Two Point Campus Review – The spice of university life

Two Point Campus Banner

Shepherding young minds into adulthood is often depicted as one of the most rewarding, yet arduous vocations to undertake. So… is it? Well, I wouldn’t have a clue. I’m just the university administrator for Two Point County who puts buildings in place, professors into lecture halls, and tries to conjure up enough entertaining pastimes (mostly drinking in the student union and romancing on park benches) to keep the standing orders for student fees in place!

That’s pretty much the gist of Two Point Campus, the scholarly successor to Two Point Hospital. The slapstick and pun-laden humour is in exactly the same tone, and the fundamentals of this money-making management sim remain, but Two Point Studios has really gone all in to add and twist gameplay ideas to fit this new setting. The two biggest changes are that you’re dealing with students and not patients, and that there’s the concept of an academic year.

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Where Two Point Hospital had patients going in and out as soon as they’d been cured, Two Point Campus has students going on a multi-year academic journey. They are now a key part of the simulation, each with certain wants and desires that you need to cater to, and with grades that will get better as they’re kept happier, kept entertained, and provided to.

You have a general barometer for the overall mood of the student body as you play, but click on any particular student and you can see how they’re doing. Additionally, there will be regular requests for specific rooms, items, clubs, and social events that you can fulfil.

Two Point Campus Romance

So it’s a blessing that you have regular breaks between the academic years to break things up. This essentially hits pause, letting you take your time to upgrade and choose new courses to add to your university’s offerings, meet their room and teacher requirements, and then click to start the new year with a fresh influx of students when you’re ready. You can obviously still pause the game and play at different speeds, but it’s a nice thematic touch.

Then there’s all the courses, and they absolutely fit the Two Point vibe. Whether it’s something straightforward like Robotics or a daft pun like Knight School, it’s taken to new heights by the room-filling apparatus needed to teach it and the eccentric stylings. You’ll have trainee spies going through assault courses, the bizarre sport of Cheeseball, wizards turn each others’ heads into pumpkins, and so much more.

Two Point Campus Wizardry Reveal

Each level is themed after one of these courses, sometimes with further narrative and gameplay quirks to mix things up a bit – the wizard school is being cursed by a former student, for example. As you do so, you can build the campus out with new patches of land, set out buildings how you see fit (or run with presets), and then decorate all the indoor and outdoor space. It’s vastly more flexible and in-depth Two Point Hospital, so you can really put your own stamp on the layout.

The initial goal is to meet the criteria for one star, which will go toward unlocking successive levels, before then hitting two and two stars. Some of these can be pretty darned tricky, especially if you’ve not quite grasped how to use info views for a beautification challenge, or are struggling to get your average grade up to a certain level. There’s often a bit of a waiting to see improvements take effect.

Two Point Campus Outdoor Student Union

Building and running your university feels great. The team has clearly learnt a lot from Two Point Hospital’s original PC release, how it was adapted for a console port, and all the various quality of life improvements they made through that game’s life, feeding all of that into its successor. The UI in Two Point Campus is clear and easy to get to grips with, and the same across all platforms, there’s numerous info overlays to let you figure out the status of your campus and its people, and building rooms can be a quick two minute job or something you agonise over for twenty minutes as you painstakingly adjust every single element to give it the highest possible rating. You can save rooms as blueprints, so when you bounce over to a new level, you can skip some of the busywork and drop in well-crafted dorm rooms, toilets, lecture halls and other standard rooms.

If there’s one complaint I do have with building, it’s that the snapping of objects to a grid is a bit… fussy, for want of a better term. Even without using the more precise free placement toggle, the snapping feels too woolly, to the point that it feels awkward just to get bookcases in a library to look level. It can also be awkward trying to select existing objects when editing a room. It’s a little less pronounced on console (tested on Xbox Series X), where the controller inputs are less sensitive, but I played predominantly on PC. I quickly adapted to lean on the free placement to get around this, but it’s an area that Two Point Studios has highlighted as one they will try to address in an early update.

Two Point Campus Xbox UI

It’s also tricky to really micromanage how your campus is running. I might have assigned a teacher that’s great at research to the research room, but then I’ll find him leading a lesson of Wizardry for some reason. There is a fluidity needed as staff tire out and need to take breaks, or as you collar them to go and get better training, leaving gaps that need to be filled, but it’s not always plain to see who’s assigned to what – you only get their current activity and often end up with no idea why a room or stand is suddenly unattended.

Different players will engage with various parts of the game to varying degrees, which is actually a strength of Two Point Campus, rather than a criticism. You will have to ensure the campus is attractive, tidy, warm or cool and that students are happy, entertained and being taught well, but you can approach this in different ways. As a high-level administrator, you can pull up info views and haphazardly decorating the place, only responding to requirements as they arise, or you can get into the lower levels of the simulation, favourite and follow a particular student, and really take your time to make your campus and its rooms aesthetically pleasing.

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Summary
If Two Point Hospital was a triumphant return of the Theme Hospital style management sim, then Two Point Campus is a true heir. It takes the same tongue-in-cheek tone and applies it to a new setting, it learns from the journey its predecessor went through, and it deepens the experience for anyone that wants it.
Good
  • A fun and satisfying management sim with a university theme
  • Tons of puns and visual gags
  • So much more customisation and freedom compared to Two Point Hospital
  • Many levels mix up the gameplay challenge
Bad
  • Item placement feels fussy
  • Tricky to keep tabs of your staff and their jobs
9
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