Review by the3stars
"A sorry attempt at toilet humor with absolutely no relation to anything in the real world of medicine"
At the start, this game seemed to be what I was looking for, a fun Hospital Simulator... aged a few years past the great Theme Hospital. I love simulation games, so perhaps I may be a bit bias in this review, giving how much this game has let my expectations down. It feels as if Codemasters thought 'Hey, lets make a hospital game!'.. but very quickly became bored, hashed something together over the weekend and published it. Hospital Tycoon has a very half- or even quarter-baked feeling to it. Whereas the mechanics are just barely acceptable, the game fails to redeem itself with any sort of depth.
At the start, this game seemed to be a very promising - if you ignore the silly 'story' that goes along with it. Things begin simple enough, you build a few necessary rooms, wait for the sick patients to start showing up, and go from there. Unfortunately, just as the game dumps out of the tutorial, you realize that there really isn't much more to the game than you've just seen. When someone with an unknown condition comes into the hospital, they visit your research room where you find out how to treat them. Then you build whatever equipment is needed and hire the people to run it. And thats it.
The game has perhaps 8 or 10 illnesses, which after about 10 in-game days, have all been revealed. Now maybe your thinking 'hey cool, I can't wait to watch my surgeon do a heart transplant on some old dude!' Well, think again. The illnesses in this game are sorry attempts at toilet humor with absolutely no relation to anything in the real world of medicine. For example, one of the big money makers at the hospital is 'Bad Gas'. The patient walks around the hospital farting clouds of green gas out every 2 seconds, then waving their hands in front of their faces. Sure, its kinda funny the first time you see it, but when he repeats the same action 30 times a minute, along with his other friends who have equally stupid ailments, it becomes old fast. When you play a game like Railroad Tycoon, you have REAL trains going to REAL places picking up REAL good, not toy trains picking up diapers from haha land. EVERY illness in this game is silly.
And if you want to lose, good luck. It takes someone several days of sitting around without treatment to 'die'. This game has a serious lack of consequences when you do something you shouldn't. It takes maybe a week for staff to get mad if you don't build them a staff room. Trash everywhere? Oh well. Hired too many people? Who cares, the game doesn't pay them anyways. Just about the only thing you can do to hamper the running of your hospital, is to not have and engineer to repair your equipment... which he does with several bangs of his hammer.
If you like looking at statistics, forget it. The only way to identify a slowdown in your hospital is to sit there and stare at a certain area for a few hours. You can't click on a doctor and see how many people they've treated. You can't click on a machine and see how long its been in service. You can't view tabulated stats on how your hospital has been doing, and there is no budget window.
Where to start? Simulation games aren't meant to have stories... no one got mad when they found out that SimCity 4 didn't have a story. But this game takes something this is entirely unnecessary and shoves it in your face. The story is played out in several acts during the campaign mode, in the form of a very cheesy and silly psudo-drama. You'll find yourself rapidly clicking and pressing escape after the first one, to try to get away from your 'Favorite Hospital Drama.'
Graphics usually aren't a big part of simulation games like this one. The Civilization games started out with horrific graphics, but that didn't stop them from being lots of fun. In Hospital Tycoon the graphics serve their purpose very well, and they don't get in the way of anything. One nice feature is that when you select the top down view, each room's equipment disapears and is replaced by an icon which identified that room's purpose. There is no slowdown in the graphics at all, though there usually isn't a whole lot going on on the screen at once. The symptoms are easy to identify, though they become old very fast.
There is some repetitive and uninspiring music playing in the background, to keep you from falling asleep. And each machine has its own sound, along with the sounds of each illness. Zoom in close enough and you can hear someone with 'Bad Gas' farting away. Clever.
This game is not worth playing. It is not worth buying. It tries to dumb you down, after a few hours seeing a guy farting around your hospital becomes funny again, in a very sad way. If you want to play a Hospital Simulation, get Theme Hospital.
Reviewer's Score: 4/10 | Originally Posted: 07/10/08
Game Release: Hospital Tycoon (US, 06/05/07)
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