As some of you may know, especially if you follow me on twitter, I got slightly addicted to this game when it came out last year. Since then, new DLC has been made available – The Bigfoot DLC which came out in December, and Pebberley Island which will be out later this month! In writing moment, I’ve spent 260 hours in the game; it’s fair to say I love it. So with the new DLC coming out, I wanted to write a little bit about this game, why I love it, and why I think you should give it a try! There may be spoilers – consider yourself warned!
What is Two Point Hospital?
It is a strategy and building game set in a fictional world, where you build and manage a hospital. You have to build and decorate the rooms and hallways, hire staff, train staff, research treatment for new diseases, market your hospital, and ideally try to not go into debt while doing it.
Don’t worry though, you start off easy. If someone who doesn’t identify with the term “gamer” can do it, anyone can! Once you get a star, (the first out of three for each hospital), you unlock one or two new hospitals you can go play in. Personally I prefer getting all three stars before moving on to the next. You get some objectives you need to complete in order to get the stars, such as curing X number of patients, increase your hospital attractiveness to Y %, or get an overall hospital value of Z. Sometimes the objectives to get the next star change completely, other times they are an increase of the previous ones.
Here’s the initial trailer for the game, so you can see for yourself:
Why do I love this game so much?
The simple answer: It’s a lot of fun! The names of the illnesses, treatment rooms, and machines are hilarious, for starters. The intercom has a lot of amusing comments (“There’s a fire. There shouldn’t be a fire,” and “Please, try not to slip in the sick,” to mention a couple), as does the radio host! The music is so addictive you will not be able to get it out of your head. Each new hospital gets increasingly more difficult in my experience, and therefore you kind of get addicted to completing the next one, as you’ve already done the previous ones! There are more illnesses, patients will come in faster demanding more rooms to be built more quickly, the staff is less qualified so you have to train them up, you might start out in debt or with less money, or you might get less money because you’re in a poor area, or you might need to remember to either put down radiators or air conditioners everywhere, depending on the climate! So: it’s fun, and it’s addictive, and it’s the first video game I’ve really loved as an adult! As a child, one of my absolute favourite games was Legoland, where you’d build a Lego theme park and you’d get new rides for each park and you had to decorate and make paths and achieve objectives – basically a lot like this game, so it’s really no wonder why I like it so much!
I do want to write a little bit about what I’ve learned and some tips and tricks, but before that, I want to include the trailer for the first DLC that came out, that you can buy and play right now in addition to the original game: Bigfoot!
Julie’s Top 20 Tips and Tricks for Two Point Hospital
- Start slowly. Don’t build everything at once. Don’t build rooms until they are requested, and even then, it’s okay to send home patients you don’t have treatment rooms for. It’s better to start off with one or two treatment rooms and get patients treated there, before you start building all the others.
- Double function rooms: Remember that rooms such as the Ward, Psychiatry, and later the DNA lab, function BOTH as diagnosis rooms AND as treatment rooms! I usually build one of these next, when GP and General Diagnosis fail to provide sufficient diagnoses (I often forget about the Cardiology, oops!).
- Turn up your prices. It’s okay to have a bad reputation at first. Increasing the price of everything in your hospital will bring you more cash per patient that’s willing to pay (in my experience most of them will). Additionally, it will lower your reputation which means your hospital won’t be flooded with patients while you’re training your doctors and nurses.
- Research cash. As soon as I can hire a doctor with one research qualification, I invest in a research lab, even if it only has one or two items in it, and start researching cash. It costs 1000 to start, but you get 20.000 back at the end! That’s enough to build several of the smaller diagnosis rooms and GP offices, or almost enough to build the starter treatment rooms!
- Go back to your old hospitals with built up research labs and highly qualified staff, and research the new illnesses there! Especially the upgrades and advanced upgrades of the machines – it will save you so much time, and you can keep your one lowly qualified researcher focused on getting us more money!
- Keep an eye on your staff, especially when hiring new ones. You want to look at what they’re qualified to do sure, but also look at their traits – you want to avoid “nasty” and “unhygienic” at all cost. I’d rather hire someone with fewer qualifications and train them up, than hire people with those traits, because you cannot change the traits.
