College is as much a business as it is a chance for students to move forward in the specialized field of their deepest desires. Even so, that doesn’t mean the business of guiding young minds along to their dream career or crushing said dreams can’t be a fun sim. Fortunately, Two Point Studios are just the devs to accomplish such a questionable goal. Coming off of the success of Two Point Hospital, we now head for higher learning with Two Point Campus, and this game carries on the pedigree of lighthearted business sim with gusto.
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Coming to Two Point County as a new college administrator, it’s your job to take crummy and/or plain campuses and turn them into bustling institutions of academic prowess. You start with a handful of classes and room types available to your building and curriculum management needs, and at a relatively simple campus with a ton of money to allow you to make mistakes. However, the more you succeed, the more illustrious of campuses and classes that open to you. At later campuses, you’ll also have to work with tighter budgets and make ends meet despite having to pinch pennies.
Two Point Campus’s gameplay mechanics ease you nicely into the pool. I really liked how the first campus lets you have a huge amount of money so you can learn what works and what doesn’t when it comes to class structure, college room layout, staffing, student likes and dislikes, grading, and more. The game thoughtfully goes on to teach you its ins and outs and if you’re ever not sure of something, hovering the mouse over an objective should give you an idea of how to accomplish what you’re going for. I really liked the tutorial system and player assistance where necessary because Two Point Campus loves to throw new things at you frequently as you get the hang of everything it offers.
Ultimately, the fact that you’re regularly running into new things means that Two Point Campus is also just filled to the brim with variety. The game starts you with relatively simple science classes, but it isn’t long before you unlock cooking classes, clown classes, and even magic to form your very own wizardry and witchcraft academy. You can even boost the quality of your classes inside and outside of the academic year with upgrades like better equipment for rooms, upgraded courses, better skilled teachers, and more attractive/useful props.
Of course, academia isn’t just all about studies. If your students become too stressed, they’ll start to slip in their assignments and their grades will drop. Drop too low and they’ll fail (if you don’t expel them first), but you get bonuses for how many students are passing your courses and to what degree, so it’s in your best interest to keep their bellies full, their bladders empty, and their spirits high. Same with teachers. That includes building vending machines, food stalls, and relaxation rooms like student lounges. You’ll also craft your garden outside the campus buildings to further allow friendships, fun, and maybe even romance to blossom within your academic halls. By the end of the game, you’ll be handling a dizzying array of systems, but by then, the game should have taught you how to deal with all of it.
If you really want to challenge yourself when you know how to do everything Two Point Campus offers, then you can unlock and play in a Sandbox mode after enough progression has been made. This lets you take on a pre-made map and try to make the campus as successful as you can with all of the things that you’ve learned and the resources you’re given. It’s all very cool, and I lost hours upon hours of time getting sucked into Two Point Campus’s charming and addictive business management system.
What mark will you leave on Two Point?
I think one of the coolest parts of the Two Point games is their sheer charm and ease of access. Two Point Campus steps it up even further. Making a room is as easy as pie, but making it into something illustrious and fitting of your noble academic grounds is another story. Each room has a minimum square requirement, as well as minimum props that must be placed. For example, the science lab must have a central science machine and chalkboard and the libraries require bookcases and study desks. You’ll also have to staff a lot of these rooms with appropriate teachers and assistants. But it guides you very easily to the minimum requirements. Then it’s on you to get creative and turn a one-star science lab into the best dang science lab it can be.
While I found that making rooms and placing furniture and props in Two Point Campus was fun and easy, I won’t say it’s perfect. Big props can often get in the way of clicking on smaller ones, forcing you to readjust these major components to make the room work again. I actually had science students grades drop because I accidentally picked up the science machine in the middle of their class when I was trying to move a potted plant.
I also had issues with the game recognizing what I could and could not put in certain areas. For instance, I found that windows placed on walls of the overall campus building would sometimes be finicky if I tried to place them after a room was there. I would have to sometimes remove them altogether and place them from the room building menu, which just seemed silly. You can snap most pieces in via grid guiding, but you can also free place some of it by holding a key to break the guiding. This helped to save space, but sometimes led to items being highlighted as problems when they should have been fine, like a desk’s work area blocking the route to a potted plant for watering.
All of this aside, the game is still fairly simple to control and you can get around most issues with some careful redecorating and room rearrangement. I also learned that there aren’t enough janitors in the world for stinky college kids because boy howdy did it ask me to keep hiring more janitors frequently. Not quite a complaint, but it gave me a better understanding of just how messy virtual students in Two Point County could be. Maybe it’s me being silly, but Two Point Campus is also quite silly, what with a charming array of radio personalities and music backing the game and a very sarcastic PA system. The students and teachers also fill all sorts of niches from goth nerd to clowns with weak bladders. It’s also just fascinating and gorgeous to take in once your campus is bustling with beautiful busy bodies learning what it takes to succeed in today’s market.
The future is in their hands
Two Point Campus is intensely good on most fronts. The game is quite pretty, its comedy is charming, and its gameplay cycle is potently addictive. The climb from the lowest, most crummy campus up to the most noble and illustrious of college grounds is an addictive grind, and Sandbox Mode awaits those stalwart enough to overcome everything else. There are some frustrations to overcome at times, such as uncooperative or nonsensical build restrictions. However, all in all, it’s a game I could lose hours on in the blink of an eye, just like it was the first day of the rest of my life. A, for excellence.
This review is based on a PC digital copy supplied by the publisher. Two Point Campus releases on August 9, 2022, on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Nintendo Switch, PC, and Xbox Game Pass.
Two Point Campus
- Vast array of enjoyable college management mechanics
- Wide variety of classes makes for fun rooms and students
- Excellent tutorial system
- Numerous challenging campuses to manage and evolve
- Solid challenge to learn all mechanics and succeed
- Sandbox mode awaits successful players
- Prop placement guides and overlapping can be annoying
- Internal rooms and overall campus building conflict a lot
- Sandbox mode has to be unlocked
- There are not enough janitors in the world
TJ Denzer posted a new article, Two Point Campus review: College management cum laude
Coming out next Tuesday. I'm a little concern it will be too much like Two point hospital. Thats not bad, I just replayed Two Point Hospital and I'm a little burned out on that.