Two Point Campus Review
I’m not sure what made me feel worse. Knowing that I left university fifteen years ago or that, whilst I was there, it had nothing like the entertaining courses that are served up to you in Two Point Campus. I studied the rather boring sounding subject of Computing for Real Time Systems which the faculty tried to jazz up by renaming it CSI: Bristol after I left. However, CSI stood for Computer Systems Integration and had very little to do with spraying luminol everywhere. To be quite honest, university wasn’t really something I enjoyed but I’d have probably enjoyed myself more studying something like Knight School, spending my days jousting with fellow students.
Those who have played Two Point Hospital will feel right at home with Two Point Campus’ controls and approach to levels. Each campus has a unique hook and objectives to obtain a star so that you can move onto the next one. This time around it’s not medical conditions you’re dealing with; instead you need to concern yourself with things like average grades, student happiness and so on. What this amounts to is a lot of keeping an eye on the minutiae. Early on this doesn’t seem so bad but as your campus expands and your students get a bit more picky, some issues rise to the surface.
Whilst teachers are important to how well your students learn, and adding things such as a library or private tuition can help, it seems Two Point Campus leans heavily on how happy your students are more than anything else. This makes sense since a happy student is an engaged student, but I often found myself flummoxed as to why a student felt bored despite having events almost every week and items relating to entertainment dotted around the campus. Equally I found it strange that a student felt unhygienic despite showers being present in every building I had going trying to combat the situation.
Despite looking through the various views, I couldn’t figure out why these students weren’t finding their way to the things they were after and eventually both of them dropped out. These same issues also meant my chances of reaching the average grade of a B+ needed to beat the level much harder to achieve. Eventually I just hoped that the students who couldn’t, seemingly, navigate their way out of a paper bag would drop out and the average grade would, over time, increase due to attrition; I was right.
Perhaps the fact that Two Point Campus strives to keep things relatively simple is something that works against it here. In other management style games where your denizens require things, you can see the paths they’re taking to get to places. This, sometimes, may help you realise that half of them never go anywhere near something either due to there not being a path or that something is obstructing them. There is something like this in Two Point Campus but only when you place an item for a student’s project, and there doesn't seem to be anything you can pull up in real-time to assess what’s going on.
Thankfully, the charm and humour that made Two Point Hospital so much fun to play is still very much a part of Two Point Campus. From oversized devices to make hamburgers and cakes to the quirky tannoy announcements and humorous radio stations, it all feels very much familiar. There’s something to be said about mild surrealism that occurs whilst playing Two Point Campus with its chirpy soundtrack playing as your janitors repel knights from a rival school with large water pistols. I also feel cooking would be far more fun if they were made using the amazing looking contraption that the creative minds at Two Point Studios came up with.
Some of the challenges are also rather unique, such as helping your school’s cheeseball team beat rival teams and hopefully lift the cup. There’s also a not-Hogwarts school that you need to revive all the while keeping away “life munchers” and battling against inclement weather like meteor storms. Some of the later levels employ different methods by which your campus earns money, making the task of staying successful ever more difficult as you progress through each of twelve available at launch. These are then escalated further should you decide to go after a two or even three star rating for your campus.
Completing levels and the many challenges that exist outside of the main tasks all reward you with Kudos. This in-game cash can then be used to unlock new items or cosmetic additions that you can use to make your campus truly unique. Feel like having a student lounge with duck wallpaper? Go for it! Think your library would look more sophisticated with some panelled wood? Say no more. You can even customise your staff’s outfits and new to Two Point Campus is the ability to build outdoors. This will no doubt encourage the very creative builders out there in the Two Point community to come up with some very imaginative campuses.
To help you build the campus of your dreams, the ability to create a blueprint of rooms you use frequently is a fantastic tool that I used quite a bit. I preferred to create my toilets in a specific way and it was super useful to create a blueprint so every time I needed to put a new toilet block down on any of my campus’ I just loaded up the blueprint and plonked it in. You can create many different blueprints so as you unlock new rooms you can work out how you want it, blueprint it and then reuse it.
Charm, however, only goes so far and having to balance the many facets of student life such as their happiness, friendships and even romances — if you’re wondering, Two Point Campus is very inclusive on this front — alongside having to schedule events, competitions and so on, as well as building the campus itself, it can become overwhelming. When you throw in a lack of information to help you see exactly why certain things aren’t working this feeling of being overwhelmed can turn to frustration. With that said, however, Two Point Studios provided fantastic post launch care for Two Point Hospital that brought with it some balance changes and quality of life upgrades. Hopefully the same will happen again.
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