Students at Two Point Campus won't settle for #2

Two Point Studios and Sega are back with more lighthearted simulation fun following up the 2018 hit Two Point Hospital.


PC gamers of a certain age were likely thrilled back in 2018 when Sega and the newly-formed Two Point Studios worked in tandem to release Two Point Hospital, a carefully-crafted love letter to the early sim games of the first golden age of PC gaming. Marrying solid sim mechanics with one of the most pleasurable vibes in all of video gaming, Two Point Hospital scratched that nostalgic itch that fans of Theme Hospital had been carrying for years. At the time, the development team spoke about their ambitions to further expand the Two Point universe. Flash forward to the present and Two Point Campus attendees are now scheduled to begin matriculating ahead of the 2022 Fall semester.

A slice of student life

As crazy as it is for me to type out, it is even crazier for me to actually believe that it has been more than fifteen years since I was on a college campus full-time. I had a pretty good read on the situation and the players at the time. I learned that scheduling 8:00 a.m. classes for myself led to poor attendance. I learned that I could stretch a ten-dollar bill for three meals at El Sombrero Family Mexican Restaurant instead of two entrees on the campus meal plan. I worked for a local dive bar and formed some lifelong friendships. Hell, I even saw a couple of guys attempt to consume a box of Franzia from the wrong side of the human digestive tract. What could I possibly learn going back to school at Two Point Campus?

As it turns out, virtual college life in 2022 is much different than my fuzzy memories. The walkways are paved, the staff wears clothing that looks somewhat normal, and the students themselves appear eager to make the most of their time studying. If I’m going to LARP as Thornton Melon and do a half-decent job at it, I’d better hop into the tutorial to make sure my second collegiate career lasts longer than one semester.

The game starts players off with a small campus holding a single empty structure. Ahead of the new semester, a classroom, relevant equipment, and a capable staff need to be assembled before students will attend the university. Veterans of Two Point Hospital will feel right at home with the interface here as it retains much of the visual style and layout from the older game. 

I used one of the toolbars to paint floor tiles in the empty building to mark out the space where a science lab will be built. With guidance from the tutorial, I then placed a door entry, some expensive lab equipment, and a few fake plants to set the vibe. I then tabbed over to the personnel menu and was given a selection of potential professors. As luck would have it, there was a qualified candidate available for cheap that also had a specialization in science lab activities. 

Once the professor was assigned to the lab, they will begin preparations for class, which is taught in generic lecture halls. Completion of the course also requires that students attend and complete the science labs associated with the class. I also needed to build out a basic dorm setup for incoming students, so I made another room with beds, drawers, and a few chairs for leisure. Finally, I built a bathroom facility so the students would have a place to relieve themselves, shower, and crush up Adderalls before all-night cram sessions.

As I had completed the final steps necessary for students to register and attend classes, the semester began. The science class filled up and students were filling the lab and socializing in the halls near the dormitory. The students began to grow weary as they had no access to snacks or drinks. No problem, I’ll just add some vending machines and toss an arcade cabinet into the halls. The students respond positively and everyone passes the first semester of science. Look at me, Mom, I’m a dean now!

Preparations for the next semester began immediately and I was introduced to the library construction tools and how students could use such facilities for studying. Depending on the students’ individual needs, you can place several types of cubicles, including, textbook, laptop, and microfilm. I built a second science lab with VR testing equipment in advance of offering our school’s first VR technology class. I hired another professor with a specialty in VR and then opened the doors for the new semester.

Maybe it’s best if I just pretend that I retired after the first semester and went up on the Mount Rushmore of college administrators because everything went to hell almost immediately in the second semester. Some of the new students inexplicably refused to take baths. They would start spraying greenish fog on other students, who were sickened and repulsed by the odor. I dragged them to the showers, but they were having none of it. As the semester progressed, the mental toll of the class burden began causing lots of stress. Grades began dropping, student morale began to falter, and even some of the auxiliary staff such as the janitors spent more time in the employee lounge than emptying litter bins.

Now, when I attended campus in real life back in the early 2000s, you would see students dealing with excess stress by exercising, binge drinking, or overeating. Lots of times, you’d just see the openly weeping on campus benches or while draped over a bike rack. In Two Point Campus, the students play by different rules. I noticed one lady had a notification bubble over her head that indicated she needed a bathroom break. I watched her walk by the empty bathroom twice and then emote in despair. She then marched right out the front door of the main building on campus and just let loose on the front steps. Soon after, another student did the same.

Initially, I chuckled. I never matured past 3rd grade, so bodily fluids will still get me to pop. I dragged over an idle janitor to mop up the lemonade. It was strange, but kids today are under untold stress. By the time the semester was halfway through, virtually all students on campus made it their personal mission to just unload on the main stairway into the lecture hall. Then they started dropping real fat logs. At first, I was impressed. How could this 80-pound undergrad produce what had to have been a 16-pound mud monkey? I didn’t have long enough to work it out in my own head before the rest of the student body made every walkable outdoor surface look like a fudged-up Jackson Pollack.

By the semester’s end, almost all students had failed both science classes and the campus itself looked like a scene out of 1917. The few that remained on campus hopped into their beds and kept emitting poop gasses. Also, one creepy guy followed literally every single person into the shower and bathed with them to completion. I think it was a bug, but based on my experience trying to manage the scat factory outside, I’m not willing to bet my life on it.

A fountain of knowledge

Generally, most things felt just like Two Point Hospital. You get solid underlying simulation mechanics and a sense of style and humor that would make this worth a closer look even if you weren’t already nostalgic for this type of game. I am sure that poop-a-geddon was all my fault due to poor planning or execution, so I am very excited to see how much better I can do (or how much more insane things can get) when I get to tackle the full release. If screwing things up was this much fun, actually completing objectives must be a hoot-and-a-half.

Sega and Two Point Studios had originally announced that the game was headed for a late May launch, but will instead be pushed back to August 9, 2022, to ensure that everything is up to par for the next generation of college students. Send in your applications now (and maybe up your fiber intake).

These hands-on impressions are based on a pre-release version of the game. The session was provided for coverage consideration. Two Point Hospital arrives for Xbox consoles, PlayStation consoles, Nintendo Switch, and PC on August 9, 2022.

Contributing Tech Editor

Chris Jarrard likes playing games, crankin' tunes, and looking for fights on obscure online message boards. He understands that breakfast food is the only true food. Don't @ him.

From The Chatty
Hello, Meet Lola