- Hire – Train – Fire. Especially in the beginning of a new hospital, you hire who you can get. A lot of the time, that will mean doctors and nurses with many different skills. Nurses, for example, might have 1 ward, 1 diagnostics, 1 treatment, 1 happiness, and a blank slot. I generally try to avoid hiring these, but sometimes you have to. They’re also great to use to teach these skills to other nurses, but once I start getting ones specialised in ward only, diagnosis only, treatment only, I tend to get rid of these multi-purpose ones, because they take longer to diagnose patients, don’t reach as high of a diagnosis certainty, and more often fail at treating patients, bringing your death ratio up.
- Circling back – make sure your specialised staff only works in those rooms – you can manage this in the “staff” tab – you don’t want someone with level 5 diagnosis working in a treatment room! Also invest in specialising your staff – the higher level they are, the faster they work, and more accurately do they diagnose patients, and the more successful they are at treating them.
- The overview tab. I had no clue what to do with this for the longest time. But one thing that is useful, if you go to overview, and then to patients – you can tell them to go immediately to treatment when they reach a certain percentage of diagnosis certainty – so 90% or 85% or whatever you choose really. I recommend doing that, because the patients go back to GP between every diagnosis room, even when they reach 100%, just for the GP to tell them where to go, and that generates longer queues. In this tab you can also select how often/long your staff breaks are and how many can go on a break at one, which might be handy to manage!
- Keep queues down. This is kind of obvious, really, but your patients are generally healthy when they arrive at the hospital. The longer they have to wait for GP, diagnosis, and treatment, the lower their health gets, and the more dead people you’ll have. Another way to help them not to lose their health so fast, is make sure there is seating and entertainment near all the rooms – if they are bored, they will wander, and whoever is number 1 in queue for the Pans Lab, for instance, might be on the other side of the hospital reading a magazine when the room becomes free, and then they have to walk all the way back to the treatment room, losing time and health in the process.
- Keep patients happy! Make sure they always have access to food, drink, toilet, and entertainment. If they get too upset, they will storm out of the hospital and you will not get money from them, and your reputation will go down. This also ties in with queues – if they are kept waiting too long, they will also leave in protest. This will affect your cure rate negatively, if that is one of the objectives to get the next star.
- Accept emergencies – if you have the room and staff for it. Even if you don’t complete it in time, you still get money for curing each patient. And if there is a queue for that room, pay attention when they arrive and bump them up to the front of the queue. More often that not this will make you succeed and you get some extra cash.
- Send patients home – I don’t like doing this, but it has proven effective when struggling to achieve a cure rate of a specific percentage. I’ll sort them by health, and send the lowest ones home. If you send them home before they rage quit, it doesn’t affect your stats. If they die or storm out, it does.
- Promote your staff! Even if you are in debt, always promote your staff. If you can afford to give them a raise higher than what they ask for, do it. It’ll keep them happy, working harder and better, and that’ll keep your hospital running smoothly. Sometimes you’ll get a letter that a specific staff member is threatening to leave – usually sending them on a break and giving them a raise helps the issue. Sometimes you’ll get a popup that “some of our staff are unhappy” – then go to the staff tab, click the $ button, give them raises and send them on break. You can see a little smiley face next to each person’s salary that indicates how happy they are, and you want to keep it neutral (yellow) or happy (green). Avoid the red by raising the salaries!
- Avoid loans! There are some times when loans are necessary. For example (SPOILER) there is one hospital that is in debt when you start out, and you HAVE to take out a loan, and another where you don’t earn any money from patients, and a loan might be necessary in the beginning. However, a lot of the time, you can work your way out of debt again without a loan. And the loans have interest so you have to keep paying them more and more money. What I recommend instead, is sit back with a cup of your favourite hot beverage, speed up the game, and pay attention to the monthly income and expenses for a bit! Specifically, you want to make sure that the expenses go down, so you might be -50K in revenue one month, but the next one you’re only -35K, and that means you’re headed in the right direction. Ideally you want it to get back up to positive numbers, and voila, you’ll be out of debt with no loans necessary! Once you hit -250K though, you do get a bankruptcy warning, that your hospital will go bankrupt if you reach… either -300K or -500K, I don’t remember. I’ve never actually gone bankrupt, but I have restarted hospitals because I kept going more and more into debt every month and I got really close.
