The Two Point series has been capturing the charm of management games and the next iteration, Two Point Campus, continues what they do best.
Two Point Campus continues everything Two Point Hospital did with goofy humor and great management style fun. Instead of building quirky hospitals, however, you are set out to build college campuses ranging from standard party schools to even Knight school…Yes, Knight school.
Two Point Campus
Developer: Two Point Studios
Platforms: PC (Steam), PS4/PS5 (Reviewed on PS5), Xbox Series X (GamePass)
Release Date: August 9th, 2022
A majority of the game is set out in a story mode where you go from campus to campus fulfilling objectives in order to unlock new schools and new tools to use. These levels are basically plots of land with limited money to get going; along with new themes for each one. What makes each one somewhat challenging is the needs of the school start to outweigh your own wants for it.
For example, adding new courses will require new rooms to be built. With some schools offering limited space you will find yourself destroying unique design choices to simply jam pack a new lecture hall in. Beyond that, the game isn’t too tedious with management skills. Most levels I found you can just pack in what you can, upgrade the scenery to increase the campus level, and slowly but surely your money goes up. While I found it to be relatively easy, I also found myself spending hours on end playing the game.
What I’d like to be improved though is the more in-depth management issues within the schools. The game will alert you throughout the school year that a student is deciding to leave (or they are failing), but it’s extremely hard to pinpoint said student. Some students’ wants are listed in a personal goals area where you can add park benches or other random items, but that’s about the only direct response you have.
Another issue I had were teachers and assistants randomly leaving…but not really? Once, I added a library assistant to run the library. Then I added a second, and third, library in different buildings and added assistants to those. At one point the game would alert me that one of the libraries was lacking an assistant. I assumed these teachers/assistants were quitting, but upon checking my employee list, I noticed they all were still there and there was no way to really assign them to go back to their room.
It becomes an issue later in the game when you unlock the ability to train them and create some better teachers/assistants and one of them is nowhere to be found. Or, for example, I had trained one teacher to be extremely good at research, but other teachers kept going in the research room and hogging it up so that teacher couldn’t go in and finish the research faster.
With everything said above, the game basically throws curveballs at you to throw you off. One school wants to be a “party school,” so they get bored very easily, and you find yourself packing in fun in every corner you can. Meanwhile course work is taking a back seat so you have less tuition and bonuses to work with because the students are not meeting the goals.
Some schools are obvious like this, while other schools will see complaints galore and whatever you do doesn’t seem to help it. I had a school that was complaining the environment wasn’t good so they wanted to leave, but I had flooded every open space I could with items supposed to “increase environment” and had no idea how to fix this any further. It’s these odd curveballs that will keep you guessing and throw in random spikes that challenge you to figure out a new course of action.
One thing I found somewhat simplistic is the game doesn’t provide a sense of crowd control at all. When I was in college I remember needing to sprint across campus in less than 15 minutes to get to my next class. So it seems to me if Two Point was going to add crowd control then this game would be the one to do it. Instead you can build courses anywhere, and as long as bathrooms and dorms are within the same general area there will be nothing wrong with it.
I never ran into an issue with a specific area being crowded to the point of it becoming non-functional, or students missing courses because they simply couldn’t get to it in time etc… There are aspects of control by scheduling classes on certain days, or specific events, but having them all together never really bothered anything. The most you really get is a ticker above rooms, or objects, that are at max capacity that will show how many students are waiting to get in or use the object. The only time this became an issue for me was when students needed specific things (like a computer desk in the library) to pass a course, if they had to wait too long to get it then they would fail their course.
At the end of every academic year the game will rate you based on student scores, passes/fails, and any achievements you made such as upgrades and increasing skills for staff. The better you do the more points you get to spend on upgrading courses, or adding new ones. Based on these decisions you then have to gear up the school for the improved courses and start a new year, and you kind of “suffer” the entire year if you made a mistake of raising tuition too high etc..
The game offers a whimsical art style paired with funny jokes to keep you entertained, and the further along you go the more unique and interesting campuses become. However one thing I wish was added is more sound effects. In Sim games if you zoom in real close to certain things you will start to hear the sound effects, or people talking, and more bustling areas have more crowd noise etc…. In Two Point campus there really isn’t any of this and I really wanted to hear robots being built, or people working in the kitchen, and even the knight school could have warranted really neat Huzzah moments that could have added more depth to the environment. Heck simply changing the soundtrack for each school would have been neat.
The jokes for college students will have you busting up laughing though because they all play on what you as a student would normally be thinking. Things like “students are expected to be at two places at once” get me every time. I’m glad the game didn’t take a “realistic” approach, and instead has a more cartoony look to it with some really interesting art designs in every classroom. I do wish we had a tiny bit more artistic freedom in placement (such as being able to build diagonal walls), but I feel that the grid structure makes the game extremely easy to play.
Also on the plus side is the controls and simplicity of accessing every menu. Placement is so well done that even on consoles I was swinging through everything with ease. I hardly ever came across an area where I couldn’t do exactly what I wanted, and the entire game feels extremely functional in every regard from a controller perspective. I not once felt restricted by the use of a controller.