in an ‘L’ shape, mostly to avoid the bench that someone had thoughtlessly put down against the wall. The interface, too, is far nicer, no longer taking up the whole bottom of the screen and instead is just a small block with simple tabs in the corner – somewhat reminiscent of Bullfrog’s first 3D Theme game Theme Park World in fact (except it’s more obvious what the buttons do). A box in the bottom right showed cash, date, messages, and Pause/Fast Forward buttons (helpful!), and a discrete box in the top right of the screen showed level goals.
Rooms and items are simple pop-out menus, and most will be familiar to Theme Hospital players like Fire Extinguishers, Benches, Plants, Radiators and Vending Machines – although the latter is now a generic Two Point brand rather than Kit-Kat. Rooms, at the start, include such favourites as GP’s Office, General Diagnosis, Pharmacy, Cardio, Ward, Staff Room, Toilets, Operating Theatre, and X-Ray, but now there are of course rooms for the brand new diseases Two Point Hospital is introducing.
Light-Headedness, which was revealed in the initial trailer (and was apparently first called ‘Bulbous Head’), features the patient having a lightbulb for a head. Its cure room has a doctor unscrew the patient’s head and screw in a new human one. Grey Anatomy turns the patient grey, and they have to have colour sprayed back on to them. Curse Of The Mummy has mummified patients take a rest in a sarcophagus machine and get unwrapped. Even basic illnesses, like Hurty Leg, are amusing – even if that one just needs a cast remover.
It’s the people in this “little people game”, as Two Point and SEGA are calling it, who truly make it special. Most importantly, it also firmly draws a line between Two Point Hospital and Theme Hospital. In Theme Hospital none of the characters in the game felt real, but now the people of Two Point Hospital have personality to spare. We saw distinct personalities and emotions be shown. Patients can talk with one another, a dying patient hammered desperately on a cure room door, a patient in the X-ray machine got embarrassed, and one doctor celebrated a job well done by dancing.
What other new features did we glean? Well, ghosts for one. Spectres, presumably of deceased patients, were spotted in an earlier screenshot, but now we’ve seen them in motion. In Theme Hospital patients just went to Heaven or Hell, but now they can roam the hospital as spirits, scaring patients. Then, like a vomit stain, you have to get the Handyperson to suck them up with a vacuum cleaner. Speaking of vomit, there will also be contagious diseases now, and even doctors can be affected and get sick. Two Point also hinted at multiplayer, but that’s just a tease right now.
But the key, vital, most overridingly important feature is, of course, the Receptionist. Who can forget the slightly annoying voice offering necessary information such as a two surgeons being required in the Operating Theatre, or just amusing comments like “no loitering” or “patients are asked not to die in the corridors”. Well, she’s back, and it sounds like Two Point has the same actress too. And once again she has a mix of helpful announcements alongside disturbing remarks, such as “unattended patients will be removed and destroyed”. Awesome.
Two Point Hospital doesn’t have a release date as of yet, but at the moment it’s intended for Fall/Autumn 2018. Check out the Steam page right here.
We’ve only just seen the slightest snapshot of Two Point Hospital, but we’re very excited. The team of Two Point Studios not only seem to have captured everything that made the original Theme Hospital such an enduring classic, it looks like they’ve managed to improve on it without damaging those important traits. Two Point Hospital looks accessible and already has charm to spare, so let’s hope the last key element, fun gameplay, will be there too.
Based on what we’ve seen though, the legacy of Bullfrog couldn’t be in safer hands than Two Point Studios. Now let’s start hoping for a rat-shooting secret level.
Most Anticipated Feature
Getting to see what other weird and wonderful diseases the Hospital has in store.
About Chris J Capel
Chris joined us in 2011 and loves Star Wars, comics and bad videogame movies.