Galacticare Review

Please, step into the alien Boning Chamber.
Galacticare doctor, robot and different alien species

You know Theme Hospital and Two Point Hospital? Well, what if you made a hospital management game a lot like those management sim classics, but shot it up into the one place that hasn’t been corrupted by capitalism? Space! That’s Galacticare in a (space) nutshell.

Of course, space healthcare is really just a vast expanse for capitalism to exploit and your goal as the administrator of a series of Galacticare space stations is to build them up into effective and profitable healthcare institutions. There’s a decently lengthy campaign to progress through, with a sequence of story missions to beat and some pure sandbox maps alongside. It starts off in Earth’s orbit, takes you to provide for Burning Moon music festival, has you tend to a gigantic space farm, a space prison full of clones, and more.

As you’d expect from this corner of the management sim genre, there’s all manner of weird and wonderful diseases that you’ll encounter, including ones that turn people into star fields, give them metal craniums, a bit of jellification, and on and on. Treating them? Well, the Boning Chamber is there to use an industrial robot dog to gobble up and recombine patient with new bones, there’s lasers, giant guns, skin generating tanks, and on and on.

It’s all laced with a pleasing sense of humour, very much in keeping with its inspirations, and that’s aided by the narrative and characters. From the computer’s put downs of the janitor bot, to the quirky alien inflections, and the Matt Berry-adjacent rival CEO, each scenario is given a lot of flavour by these characters. That, and the wonderful evolving space backdrops that you should absolutely keep an eye on as you work through a stage.

Galacticare Farm level

The fundamentals of hospital management will be immediately familiar, as you put reception by the entrance, then fill the rest of the space with a growing range of treatment rooms, seating and items to fulfil patient wants and needs. And there’s a lot of wants and needs, as each race has particular desires.

The Tenki want to see high-tech upgraded rooms, the Dyonai want flora and fauna, the Vizarj desire windows and toilets – so I put toilets right next to windows looking into rooms – while us plain old humans want to see… cupboards, lockers, trolleys and posters. In general, you need to keep the place tidy, make sure there’s enough seating, doctor break rooms, vending machines and so on.

Galacticare alien races

It might seem like that’s a lot to juggle, but really all of these demands are complimentary with one another, so you can very quickly rattle through and comply with all of these demands in a slap dash fashion or with your own room templates – it could have been interesting for human patients to be a little grossed out by alien decorations, for example, but letting you have a clumsy hodgepodge of decorations ensures it’s fast and accessible. It’s the room upgrades that take a while to acquire, as they rely on crafting holograms with a special currency, or buying them from the space whale trader called Baz.

There’s also not a huge amount of depth to the doctors you employ. Each has two perks and one con, which might shape your hiring when one is much more likely to kill a patient and blow up a room, but aside from that, there’s a simple room-based specialisation to choose and then basic levelling up after that point. Training rooms can be used to accelerate their levelling, but it’s really just about matching doctors to their specialism to ensure they’re working as efficiently as possible. There’s more nuance to the named consultant characters, unlocked through the story and with perk trees that boost their influence to your hospital.

There’s some neat touches to the care that each condition needs in Galacticare. While some will have a straight path from diagnosis room to a relevant treatment room, others (and particularly those that feature as mission objectives) have chains of treatment that put more demands on your hospital layout, waiting areas and capacity. It’s a somewhat more straightforward take on Two Point Hospital bouncing patients between different diagnosis rooms. It also helps to make all of the treatment rooms more multi-purpose, beyond the illness they were first introduced for.

Galacticare Boning Chamber

You can funnel your treatment path through more than just canny room placement. Rooms can have be set with illnesses to prioritise, patients can be marked as priority, and through this you can optimise your hospital performance quite handily. At the same time, you can kind of just go with the flow, do the fundamentals decently well, and get past the tipping point of profitability to enable you to quickly open up a whole new wing, adding capacity at the cost of an influx of less specialised doctors.

It all adds up to a hospital management sim that’s a shade easier to grasp the depths of, that’s a little more accessible. You can happily set the game to fast forward as your cash pools fill up for the next big expansion, dipping in to squish space bugs for rewards and to avoid mess, or to grab freebies from Baz when he appears like a curious whale off the side of your station. Perhaps the biggest difficulty I’ve run into is keeping corridor congestion down – something the Kouber Baly desire – needing to have enough diagnostics rooms to keep up, and emphasising the mission critical treatment rooms a level needs.

Galacticare blasts Theme Hospital off into outer space, putting its own distinctive spin on a management sim classic. It keeps things light with harmonious alien cultures and streamlined doctor levelling, making for a nice and accessible time.
  • Sci-fi setting puts a fun twist on the hospital management genre
  • Lovely level backdrops that evolve through each scenario
  • Nice and accessible thanks to streamlined gameplay
  • Multi-stage treatment plans
  • A little too simplistic catering to each race's demands
  • Doctor upgrades are rather basic
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