With Two Point Hospital having a free weekend, and with me having a bit of time on my hands after a crazy week, I thought I’d give it a download and try it out. When Tycoon games were all the rage in the mid-to-late 90s, I played through a lot of them, and I’ve been excited about seeing them make a comeback.
I followed Two Point Hospital prior to its release, but the $35 asking price was a little steep for me. By the time sales were putting it at the sub-$20 mark, some rather pricey DLC had also begun to be released, so I resigned myself to waiting for some sort of complete collection. Reviews were good, but not THAT good, and there were occasional complaints of tedium after the initial burst of fun.
I spent roughly an hour playing, and I can see it. Instead of immediately moving on when I reached my first star, and opened my second hospital, I decided to stick with it and see if I could continue improving the rating in the first scenario. I’m still not sure if that was a good choice or not – I’m guessing more stuff unlocks by working through the levels progressively, and I felt very stunted trying to improve. If there is a way to train your staff without moving onto the second scenario, I certainly couldn’t find it, and it seemed to be taking forever to increase my reputation enough to hit that next level.
I’m guessing the right move here is to continue onward – there are 15 different hospitals you play through in the campaign. There’s probably new mechanics that open up with each new location, and it’s possible that bringing those back to earlier locations will make getting additional stars easier.
Although I think it could be a good game to draw in folks who have little to no experience with business sims, nothing in the first hour made me feel like this was a must-play game. Perhaps I’m selling it short by not immediately continuing on, but refund windows are a thing, and if it’s intended that you go back to obtain additional stars the game should really push harder for you to go in that direction, because it feels real dull just waiting for patients with nothing new to build or manage.
With the release of Two Point Hospital’s first “stuff” pack – The Retro Items Pack – I fear that this game is headed the way of the Sims, where if you want everything the game has to offer, you just have to keep shelling out more and more money with diminishing returns on your investment. While the DLC are all priced significantly lower than the base game, you’d already have to pay almost twice the asking price to get everything released so far.
My quick look impression of Two Point Hospital is that it’s a solid enough game, but can get dull if you wander off the intended path. There is a sandbox mode that unlocks at some point during the campaign, but I can imagine the game feels even slower without goals. There’s nothing here that will push me to buy, even at the current 50% discount and taking into account that I do really enjoy the genre. Either a better deal with come around, or it won’t, and I find it doesn’t matter much to me either way.
Two Point Hospital’s free play weekend will end on Monday, September 2nd, at 10 am Pacific time.