Best of Xbox Game Pass: Two-Point Hospital

Having spent quite a lot of time in hospitals the idea of being a doctor never really appealed to me. Plus, all the illnesses looked super boring. Cystic Fibrosis? Pfft. What’s cool about that, man. Luckily, Two-Point Hospital understands that real illnesses kind of suck and don’t involve anywhere near enough unscrewing people’s heads or patients dying in the corridors and becoming obnoxious ghosts who scare the other patients. Being a doctor is cool again!

Two-Point Hospital draws hefty inspiration from the classic Theme Hospital, giving you a series of hospitals to build and manage, and a steady stream of patients suffering from a wide variety of barmy problems that must be solved in equally barmy ways. If you fancy a more in-depth look at the game you can check out my review from 2018, but otherwise read on for the brief explanation of why it’s worth playing.

Two-Point Hospital is a relaxed building and management game despite the fact that you hold the lives of dozens of people in your hands. As the gormless patients come shambling through the front doors you’ll need to start plopping down GP rooms and doctors to start diagnosing them, before moving onto a variety of more specific diagnosis methods. Different little things get thrown into the mix as you move through the game, be it new types of rooms and diseases or cramped spaces that force you to really consider how big a staff room actually needs to be.

Treatment is the most entertaining part of the game because the poor saps who have come to your hospital have all manner of baffling ailments, like literally having a lightbulb for a head that must be unscrewed using a machine before a new head is grown for them and shoved into their body. Or folk suffering from Mime Crisis which makes them believe they are trapped inside an invisible box. Two-Point Hospital revels in its zany humour, all the way to the funny little animations and the lady who comes over the tannoy and announces things like, ‘Register your body for compost-a-Patient today, help the grass be greener from the other side.’

Who wouldn’t want to be treated in this hospital, right? It’s a class act from top to bottom. Mind the corpses, though, the janitor is getting to those.

You are running an actual business, so a lot of the game also involves balancing the costs of your staff, figuring out how many of each type of room you might need and so on. But the game doesn’t get buried in the small details, and is happy to have it so almost any player can move through the main career mode while the more die-hard, strategy-minded can go back and aim to get three stars on every level. I love that. I love that the game shifts to whatever my mood is at the time, y’know?

It’s just as easy game to while away hours on, slowly building up the ultimate hospital and watching in satisfaction as lines of patiently trundle in, and cured people stride out. Or, y’know, you accidentally make a death-trap staffed by the most inept Doctors since Doug from Scrubs. Speaking of which, I wish above all other wishes that Two-Point Hospital could have somehow got some special Scrubs DLC. How cool would that have been?

Instead, we have a raft of small DLC packs that don’t come included in the Game Pass version. I haven’t played those, but in general people seem to quite like them and there’s some pretty awesome sounding stuff, like getting to treat Bigfoot and another that features a new mechanic in the form of natural disasters. Also, there’s a Hollywood themed DLC that includes a room called Danger Zone. Archer would be so happy.

Unsurprisingly Two-Point Hospital is at its very best with a mouse and keyboard, which is great because its own PC Game Pass as well, but the developers have done an excellent job of translating everything onto a controller. Placing rooms, dropping in items, hiring staff and managing budgets all feel nice and comfortable on a game pad. It helps that even at its most frantic Two-Point Hospital isn’t very fast-paced, so it’s not like you need to be issuing a million orders per second.

Finally, as an added benefit Two-Point Hospital recently got the FPS Boost treatment, meaning both Series S and Series X run at a silky-smooth 60FPS. Admittedly, this style of game doesn’t benefit from the increase as much as something like Titanfall 2 does, but free FPS is free FPS.

So go download Two-Point Hospital and start treating/killing patients! And then go and proudly inform your parents that you became a doctor before crushing their rising excitement by saying that you’re only a doctor in a game and can you please move back home because it’s expensive out here.


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