Two Point Campus Review - Old School
Two Point Campus emphasizes partying and friendship just as much as studying and attending class, adding a unique twist to this business management sim.
There's a familiarity and comfort to Two Point Campus' early hours, from the whimsical claymation style of its characters to its distinctly British humor and jaunty music. It might trade doctors and patients for teachers and students, but if you played Two Point Hospital, you'll feel right at home in Two Point Studios' latest business management sim.
As the hours roll by and you graduate to different college campuses, however, Two Point Campus begins to carve out an identity that's all its own. Two Point Hospital was a relatively safe spiritual successor to Theme Hospital, essentially recreating the '90s classic with modern technology and amenities. Two Point Campus maintains that same reverence for its roots, but it also embraces its fresh new setting in a way that captures more of the magic that made Theme Hospital so beloved.
You take on the role of a campus administrator, charged with building and maintaining various schools throughout Two Point County. This means you'll be managing both the micro and macro aspects of your college empire, whether you're designing the internal and external layout of each building, hiring staff, or researching new technologies to improve various facets of your school. All of this is in service of keeping your students happy and ensuring they're given the tools they need to not only graduate with good grades, but also enjoy themselves and learn a few lessons about life along the way.
Meeting your students' wants and needs is an integral part of Two Point Campus. In Two Point Hospital, your job was to make sure patients were in a good-enough mood to stick around long enough to be treated. Now, you're not just dealing with people for a brief hospital stay, but being given three academic years to shape a student's future, watch them grow, and hopefully, see them flourish. Basic needs like food and drink, hygiene, and establishing a comfortable temperature are all important, but there's more nuance to their happiness as well.
Early on, you're told you need to fulfill the three Rs: relaxation, rest, and relief. You can build dormitories to give your charges a place to sleep and recharge; a student union to provide them with entertainment and a space to relax in; libraries so they have access to learning resources and an area where they can study; and private tutoring so those struggling can get some crucial one-on-one time with a teacher. There are also items that will help foster friendships and romance, or make your campus a more appealing place to live. Students will use benches to sit and converse, building bonds that boost their happiness. Stick a few arcade games in the student lounge and they'll play against each other, while best friends might blow the love trumpet.
It's heartwarming stuff, and all of these interlocking systems have a noticeable impact on student performance. Better grades mean more money and prestige for the school, so everything cycles back to a grading system you have a tangible effect on. Balancing the positives and negatives of each item and activity is key. Throwing parties is an easy way to quickly boost happiness, for instance, but you don't want to overdo it and hamper your student's studying. Filling the corridors of your campus with vending machines is a simple way to satiate your students' thirst and hunger, but these options aren't the healthiest and will send their hygiene tumbling. You can rectify this with food kiosks, yet these require a member of staff to manage, so you need enough of a cash flow coming in to pay their wages.
Lots of colorful graphs, floor charts, and visualizers make it relatively easy to keep on top of things and figure out why students might be unhappy in a particular area or struggling to improve their grades. It never feels overwhelming, either, since Two Point Campus does an excellent job of easing you into its various mechanics with a gradual progression system. You begin your career at Freshleigh Meadows, a modest school with a scientific focus. Here, you're introduced to the basics and learn how to use the game's intuitive tools to build rooms and place furnishings, all while getting an idea of the type of digs each college needs--such as staff rooms, lecture rooms, toilets, and so on.
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Richard Wakeling (August 4, 2022)
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