Two Point Hospital - Recensione
In 1989 two games came out, Sim City and Populous, united by the desire to make us manage something, it doesn't matter that it is a city or an entire adoring civilization, but profoundly different in philosophy. If Will Wright's city simulator is looking for a simulation approach as possible, Populous focuses more on irony and on a playful approach, without forgetting the complexity of course, on the other hand those of Bullfrog were like that.
SimCity was the progenitor of a dense array of games with "Sim" in the name that led us to the Sims, or the game that you can name in the top places of a sales ranking without ever making mistakes, while Bullfrog instead focused on a more varied approach that one year took you into the cyberpunk full of dead killed by Syndicate and that churned out Theme Park (why Theme? Because if you pronounce it in English the sound seems almost "Sim") and then followed by Magic Carpet. Try doing something like this today and see how much you close.
Theme Hospital arrived three years after Theme Park, Peter Molyneux was not far from slamming the door after Electronic Arts' acquisition of the studio, the situation was not beautiful and the Bullfrogs tried to be on the safe side, partly replicating a formula that it had worked: big-cocked British humor, managerial depth, fluffy graphics. The game was based on managing a hospital where real diseases were replaced by funny and imaginary ailments by positioning the rooms, keeping the machines in efficiency, the rooms clean and not making too much stress on doctors and patients. The game went very well from the point of view of critics and carved out a niche for fans. Shortly thereafter Molyneux and Mark Healey, lead artist of the game, founded Lionhead Studios and Bullfrog continued on his way to Dungeon Keeper.
In 2016 Healey founded Two Point Studios together with Gary Carr, also ex Bullfrog and ex Lionhead, guess what their first project is?
Two Point Hospital is therefore the distant heir of Theme Hospital and does not try in any way to hide it. He remembers it in the graphics, in the irony, in the management of the staff and in the increasingly absurd diseases that mercilessly quote the world of pop culture. I don't want to reveal too much but know that an invasion of patients dressed as Freddy Mercury or who have strange pixels that should be treated with heavy doses of next-gen could happen.
The progression of the game is typical of any management title: we start small, with a relatively easy to manage hospital and we proceed step by step towards gigantic structures capable of absorbing a great deal of work but which need a mind accustomed to count to avoid collapsing under their own weight.
Everything starts from the reception where the patients are welcomed, then we move on to the general practitioner who gives a first diagnosis and directs the patients to the pharmacy, which provides the simplest treatments. Subsequently, it will be necessary to have advanced diagnosis facilities, outpatient clinics for prolonged stays, a psychiatrist's study and specific departments for various diseases. This without forgetting to place benches, vending machines for drinks and snacks, bathrooms, furnishings, a room to rest the staff and to keep all this perfect wellness machine efficient and clean.
To manage the situation we will have to use four different types of staff: doctors, nurses, orderlies and assistants. The former diagnose and treat people from specific diseases, the latter administer cures and manage surgeries, the thirds clean, improve and repair and the latter manage acceptance. All staff members have a higher or lower basic salary based on the characteristics that make it special, for example more accurate diagnoses, faster cleaning or ability to make patients happy, which can be increased over time to avoid meandering the mood between the lanes.
It is essential to always have a replacement ready because every worker will get tired and let patients wait outside the diagnosis room while the doctor sleeps on the sofa is not a great way to increase hospital assessments. Ah, it is essential to have an attendant able to chase away the ghosts, because patients who do not respond to treatment will become spirits capable of frightening other patrons and this is also not a great way to get the "best hospital of the year" award ( we are not kidding, the rewards are really there).
Two Point Hospital will start you with a fairly small structure in which we will have to meet some basic requirements and treat a certain number of patients before moving on to the next in which to repeat the procedure in a crescendo of difficulty where we can still pause everything with the space bar if we feel overwhelmed by emergencies. This will allow you to calmly evaluate the position of the rooms and furnishings to avoid overlapping and a too intricate plan. Obviously the more you climb the more you unlock luxury accessories that will guarantee further prestige to the structure. Successes and failures will be commented on in a very well done local radio, with the typical tone over the top of the American conductors, listen to your ears every now and then because there are goodies worthy of the GTA broadcasters.
From the management point of view, the game manages to keep the bar between fun and commitment, there are several details to check, but the interface is always clear enough to let you know where you can improve. However, the more you go up the more the unexpected, breakages and hospital drama worthy of Medical Dimension will be your travel companions, often without reason, as if the game wanted to test you for the sheer pleasure of doing it. A shared feature, it is fair to say, with many other titles of this genre.
This is more or less what it is. Two Point Hospital is a game that does not shine for originality but that has the comfortable embrace of a known routine, fun and sometimes even relaxing. If you love management software and the absurd humor that would make strange even to Dr. Who then you are in the right place, if instead hospitals scare you because the hell have you read this far?
I played Two Point Hospital for about six hours, arriving at the fifth hospital without risking having the NAS come home on a Lenovo Legion Y530.