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Hands on: Two Point Campus Review

First Impressions

Two Point Campus is the successor to Two Point Hospital. This new management simulation blends old mechanics with new features, with a fantastic emphasis on customisation to make this world feel like your own. Keeping students’ emotions in check, as well as the courses running and what the staff are doing is a delicate balancing act that’s both fun and satisfying.

Key Features

  • GenreManagement simulation game
  • PlatformsAvailable on PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X/S, Nintendo Switch and PC
  • Release date:9th August 2022

Introduction

Following the success of Two Point Hospital, Two Point Studios’s new management simulation switches doctors and nurses for university students.

Two Point Campus improves on its predecessor in almost every way, with personalised graphics and greater customisation options than ever before.

Sega was kind enough to let me preview the game; here’s how I got on playing Two Point Campus for a day.

Tutorial

  • Remarkably easy to pick up
  • Cycle of new tasks kept me busy
  • Play each school year, remodel in the summer break

I started off Two Point Campus in the main school building, with only one lecture room at my disposal. The game begins during the summer break, providing the opportunity to buy any needed rooms or members of staff, and redesign the layout as you see fit.

Once you’ve bought everything you need, you can start the school year. As the students started to appear, I became aware of what my campus needed. For instance, my small dormitory needed expanding to fit everyone in, and I realised early on that we weren’t going to get very far without an accessible toilet and bathroom.

It was clear the game was pushing me into making certain choices – such as expanding rooms to make them better for students – but at no point did it hold my hand to the point where I couldn’t make obvious decisions on my own.

Two Point Campus tutorial screen, big green campus

I loved this style of tutorial; getting spoon-fed evident information can quickly become annoying, while getting dropped in with no direction can leave players feeling helpless. Within the first 10 minutes, I already had a good grip on the menus and buttons – of which there are a few – and I was able to understand what was required of me and how I could make my campus better.

Seeing as the last preview I played was Total War: Warhammer 3, Two Point Campus delivered a refreshing change of pace. It’s a game that can be picked up by anyone, regardless of whether or not they’re familiar with Two Point games or even the business simulation genre.

Once you get past the first school year, you’ll largely be left to your own devices. You’ll see letters occasionally arrive that let you know about what the students want, and that prospective students are interested in your campus.

Learning to balance the allocated funding proved an interesting challenge, with monthly reports providing a breakdown of what I was generating from tuition and leisure on campus and how much I needed to spend on staff. I assumed this would become dry after some time, but hours in I remained engaged in terms of any new food spots we needed, the staff’s requirement in their lounge and how I could balance profits in order to afford to expand my courses.

Customising the Campus

  • Extremely easy to customise
  • Mechanics are easy to pick up
  • Lots of fun creating rooms your own way

Customisation was my favourite element of the sim. Each summer, you can rejig your campus to get it to look how you desire – even though I was guilty of freezing time in the middle of a term every now and again to make sure my science lab looked up to snuff.

My first two courses were Science and VR, meaning that a lot of the rooms had a sci-fi aesthetic to them. This didn’t present any issues since it was the tutorial; Two Point Studios explained that players will be able to pick their desired courses when they play.

Two Point Campus a fountain and students walking around

Early on, I was able to buy another patch of land, sparking the idea to separate students from their classes, so that the dorms, showers, library and study space could be kept away from all my lecture halls and VR labs.

This was reminiscent of The Sims, as most design games are, but I have to praise the ease with which I could expand a room or revamp the gardens. My biggest bugbear with Animal Crossing: New Horizons is how annoying it can be to develop large spaces, and while mechanics aren’t going to look the same, Two Point Studios has clearly streamlined to the point where it’s as simple as possible to make the campus your own.

Note that while developing each room, there are certain aspects that must be included. For example, a lecture hall must have a door, a lecture stage and seating. But past that, your creativity has no limits, with specific rooms coming with distinct items that can improve the student’s hygiene, level of learning, or their likelihood to make friends.

As you progress through the game, more items will open up and students will request particular items as well, with my personal favourite being the hot-pink loveseat. Even in my limited playtime, I could see how progression is rewarded with the ability to give your campus more personality – for me, this was easily the most satisfying aspect of the game.

Two Point Campus students dancing on the dance floor in the uni

Students and Courses

  • Big variation in students
  • Courses are quirky

Two Point Campus differs mostly from Two Point Hospital in the sense that the people coming into your establishment matter. Each student has their own personality type and needs to be kept happy to ensure that they will pass the year.

As previously mentioned, the courses I started with were Science and VR, and the type of personality those courses attracted did veer a certain way, with multiple students complaining that they needed greater stimulation and that I needed to expand my study spaces. I caught a couple of slack students struggling to get better than a D in their courses; but, overall, it was a satisfying experience. I loved watching my student’s happiness go up every time I brought in another coffee stand or made the student lounge more cosy.

Science room with science equipment and students

Of course, you also need staff: teachers, assistants and janitors will run around the campus to ensure that everything is running smoothly. I can brag to a degree that I managed the budget competently enough that I never had to go without staff; but at the start, it was fun trying to develop a team that would work and give the students everything they needed.

Graphics and Audio

  • Graphics are simple but really fit the game
  • Student radio is laugh out loud funny

One of my favourite aspects of the game was the audio – Two Point Studios has cleverly introduced what sounds like a school radio.

Featuring adverts for fake meat and off-campus activities, not only does it make the world feel a lot more immersive, but the tannoy announcements are genuinely funny. In one example, a monotone voice declares their disappointment in the students, while in another the student DJ says, “Here’s another previously scheduled song that I didn’t choose.”

Students working in the library room

While it’s mainly background, with funky and upbeat instrumental music playing beneath all the chatter, it did add to the overall tone of the game and I was always excited to hear the quip that was coming next.

The graphics are simplistic but suit the game perfectly, again reminding me of Animal Crossing. Each room has its own distinctive style with bright colours and fun designs, with the students themselves sporting quirky outfits that clearly show off their personalities.

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Initial Verdict

I only played Two Point Campus for a few hours, but I wish I was still playing it now. The premise is simple, but the team has clearly learned plenty from developing Two Point Hospital; this world feels so much fuller and more evolved, investing me to the point where I was genuinely concerned when a handful of students didn’t pass their final year.

Despite it being a preview, I didn’t experience any bugs or glitches, which also gives me high hopes for the launch. The building and customisation elements of the game ran smoothly, and I loved the process of figuring out which system worked best for my school.

Two Point Campus is likely to be enjoyed by most – as someone with limited experience with management simulators, I’m certainly hooked.

FAQs

When will Two Point Campus be available?

Two Point Campus will launch on 9 August 2022

What type of game is Two Point Campus?

Two Point Campus is a business simulation game, in a similar vein to the likes of Rollercoaster Tycoon and Zoo Tycoon.

A 'hands on review' is our first impression of a product only - it is not a full test and verdict. Our writer must have spent some time with the product to describe an early sense of what it's like to use. We call these 'hands on reviews' to make them visible in search. However these are always unscored and don't give recommendations. Read more about our reviews policy.

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