Two Point Campus on PC
As an avid fan of the sim/builder/tycoon genre of game Two Point Campus was right up my alley. However, I admit I had some middling expectations going in considering I couldn’t seem to get hooked on its predecessor Two Point Hospital. I’m glad to say that I was pleasantly surprised at Two Point Campus as it seems to take the best parts of Two Point Hospital and make them even better while providing some much needed quality of life.
Two Point Campus is the latest project by Two Point Studios who, as you may have surmised, also created Two Point Hospital. However, this time around we are creating, designing, and running our very own institution of higher learning rather than managing a ethically debatable hospital. Two Point Campus does well in that it presents this experience in the most unhinged way possible.
First and foremost this game is absurdly funny. There are a lot of great jokes that had me chuckling the whole way through. From portraits of staff dabbing to the courses themselves being puns and tongue in cheek takes on college cliques. There’s also a radio that includes a Sherlock Holmes-style radio play fan-fiction and a host begging anyone with any idea to submit something so they can fill dead air along with lots of other funny bits and jokes scattered absolutely everywhere. My only complaint about the humor is that after a while the radio seemed to be repeating a lot of content over and over.
That does brings me to my next point however. The game is just full of pure charm and there is a lot of heart here. You can tell there was genuine enjoyment had by Two Point Games when making this. I often found myself zooming in to watch animations play out or hunting for the odd hidden reference or joke. Every part of the game feels like it was crafted to push this unhinged satirical school theme and it’s done well enough that even after 15 hours I still enjoyed watching students just go about their weird little lives in my school.
This was probably the strongest point for me during my time playing Two Point campus, a lot of effort went into giving the students individual personalities and routines. Students will be at your campus for a few years and you’ll get the pleasure of watching them grow, learn, build relationships, and drop litter everywhere before finally expelling them because they said they aren’t going to pay anymore.
Now let’s talk about the mechanics and how they tie into everything. It’s pretty much exactly what you would normally expect and pretty close to what you got in Two Point Hospital just with a lot of quality of life features added in. You hire staff, build buildings and rooms within those buildings, and make sure all your students are happy and passing classes. Its really simple and straightforward when written out however, in practice its really nuanced and honestly can be overwhelming at times as, like its predecessor, it layers new mechanics on every new level in the campaign.
Like any university, money is your driving force. It pays rent and your bills and helps you fund new projects, new classes and grow overall. The key to making money is keeping your students happy; the more impressive your campus, the more students will join each year and if those students aren’t happy they’ll drop out or refuse to pay you. This is where the nuance and overwhelming stuff kicks in. During the school year you never have a moment of real stability, students are constantly requesting new things and requiring more and more as they progress along their education.
Only once the year is out does it finally feel like a big sigh of relief. You get a chance to do big construction projects and add or upgrade classes or make other big sweeping changes and schedule training for your staff. I really enjoyed the idea of this and how it pushes the fantasy of running your own school, but during the year it can get pretty overwhelming trying to keep students happy and making sure they are paying out.
In Two Point Hospital your facility was a constant whirlwind of chaos and at any point a random event could tip the scales into a spiral of debt and poor decisions. Two Point Campus is sort of similar in that it can be very frustrating to maintain your campuses mood and grades. When one student is disgruntled they make other students around them disgruntled and then you have multiple students spiraling and a long line waiting outside your pastoral care office and on and on and on. The saving grace is that when things do get really bad you can take a loan to prop yourself back up. I really enjoyed having a way to bail out but I felt like loans were maybe too good as the largest one is a huge sum of money and can be easily recouped by spending it making your school more attractive for the next year.
As far as making the classes themselves and managing staff that was a really enjoyable experience. Each class is very unique, funny, and interesting. From general knowledge to classes on potion making and sorcery, I was always excited to see what courses my students would take and the costumes that they would wear for each class. The classes themselves upgrade and have a nice almost tiered system based around your research and what items you could place in the room. Over time the library ties into your classes by introducing special bookcases which students will require for more advanced courses. This leads to a really satisfying sense of progression as your rooms slowly rank up over time and students begin more advanced studies.
Staffing your classrooms and facilities is also really simple, even to a fault, you just click the person you want and plop them down where you want them. However, I was constantly wishing I could have more control over my staffs breaks and schedules and it felt like staff would just wander and do whatever they wanted even if i put them somewhere specific to work.
Students need medical care, pastoral care, clean dorms and bathrooms, as well as places to eat and drink and all of those require staff. It was a frustrating experience to build a nice big food court only to find that the assistants you assigned to the food buildings aren’t anywhere to be seen. This also will hurt your students grades and, by extension, your cash-flow. Students who have to wait for an assistant to show up and give them medical or pastoral care will get bored on top of their already existing issue and start threatening to drop out. That is unless you put a super cool Crazy Taxi arcade machine in the lobby.
Overall, I really enjoyed my time with Two Point Campus. It has a lot of similar features and ideas as Two Point Hospital while also making improvements in the right directions and creating a better feel overall. If you like simulation games and need a good laugh or were just a big fan of Two Point Hospital definitely check this out. Two Point studios has yet again offered a fun quirky and satirical look at what the sim and tycoon genre can offer us.
- Genuinely funny.
- Interesting and deep mechanics when it comes to running your own school.
- Students are interesting and unique.
- Difficulty curve can feel steep at times.
- Radio content gets repetitive.
- Staff management is too simple.
August 9, 2022
Two Point Studios
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