I’ve never particularly put a lot of thought into what the role of a university administrator demands from a person. I’ve always simply assumed that it would be like any other administrative position, but focused more on academics and ensuring that the establishment was staffed with the best and brightest professors who can guide a new generation of students to a brighter future. But that only goes to show how truly naive I used to be before this game showed me the light. And with this Two Point Campus Review, I intend to pass that knowledge on to you as well.
Because university administration is about so much more than simply running an institute of higher learning, you have to make sure the students have a place to sleep, your lecturers are trained in the necessary skills required to teach specialized classes, and there are enough janitors to clean up your campus after the occasional plague of frogs or meteor showers.
And if you thought that sounds a bit too weird, wait until you see some of the insane classes this game has to offer.
If you didn’t pick up on it yet, let me get you up to speed really quickly. Two Point Campus is the latest game by developer Two Point Studios, and it’s essentially set within the same universe as their previous title Two Point Hospital. But as the name implies, this time around you’re focusing on running universities instead of hospitals, with all of the little quirks and intricacies that come with such a change in careers.
At its core, the game is basically more of what everyone loved about its predecessor; it is a management sim with a surprising amount of depth and an extremely lighthearted tone. And when I say that, I don’t necessarily mean that it is more of the same game, even though that’s also technically true to an extent. But we’ll get into that a bit later in the review. For now, let’s focus on the presentation and the charm of this setting.
This game revels in the cartoonish nature of its world. A world where Lightheadedness causes people’s heads to be transformed into light bulbs, and personality disorders cause them to turn into rockstar impersonators, or worse yet, clowns. It is one of the most comical and silly settings I have ever had the pleasure of experiencing in a series, and this makes playing through these games an absolute joy. But the catch here is that Two Point Campus specifically does not feature Illnesses as its main draw, as that is the domain of Two Point Hospital.
Instead, the humor comes from the variety of different universities you can run, and the types of classes you can offer. The game starts off relatively normal, asking you to set up courses for Science, Gastronomy, and Robotics. But there’s still a fair bit of absurdity attached to these scenarios as well, like how the culinary classes make use of unreasonably gigantic pots, or how you can hold lectures on how to tell jokes as part of the ‘Funny Business’ course.
As you get further into the campaign, the outlandishness ramps up significantly, giving players access to institutions like Noblestead, where you can train Knights and hold jousting sessions for them. Then there’s the Hogwarts parody school of Spiffinmoore where you have to educate Wizards in the dark arts, complete will all of the tropes you expect from such a setting like magic and potions classes.
But if this was all Two Point Campus’ setting had to offer, I don’t think it would be nearly as delightful as it is. Because in the end, a setting is only a template, it’s what you do with that that really matters. And boy does the game deliver. Most of the twelve maps in the game offer up their own unique quirk that players have to keep in mind when establishing a university, and the challenge is to keep them in mind as you set the foundations for those schools.
Like how the Spy school is focused on training secret agents, and making sure that they are skilled in the art of stealth and using gadgets alongside all of the acrobatic stunts that people in such roles are expected to be able to do. But the catch here is that the school is constantly being infiltrated by moles who can cause problems for you. Your job then is to watch your students intently and keep an eye out for anyone exhibiting strange behavior like putting a finger to their ear, and then give then expel them before they cause more harm.
Or how both the Noblestead and the Spiffinmoore schools are constantly under threat by outside forces that can disrupt their daily operations. For the Knight School, these disruptions come in the form of rival knights from another institution, while the Magic School is harassed by a witch that turns students’ heads into pumpkins or causes meteor storms. I hinted at this last issue a bit earlier in the article, and for each of these problems are well-trained Janitors. Seriously, the cleaners in this game are expected to be more versatile than your average skilled worker. (See also: Ghost Hunting in Two Point Hospital).
This is what I love about this game and its predecessor. It’s not serious, and it’s not trying to be either, but instead pushing each and every gimmick to its stretching point without ever going too far. These developers are not amateurs, they’ve been making humorous games like these for decades, and their masterly at delivering jokes without ever missing a beat is nothing short of astounding. If you’ve enjoyed some of the Quintessentially British humor that permeated through games like the Fable series, then you know what to expect from this game. And that’s not by accident either, Two Point Campus was made by some of the exact same people who worked on those games, among many others.
And apart from the physical comedy, the regular jokes keep on coming one after the other as well. As you play through the game, commercials, radio shows, and even intercom announcements are used to great effect to launch puns and quips at you. From the reception lady menacingly telling students that she’s not their friend, to a news broadcast announcing the arrival of a superstar professor, there’s a lot to enjoy here.
