I played through Two Point Hospital back when it launched on the PlayStation 4 and I absolutely adored it (in fact, you can read my original review through this link). It was no surprise really, especially since I loved Theme Hospital so much in my younger years, so getting a similar experience with a modern and prettier twist was always going to tick plenty of boxes for me.
Now, just over a year on from its initial release on console, a new edition of the hospital management sim has hit that brings together the base game, four of its previously released expansions, as well as an array of refinements to fine-tune the experience. The aptly named Two Point Hospital: JUMBO Edition really is jumbo in size, with its massive dose of content sure to keep players invested in this wonderful world of medicine for hours on end.
Two Point Hospital’s concept is simple: you’re in charge of running a hospital, all the way from the building of the hospital facilities and the hiring of staff to researching all of the new illnesses and ailments that could be affecting patients. Every big decision that there is to be made comes down to you, with each of those decisions determining just how successful of a hospital you’ll have. With multiple hospitals to work between throughout the campaign that all have different tasks for you to complete, you must be flexible in your approach and ensure that you’re providing the best service possible. It might sound a little daunting, but thanks to the silly sense of humour and the all-around accessibility of the game, it’s hard not to find a big smile on your face – even when most of your hospital’s patients are dying…
Your general tasks include building the rooms and facilities required to treat patients, searching through lists of potential employees and hiring those that best suit the role, ensuring that the hospital has all of the basic amenities to keep its patients happy, training staff, and researching cures for any new illnesses… you know, the typical jobs you’d expect of a hospital bigwig. What’s important is ensuring that all of the objectives that have been handed to you are completed in the process, all whilst remaining under your tight budget. Two Point Hospital isn’t a hard game to play, but handling your day-to-day tasks whilst dealing with every situation that comes your way can make for more than a few stressful situations. I mean that in a good way, of course; it’s that satisfying sense of stress that perfectly personifies how a management sim should feel.
I’m not going to go into too much depth about the gameplay of Two Point Hospital because it’s been covered by us before in my original review. Instead, I’m going to focus on the inclusions brought with the new additions and some of the gameplay refinements.
It is important that I mention that I played it on the Nintendo Switch this time around though. I’m happy to report that it looks and runs exceptionally well on the platform, even on the handheld mode where I thought I might have run into a few problems because of the smaller screen size. Instead, it was an absolute breeze with the intuitive controls and exceptionally well implemented UI making it easy to flick my way through menus and options with zero fuss.
I don’t think I’ve seen a management game like this make a more seamless transition from PC to consoles, but being able to play it on my Nintendo Switch on the go really is the cherry on top. Bravo, Two Point Studios.
Whilst Two Point Hospital’s original console release brought with it two of the game’s expansions (‘Pebberley Island’ and ‘Bigfoot’), the JUMBO Edition comes fully-loaded with an additional pair of escapades that were previously exclusive to PC: ‘Close Encounters’ and ‘Off The Grid’.
Each of these expansions brings with them three new hospitals to work in and an array of new illnesses to cure, whilst the additional challenges they include in their scenarios force players to approach curing patients a bit differently. They bring with them different themes too, with ‘Close Encounters’ built around aliens (the clue is in the name, really) and ‘Off The Grid’ encouraging players to use green energy in their new eco-friendly hospitals. Not only do these add a new visual style that helps make them stand out when compared to the base game, but they also introduce new ideas to the core gameplay experience to challenge even the most experienced of Two Point Hospital players.
Plus, they bring with them some of my favourite new illnesses, such as the Pinocchio-like appearance of victims of Woodworms (big nose and all), the scarecrow appearance of those who are Distrawed, the slightly disturbing cardboard look of those suffering from being Flat Packed, or even the Lack of Humanity of the aliens that come in for treatment. It shows that the team at Two Point Studios certainly haven’t been short of ideas when it comes to introducing new ideas into the game, whilst the additional rooms and treatment machines certainly bring with them plenty of zany vibes too.
Two Point Hospital: JUMBO Edition also includes the ‘Retro Items Pack’ and ‘Exhibition Items Pack’ to bring new decorative items into your hospital as an added bonus, but it was disappointing that the newly released ‘A Stitch in Time’ and the ‘Culture Shock’ expansions weren’t included too. Whilst it’s understandable given that ‘A Stich in Time’ was only released last month (though not including ‘Culture Shock’ is a bit of a surprise), it would’ve been nice been nice if this really was the COMPLETE package as far as the game’s content is concerned.
Refinements have also been made to streamline the core Two Point Hospital experience, with the standout feature being room templates. Ever found yourself building the same room style over and over again across your different hospitals? Well, now you can make it into a template and use it whenever you please with a quick button press. It might sound like a small addition, but it’s something that will save plenty of time and effort for console players.
Some bug fixes, additional items, and remixed levels have been included too, so it’s clear some extra work has been done outside of just including the expansions in this new edition. Thankfully, these extras are coming as a free update to existing owners of the base game too, so you don’t have to purchase the JUMBO Edition in order to have a better experience with the game. You can also purchase the ‘Close Encounters’ and ‘Off The Grid’ expansions separately too, so you’re not forced into buying the JUMBO Edition to play the additional content if you already own the base game.
Two Point Hospital: JUMBO Edition really bumps up the content in the brilliant hospital management sim, with the new hospitals, illnesses, and items on offer really fleshing out what was already a content-rich experience. Add to that the room templates, the intuitive UI, and the accessible controls of the Nintendo Switch version of the game, and it becomes very clear that Two Point Studios have put a lot of love and care into making sure that Two Point Hospital is just as fun to play for console gamers as it is for those on PC.
I already had a lot of praise and love for the game, but Two Point Hospital: JUMBO Edition’s improvements and additions really make it close to perfect – all that it’s missing is the newly released ‘A Stitch in Time’ and the ‘Culture Shock’ expansions. Here’s hoping that they get made available on console in the near future…
Developer: Two Point Studios
Platform(s): Nintendo Switch (Reviewed), PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC
Click here to visit the official website.