I’m just going to come out and say it: I’ve had a absolute blast playing Two Point Hospital Jumbo Edition on the Nintendo Switch.
A management sim where you have to build and manage hospitals (and staff) while more and more demands (and illnesses) are thrown at you, Two Point Hospital takes a lot of influences from Bullfrog’s Theme Hospital, a classic management sim from the past. Throw in a wicked sense of humour, and Two Point Hospital Jumbo Edition is just a delight to play.
Patients need attention over patience
Part of the charm of Two Point Hospital is the smile-inducing conditions that patients will present with at your hospitals like Lightheadedness (patients with lightbulbs for heads) and Mock Star Syndrome (Freddie Mercury look-a-likes strutting about). You’ll also find patients will die if they’ve had to wait too long, and will haunt the corridors, frightening other patients, unless you recruit a janitor with ghost-busting abilities (and a dustbuster) to suck up the spirits of the dead.
Frankly, there a lot to like with the Jumbo Edition: It features four expansion packs (Off the Grid which is all about sustainability; Close Encounters which deals with alien encounters; Pebberley Island which looks into eternal youth; and Bigfoot which is set in a wintery landscape), new hospitals, illness and items and room templates that will make designing a whole lot easier.
Multitasking and juggling is never far away
The deeper you progress the more challenging things become and at one point, I was splitting my time between two hospitals in different locations. As difficult as it becomes, it just works seamlessly – most of the time – and challenges like curing a certain number of patients within a specific time frame or upgrading machines up the stress factor. Some illnesses are easy to diagnose, too, while others a little harder so you’ll need to ensure you have all the equipment on hand for all eventualities.
Sometimes, management sims don’t translate well to the smaller screen and more restricted controls of the Nintendo Switch but Two Point Hospital works remarkably well here, with the menus and options easy to navigate and zooming in and out of the map handled with the ZR and ZL buttons. I loved that you can pause the game with a click of the left analogue stick, allowing you much-needed breathing space to contemplate and reassess what you want to do next, be it where to put the deluxe clinic or whether you really should fire that lazy nurse who spends all her time in the bathroom.
I have to say for much of my playthrough of Two Point Hospital I had a massive smile on my face, especially when my first hospitals managed to clean up at the annual hospital awards for best doctor, nurse, janitor and claiming the patients’ choice award. My hard work was paying off.
Two Point Opticians could be next
If I had one gripe about the Switch conversion it’s one that I have with many Switch games: The on-screen text was just too small for me to read sometimes – and I was wearing my glasses.
Two Point Hospital has a lot of text to read: Emails, tips from the health board administrator, and I just felt an option to make text slightly bigger would have made things a little easier on those of us (ahem, me) who are starting to struggle with text on small screens. Load times, are quite long, too: So long that at one point I thought the Switch had actually locked up.
The bottom line is Two Point Hospital is a rewarding, fun management sim that works beautifully on the Nintendo Switch and being able to play it portably is the icing on the cake for what was already a masterful management sim, even if sometimes you feel like you need eight arms to play it as you juggle hiring staff, building the right clinics and ensuring you have enough janitors to clear blocked toilets – all the while remaining profitable.
With a bit more game time, I’ll soon be able to add Health Department CEO to my resume and be ready for when Lightheadedness is the next cab off the rank in global pandemics.