But if you’re not used to this particular style of comedy, then the constant barrage might get a bit annoying for you. I don’t think everything here is a hit, but even the jokes that didn’t really land for me were easily ignorable. And maybe what I didn’t enjoy, someone else found knee-slappingly hilarious. If you actively dislike this style though, I don’t think you’re going to enjoy your time with the game at all. And no, you can’t turn this off in the settings either.
Do not let the charming visuals and jokes distract you. Two Point Campus is an extremely competent management game that is as much about the actual universities you have to run, as it is about the people that work and study within them. It’s a challenging title that starts you off slow, but by the end demands that you utilize every single tool at your disposal to run the most efficient business possible.
The basics are pretty simple, and the game walks you through them in meticulous detail. Each of the institutes you have to run requires three core things in order to function; infrastructure, staff, and finally students.
First up are the universities themselves. Whenever you start a new level, you are given access to a basic building with a simple floor plan. Within the confines of these, you have free rein to place different rooms and customize them however you like. The most important of these rooms is the Lecture Hall, where all of the classes and actual teaching will take place, and which acts as a multi-purpose facility for any course that you are offering.
But then each major course also has its own specific rooms for practical purposes, like the Sweet and Savoury Kitchens for the Culinary Course, or the Battle Ground and Jousting Field rooms for the Knight course. This is where most of the wacky stuff and learning really happens. Moving forward, your students also require a quiet place to study, and those that require some extra assistance should be able to find it. So for these two situations, we have the Library and the Private Tutor rooms respectively.
And I bet by now you’re starting to understand what’s happening here. Anything that makes sense within the context of an actual school is going to be present in the game. Now obviously there are no actual Wizarding courses in the real world, but if there were, those university students would require places to study, eat, rest their heads, bathe, and perform all sorts of basic human functions. And Two Point Campus demands that you meet all of these demands.
In order to enhance how well each room performs, you can put a variety of useful items inside them in order to increase their Prestige. For example, Kitchens can use additional stations, Libraries can use more cubicles, and Toilets can use sanitizers or hand dryers. These are of course only some of the dozens of examples, but basically the more of these you place, the higher the Prestige becomes.
At the start of the game, the only option available to you is to crowd your rooms with as many items as possible, which can get really annoying since this ruins the beauty of those areas. But over time, you can unlock higher tiers of items by using a currency called Kudosh, so you can achieve more prestige with less money and clutter. We’ll take about this currency a bit later in the review.
Each of the rooms in the game also requires manpower in order to function, and that’s where your staff comes in handy.
Teachers generally function as all-rounders by default, but in order to teach specialized courses like Robotics, they actually have to be skilled in Robotics. The same goes for Magic, Archeology, Culinary, Sports courses, etc. Teachers are also required to run Private Tutor rooms and operate the research lab, where you can unlock additional equipment and upgrades for your rooms and courses.
Similarly, rooms and facilities that are not directly tied to teaching also have a massive role to play, but these are staffed by Assistants instead. These individuals run libraries, food stalls, student unions, etc. Basically, anything that makes life easier for the people, employees in this position will handle it so the real academics can focus on all the flashy stuff.
And when such massive operations take place, who takes care of the minute details that the others are not equipped to handle? Well, that’s where the unsung heroes of any establishment come into play; the Janitors. They are responsible for cleaning up all the trash created by the people in your universities, but their responsibilities go well beyond that. These individuals are also responsible for watering plants, repairing machinery, upgrading equipment, and even fighting off unruly intruders. They truly do not get the respect they deserve.
All three of these employee types come together to make sure that the institutes are functioning properly. So in return, you have to take care of them by making sure that they have Staff rooms to rest, sources of food and water readily available, and that they are paid handsomely for services rendered. They also have to be trained accordingly, so that they can pick up newer talents and diversify their skillset.
Students as well require all of these necessities, with the only difference being that you don’t actually have to pay for them, and training them is literally the goal of the game. They actually pay you tuition money to attend your schools, and in return, they have regular requests that you can fulfill in order to earn some extra Kudosh.
While we’re finally on the subject, Kudosh is actually a type of currency that you can use to unlock a variety of different items for your universities. The easiest and quickest way to earn this is to complete student requests, but apart from that, you can also get it by meeting career goals, earning awards at the end of a semester, and completing occasional objectives as they pop up. The more you complete, the quicker you can advance in the game.