- Use staff to train staff. The outside teachers are good, they don’t remove any additional staff from your workforce, but they’re also expensive. I recommend using them to train a qualification no other staff member has, and then using that staff member to train others. This way, you can also keep training your staff even when you’re in debt, because it isn’t costing you anything. And even if queues grow a bit while your staff is in training, once they’re done they’ll be so much faster and better at their job it’ll be worth it! Another thing to note is that training is necessary to keep staff happy, so make sure you balance out and get everyone trained, not just the doctors and nurses!
- Decorate! Wherever possible, you should aim to put up posters, art, and plants for you staff and patients to enjoy. This will keep them happier! Also make sure to place bins everywhere, especially near the vending machines, but also in random places – ill patients throw up in them instead of on the floor, etc. This means less work for your janitors and the other patients aren’t affected by it the way they are if it’s on the floor. This will also help when you get reporters or visitors to your hospital! If they are impressed, you get money and reputation points, but if they are not impressed, they give us a bad reputation, which is bad.
- Keep tabs on treatments – you’re likely to find that some rooms perform much better than others. Recurvery, for example, has a very high success rate if the nurse/doctor (I can’t remember which) has at least 2 treatment qualifications (and even more so once the machine is upgraded to the top level). However, I find that the Fracture Ward usually kills a lot of my patients in some hospitals, and I tend to postpone building one until I have highly qualified staff. And then I’ll set the top ward nurses to work in fracture ward only, since the regular ward does better even with less qualified staff. Also, don’t forget you can set more than one person to work in these rooms at a time! This is true for ward, fracture ward, research, marketing… Anyway, you can check the statistics for individual rooms by selecting the room and you get a popup on the right-hand side of the screen!
- Spread things out. It might be tempting, especially when you’re further into the game and you’ve purchased more plots and you have more space, to reorganise your entire hospital. One mistake I’ve made, is to have ALL my GP offices in one place, right next to the reception. This created a lot of chaos, as everyone coming into the hospital stayed in one place, and everyone coming back from diagnosis to see the GP again also returned to this one building. Bad idea! The janitors were unable to pick up trash or clean because there were too many people! Instead, what I recommend is to space things out. Have a couple of GP offices, some diagnosis, some treatment, and then some more GPs. I like to put reception desks in every new plot I purchase, and some GPs nearby, and then spread out the treatment and diagnosis rooms after that. It might be more chaotic, and maybe a little less realistic than a real life hospital, but I find it makes the game run much smoother as people are more evenly spread out. If the plot is huge, however, like the Castle one, it pays to have multiple of the rooms (and enough staff, of course), as the patients won’t have to walk as far to get to the nearest one, and it keeps them from losing health by walking all over your hospital as well. Oh and lastly, I find that putting staff break rooms, research, marketing, and toilets all in-between the diagnosis and treatment rooms also helps keep people from clogging the halls too much! (Please remember that staff rooms and toilets only NEED to be 2×3, so you CAN make many tiny ones rather than huge ones here and there, it’ll help a lot, especially in small areas!).
- Don’t be afraid to restart if things go south. I already kind of mentioned this in tip number 15, but it doesn’t just apply to loans. If you’re not happy with how you’ve laid out your hospital or you feel like you made a mistake, or just that you can do better, there’s no shame in restarting the level. Remember that it’s only a game. You don’t lose anything from restarting. It’s a lot better to restart and have fun than to keep playing in a hospital you’re unhappy with! I’ve restarted about half of the hospitals, at least 3 of them because I ran into debt I couldn’t get out of. One of them was because I kept playing long after I got the 3rd star, and I just ran it into the ground. I didn’t want to keep having a hospital that was in debt on my map, even though I had all the others to play, so I spent a day or a weekend redoing that one!
Lastly, let’s have a look at the new DLC coming out in one week from today: Pebberley Island!
I personally am so excited for this, and I might write an update/review at a later point in time!
I’m off to play some more Two Point Hospital now, I might start a new save from scratch so I can use my skills and knowledge to make better hospitals from the start… Or I might play sandbox mode! I don’t know yet. What I do know is I’m gonna have fun!
Let’s talk in the comment section below!