Review: Two Point Campus is an education in how to make simulation games |  VGC

Review: Two Point Campus is an education in how to make simulation games | VGC

“Sequels are derivative and lazy, and just rehashing what has already worked is an insult to the creative process.”

These are not our words, it should be emphasized, but the words of Sir Nigel Bickleworth, one of Two Point Hospital’s fictional hospital radio DJs, who returns as a college radio host to Two Point Campus.

Unwittingly driving a bulldozer through the fourth wall, Sir Nigel spends his time between songs explaining to listeners why sequels are never a good idea, ending with the obvious caveat that the only exception would be a sequel that includes.

It’s a joke that not only hits well during gameplay, but shows Two Point Studios’ confidence in its ability to deliver a successor to the critically acclaimed hospital, in that it can openly joke about it. -even without fear that it will be transformed. around and used as legitimate criticism.

Build a Busy Two Point Campus in 20 Minutes | VGC

Turns out the confidence isn’t misplaced, as Two Point Campus offers a second helping of comedy simulation gameplay, even if the new industry it deals with does some weird things to the game’s difficulty curve.

As you would expect, the goal of Two Point Campus is to build a successful university and ensure that it remains profitable. As in Two Point Hospital, there is a sandbox mode where it is possible to have fun, but the main meat of the game is in its campaign where players compete against a series of universities and try to achieve set objectives. to ensure success.

Despite the sector shift from health to education, Two Point Campus is still similar enough at its core for hospital stakeholders to transfer their previous learnings to a degree. Trade doctors for teachers, patients for students, and wards for dorms and you get the same basic framework.

It’s still about hiring janitors to clean up trash and fixing things, it’s still about hiring assistants to work at reception desks and booths. And above all, it’s always about making sure students and staff are happy. The happier everyone is, the higher the average grades and the more likely you are to attract new students.

“Trade doctors for teachers, patients for students, and wards for dormitories and you get the same basic framework.”

Of course, a sense of humor is something else that has been carried over. While the hospital had a bunch of acting illnesses, this time it’s acting classes for students to take, and with each new milestone a number of new themed classes are added to the player’s repertoire.

Whether learning to be a knight, a clown, a virtual reality expert, or a robot designer, every course requires certain types of classrooms and skilled staff, and like any university real, these rooms are often used for several types of courses during a term.

This means that as the university grows and offers more and more courses, it may be necessary to have multiple instances of the same room to avoid scheduling conflicts: a few lecture halls, for example, or a few libraries.

Fortunately, the “Copy Room” and “Room Templates” features that were added to Two Point Hospital in later updates are available here from day one, making it easy to create fax rooms and saving rooms you like so you don’t have to completely save them. rebuild them when you go to the next stage and you are faced with another empty college campus building.

Some newer features aren’t as useful, including the student relations system. Of course, the main difference between a hospital and a university is that patients leave (ideally) after only a brief visit, while students will potentially stay there for years.

As such, the game tracks things like their relationships with other students, and some of them can even build romances. The problem is that while it’s certainly possible to pick a student and monitor them to see how their life goes during their college life, there’s usually so much going on that you’ll probably ignore the feature altogether. It’s a welcome idea, but it’s impractical in practice.

This is a design choice, but we also encountered a few bugs during gameplay which we hope will be fixed soon. As you place radiators, the game switches to a visualization that shows each area’s heat, but sometimes when you place one in a room, it doesn’t immediately update.

At one point, when we were extremely strapped for money, we were told we needed to hire a Funny Business teacher for an upcoming class. After spending the last of our money doing it, it didn’t seem to matter, and we were always told we needed one, which meant we had to take out a loan to hire a second one.

We’ve had a few quirks like this all along – the wrong goals being listed to unlock new universities, sidewalk issues outside of campus, things like that – but we’re loath to score the game for things. like this which should hopefully be an easy fix once identified.

One thing we don’t like is how the difficulty curve for each level seems to be upside down. It’s more the result of how universities work, but it’s still weird.

“The difficulty curve for each level seems to be upside down. It’s more the result of how universities work, but it’s still weird.

Basically, when you start a new stage, the first year is difficult. All the halls have to be built, all the building staff have to be hired, and there’s often only one course going, which means there’s not a lot of money coming in.

Other than the occasional special event like a VIP coming to inspect the school, or an invasion of rival students pushed back by your janitorial staff, there aren’t many opportunities to earn money in these early stages. , which means that much of the first year is spent sitting there waiting for the year to end while the bank balance doesn’t do much.

When the second year rolls around, these freshmen obviously stay for their second year, and a second course may be added (or the existing one may be expanded to allow for larger classes). Suddenly there are more tuition fees and more rent paid by students staying in dorms.

As the years pass, the game actually gets easier. Of course, more staff must be hired and more land must be purchased to accommodate the new facilities required by the increase in student numbers, but the money eventually comes in at a healthy enough rate that revenues are generally greater than expenses.

Of course, as players progress through the game, each new university is harder and harder to build from scratch until it reaches that crude health stage, and therein lies the challenge. But it creates a weird surge of difficulty that’s more like reading a patient’s cardiograph at Two Point Hospital.

Ultimately, that says a lot about what Two Point Campus runs though these issues – be it the bugs, the erratic difficulty curve, or the underutilized relationship system – just aren’t enough to ruin what is an otherwise extremely entertaining game.

We still laughed out loud at some of the animations, had lots of laughs at some of the item descriptions and not-so-subtle references (you can put a Crazy Taxi machine in the student union), and generally fell in love with the constantly charming and silly nature of the game.

And of all the things he brings back from Two Point Hospital, it’s that endearing sense of humor that’s most important.