There are also a lot more tiny intricate mechanics that are at play in the game. There are clubs that can give your students specific benefits, there are inspectors that can reward you money for meeting certain standards, specific items can be used to encourage relationships between students, and there are even additionals building you can purchase to expand your floor space. Plus, you have to constantly maintain certain levels of cleanliness, hygiene, attractiveness, temperature, maintenance, and even entertainment to keep everyone happy. There are even various heat maps that allow you to scan every single inch of your campus to figure out which parts are lacking in what aspect.
If I started listing off all of the features present in Two Point Campus, we would be here all day, and I think some things are better left to the player to discover by themselves. The only real advice I can give you is to not judge this game by its appearance. It’s complex and deep, and it will absolutely deliver where it counts.
Also, if you find yourself really struggling, maybe look up some detailed guides online for help. Because while the game is really good at laying out your objectives in easy to understand language, it’s not always great at telling you how to accomplish them apart from vague descriptions of what has to be done. Why are my students unhappy? Have I not put enough vending machines around every corner of the building for their dietary requirements? Or if it’s not that, then what is it?
One of the most annoying instances for me personally was when I couldn’t figure out why some of my staff were unhappy. I had given them staff rooms, trained them, there was plenty of food available and I had even made an effort to decorate my campus with a bunch of flowers and fountains. So what was the issue? Well as it turns out, there was a lack of entertainment facilities in the school and the handful of facilities I had provided were not enough. So the only way to remedy that immediately was to place arcade machines and pay phones in every available space I could find.
That’s actually one of my only other complaints about this game; the cluttering. I touched on this briefly before, but a large part of the game involves placing different items all around your universities in order to meet requirements for attractiveness, entertainment, etc. And the solutions to these issues are almost always placing more and more stuff, destroying any sense of symmetry or order you might have wanted. It’s not a massive issue, but it’s one that’s carried over from the last game, and it’s still a bit annoying.
Visuals And Graphics.
Now I do not intend for this to come across as an insult, but Two Point Campus is clearly not a visual powerhouse. It makes use of simple colors, really basic lighting, and surprising low poly assets. Apart from the premise, it’s literally indistinguishable from its predecessor.
And while I’m sure a lot of fans would have liked to have seen a much more next-gen looking game, I think the current standard works really well for this particular brand of silliness. That also means that you can run this game on anything more powerful than a blackberry, which is always a great thing in my book. Games like this should be playable across as many devices as possible.
I didn’t even have to break out the GTX 1080 or anything high-end to test it out. I simply booted the game up on my older PC with an AMD RX 580 (4 GB), and as it turns out, this was one of the GPUs listed under the ‘Recommended’ system requirements. I could run it at max settings without even a single hitch.
For fun, I did however dust off an ancient relic of the past, and the first graphics card I ever owned, known as my ATI Radeon HD 5450. And you know what, Two Point Campus still works pretty well on it. Obviously not at max graphical setting, but still.
Two Point Campus Verdict
Two Point Campus is a phenomenal new entry into what I am going to start referring to as the Two Point universe. Its goofy sense of humor hides what is otherwise a deep and challenging management game, and it tests your ability to run a successful institution while also caring for the people that reside with it.
The new gimmicks this time around are also really strong. I never thought the game could elicit so many laughs from me simply by showing me students practicing how to be secret agents or athletes dressed in mouse outfits throwing cheese wheels at giant graters.
But while I’m personally a really big fan of this type of humor, I will acknowledge that it’s not for everyone. If you didn’t like it in Two Point Hospital, then you aren’t going to like it here either. But I still think you should give it a chance.
The cluttering problem is still back, and the game still isn’t really great at telling you exactly what is wrong in particular situations. To be extremely clear, it’s not that it doesn’t tell you what you have to do to solve a problem, so much as it doesn’t even make the problem apparent at all.
Overall though, it’s a great time, and I cannot wait for the studio to release DLC expansions that expand upon the base experience as they did with the last game.
- Fantastic New Gimmicks,
- Deep Management Gameplay.
- Extremely Rewarding.
- The Humor.
- Still Bad At Pointing Out Problems.
- The Cluttering.
Two Point Campus Rating – 4.5/5
This has been our Two Point Campus Review. While you’re here, why not also check out some of our other review.
- Xenoblade Chronicles 3 Review
- Stray Review
- Salt and Sacrifice Review
- V Rising Early Access Review
- Terraformers Review
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