TechLife Australia - - DISCOVER - [ ROBIN VALEN­TINE ]

GOOD FOR WHAT AILS YOU. US$34.99 | PC | www.two­pointhos­pi­

Few games en­joy as fond a place in the col­lec­tive mem­ory as Theme Hospi­tal, a ’90s man­age­ment sim el­e­vated to clas­sic sta­tus thanks to its glee­fully satir­i­cal hu­mour. Recre­at­ing that magic is an am­bi­tious aim, but Two Point Stu­dios – founded by Bull­frog vet­er­ans – takes it on with con­fi­dence, skill, and a flair for the ridicu­lous.

For any­one un­fa­mil­iar with the premise: Two Point Hospi­tal casts you as a strik­ingly mer­ce­nary hospi­tal ad­min­is­tra­tor, whose job it is to build up your med­i­cal fa­cil­i­ties room by room in or­der to cure an ev­er­widen­ing pool of bizarre diseases – and, in the process, max­imise your profit at every step along each pa­tient’s jour­ney. Charm­ingly Bri­tish take-down of the Amer­i­can health­care sys­tem, or a ter­ri­fy­ing glimpse into the NHS’ fu­ture? We couldn’t pos­si­bly comment.

With ill­nesses rang­ing from ‘light head­ed­ness’ (which turns your bonce into a gi­ant light­bulb) to ‘mock star’ (con­vinc­ing your­self you’re Fred­die Mer­cury), the game’s sense of hu­mour is spot-on, aided by bril­liantly ex­pres­sive an­i­ma­tions for di­ag­no­sis and treat­ments. Com­bined with the witty in-game ra­dio sta­tion, pop­u­lated by an ar­ray of au­then­ti­cally barmy lo­cal DJ types, we find our­selves chuck­ling far more than any­one prob­a­bly should in a hospi­tal with this many fa­tal­i­ties.

For any fan of its spir­i­tal pre­de­ces­sor, Two Point Hospi­tal is that rarest of games that is sim­ply ex­actly what you want it to be, no more, no less. If you’ve been suf­fer­ing from Bull­frog de­fiency since 1997, you’ll find it the per­fect cure – a nos­tal­gia in­jec­tion, right to the heart.

A gen­tle learn­ing curve pre­vents the sur­pris­ingly deep sys­tems from be­com­ing over­whelm­ing.

Each room has a huge amount of cus­tomi­sa­tion op­tions, al­low­ing you to tweak its at­trac­tive­ness, hy­giene, prestige, and even tem­per­a­ture.

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