Author Topic: Two Point Campus (Switch) Review  (Read 121 times)

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Offline riskman64

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Two Point Campus (Switch) Review
« on: August 19, 2022, 11:13:16 AM »

Does the sim game leap from medicine to education earn a gold star or a failing grade?

In 2020, Two Point Hospital ended up as one of my favorite games of that year. In fact, I enjoyed it so much that I awarded the game a 10 in my review of it. Two years later, the team at Two Point Studios have branched out into the world of simulated academics with Two Point Campus. While I do have a fair measure of experience with a real-world college campus, all that goes out the window when you’re building a giant robot beside a science room filled with all sorts of explosions and colors, which itself is next to the wizardry wing’s potions and spells rooms. Even though the gameplay itself is on par with Hospital, Two Point Campus’ Switch performance isn’t going to bring up its GPA.

The premise of Two Point Campus is that you are managing a variety of different university campuses by building classrooms, hiring professors, assistants, and janitors, and decorating the hallways and exterior spaces. In addition to a slightly revised UI, Two Point Campus seems to assume that players have already played Two Point Hospital since the tutorials are a little less expansive in the former. Nonetheless, it’s still pretty easy to play around in the game and figure out the nuts and bolts of how to run your campus. What’s really enjoyable are campuses like the cursed Spiffinmoore and its perpetual darkness, or the Battle Grounds and Jousting Fields of Noblestead. The variety of themes makes each map feel distinct and ensures that even players of Two Point Hospital are able to have a somewhat unique experience.

The main map of Two Point County houses different spaces on which to fulfill your unique architectural dreams. Each level allows you to earn up to three stars by fulfilling objectives that are specific to that particular stage, such as reaching a set campus level, completing a particular number of research projects, or seeing your students achieve a B or A average. In addition to tasks that unlock stars, the student body will regularly ask for specific objects and facilities, and keeping them happy is key to their continued enrollment and academic success. Unlike in Two Point Hospital, where patients would come in for a specific diagnosis and treatment and then leave, the students of your campus are generally in it for the long haul, hopefully becoming stronger and staying happier as they work towards their degrees. You'll see them form relationships and hone their skills over multiple in-game school years, so you'll need to do what you can to keep them paying tuition.

One inescapable feeling about playing Two Point Campus on Switch is that it simply doesn't perform as well as Two Point Hospital. Load times between the world map and each campus are long, the game often hitches when laying out rooms and dropping furniture, and there's even a glitch in some of the menus that makes them frustrating to navigate. Specifically, trying to scroll down the list of available construction options sees the cursor constantly jump back up to an option you were previously hovering on. This means that you might select a room and start designing it before realizing it wasn't the one you thought you had selected. I also experienced a few crashes on one particularly full map; fortunately, the game autosaves quite regularly. Still, all of these concerns compound on one another, making for much less of a smooth experience than is ideal for a genre with so much inbuilt repetition.

The shiny red apple on the teacher's desk of Two Point Campus is the variety of objectives and scenarios thrown at you. While new maps open a little bit slowly earlier on, it's a treat to see the new structures and animations that gradually get added to your architectural arsenal. The first six or so maps keep showing you new things, even basic ones that you may have already tried. This creates a sense of both an elongated tutorial and not knowing what's around the corner, which makes the game appealing to new players and Two Point or Theme series vets alike. With 12 campuses in total, in addition to a full sandbox mode and online leaderboards, there's no shortage of fun and interesting content to keep you hooked for dozens of hours.

Rather than a full step forward for the series, Two Point Campus represents more of a step to the side, and perhaps slightly back. In terms of content, it's just as robust and engaging as Two Point Hospital, but the way it runs on Switch absolutely leaves something to be desired. Ultimately, Hospital is just a tighter and better working package. However, that's not to say that Campus isn't worth your time; I'm incredibly excited by the prospect of returning to each campus to earn all three stars. The controls and UI are still solid, even if their application in Two Point Hospital was a bit better. At the end of school year, simulation lovers are sure to enjoy their time as either a crusty old dean or every student's best friend. Just remember to hit the books, study hard, and hire enough janitors to clean up after random meteor showers.