Simulation games are somewhat of an oddity for me. I’ve tried and played a lot of titles in the genre throughout the years but have come across outings that either don’t hold my interest long enough or are too complicated for my simple mind.
Enter the latest from Two Point Studios – Two Point Campus. Coming out on August 9 for the PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series, Switch, and PC, this installment is the latest from the minds that brought you Two Point Hospital back in 2018. As a Two Point newbie, I was quite intrigued about the game, so Sega handed me a bone and invited me to preview a sizable chunk of the game.
While the coverage of this preview was supposed to show some advanced levels like the Wizardry Course, starting the game from scratch meant that I had to work my way up the ranks as the new guy in school. After putting in a considerable number of hours into class (who would have thought), I found Two Point Campus to be a polished and charming affair, something that even newbies like me can very much appreciate but also hefty enough to be enjoyed by sim veterans.
Watch – Two Point Campus Announcement Trailer
Class is in Session
You don’t need to have played Two Point Hospital to see where the similarities lie in this latest outing. Two Point Campus is basically the school equivalent of the series and is set in the same universe, hence the similar look and feel of both games.
Two Point Campus is much more relatable though because I would assume that almost everyone has experienced varying degrees of education, so the inner workings of school life aren’t a totally alien concept. This relatability served as a good touchpoint for me while playing Two Point Campus and really helped me out with progressing through the levels provided.
As far as sim games go, Two Point Campus looks and plays like a dream. The UI is clean, creating rooms and structures is intuitive, and the overall flow of the game is easy to understand. The barrage of icons and terms that the game presents can get intimidating for first-timers, but the basics are well-taught and should ease players into the game in no time.
I can see how Two Point Campus can become addicting, as I watch my make-believe students run through the paces of academic life. As the school manager of sorts, your job is to make sure that class is in session, all while keeping a healthy balance between student satisfaction and academic excellence.
You’ll start by building dormitories and benches to foster relationships between students, libraries and classrooms to improve the quality of education, and much more. You’ll also be dealing with staff salaries and other miscellaneous wrinkles such as maintenance and cleanliness.
There’s arguably a lot to consider, but Two Point Campus makes the experience as seamless as possible. At some point, some of the more trivial things like salary and other small metrics won’t matter enough to players who just want to enjoy the game and progress normally.
Just when you think you’ve gotten the hang of Two Point Campus, the game introduces another layer of depth and does this in well-placed intervals. Whether it’s booking school activities or researching for upgrades, each level and course has its own unique way of keeping the game fresh.
Teach me Your Ways
After the first couple of hours with Two Point Campus, I’ve gotten comfortable with the flow of the game. I knew exactly what rooms to create next, who to hire, and what items I needed to add to set a balance between profitability and student happiness.
During one instance, I found myself just staring at the screen, watching the students and staff go around the school minding their business. Sim newbies like myself will certainly fall into this trap sooner or later, not because there’s nothing else to do, but simply because of choosing what exactly to do next. Things don’t stop once you’ve built enough rooms because you also have a choice to figure out what it looks like.
Do you add more items to rooms to increase attractiveness and increase student satisfaction? Do you add litter bins and hand sanitizers at every corner to improve student hygiene? Add cabinets and beds to the dorms? Each item has its purpose and it falls upon you to make things work out.
You’ll even find yourself earning Kudosh, a sort of premium currency in the game which allows you to unlock more decorations and items, turning your Science lab into some next-level facility.
Two Point Campus excels not only in the minutiae that sim titles are known for but also for the extensive customization it offers, ensuring that no two campuses are the same. Facilities offer a great degree of customizability, and coming up with a rad new design is equally as exciting as planning for the next school year.
The other thing Two Point Campus greatly excels at is its ability to make you lose track of time. Getting lost in the many objectives and activities is easy, and is very reminiscent of the “one more turn” syndrome of games like Civilization.
After a few hours of progress, and upon reaching the Wizardry and Knight Scool courses, it dawned upon me that there’s so much more to discover in the game. Two Point Campus doesn’t stop at one level and a couple of science classes, but instead runs a wide range of interesting yet wacky locales and courses that always add something new to the experience.
As someone who isn’t too enthralled by sim games, Two Point Campus was a very pleasant surprise. It’s embarrassing to say, but I almost missed dinner one time because I was too busy figuring out whether to add more vending machines or lockers along a corridor. There’s a charm to the game that’s very attractive to players of all backgrounds and it’s made a believer out of me in such a short period of time.
Two Point Campus is coming to PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series, Switch, and PC on August 9, 2022.