What if we created the school of our dreams? Choose funny teachers rather than tyrants, classes outside rather than between four walls, to study magic rather than geography… All this is possible in Two Point Campus, a management game in line with and the world of Two Point Hospital. Back to school is August 8 on Game Pass and all consoles, but is it a good idea to launch a game in a university setting?
This test was performed on a PC.
It’s a pleasure to rediscover the world of Two Point! Let us insist on this point from the outset, Two Point Campus is not “Two Point Hospital but school”. The engine is the same, the radio hosts are the same, the game takes place in the same universe… But everything is new, from the animations to the gags of these famous hosts (finally subtitled! Can’t wait for the dubbing, we’re there almost!) obviously passing through the gameplay. Everything is new, but this connected universe that takes shape between the Two Point games puts us in comfortable slippers. It’s the return ofa colorful and joyful world, where all misfortunes are visual jokes, with spells lessons gone wrong and seeing students sporting pumpkin heads, for example. The objects you place are pretexts for exaggerated interactions which make the simple exploration of your campus pleasant. There’s so much going on that you almost forget to build. The good news is that the gameplay has adapted to your desires to go about, but we will come back to it. Already, what is the goal?
Rich content that knows how to renew itself
Twelve scenarios are proposed to youeach taking you to a different universe with its own formations. There are 17 formations in total, and once they are unlocked, it is possible to use them on the following maps. Let’s not spoil the surprise with a few examples from the beginning of the game: cooking, chivalry, or robotics classes. One level even offers you to administer a very convincing replica of Hogwarts. You have an idea of the possibilities, and the scenarios are renewed by differentiating their gameplay, each offering unique challenges. With sometimes a balancing not quite developed but which will be corrected very quickly. Starting a campus from scratch can initially cause a sigh of laziness, but discovering the evolutions of gameplay and the subtleties of each level renews the interest in the game.
Let’s add that a complete and customizable sandbox mode is included, if the constraints are not really your thing.
Each scenario presents several objectives to complete to obtain the three stars and unlock new elements, and this by offering different challenges, but the success system keeps the same structure. If your students are happy, they study better and get good grades; if their school results are good, you have substantial financial bonuses. Of course, you will have to keep a good balance between your basic income, namely university fees or the rent paid by your students, and the salaries of your pedagogues or janitors. But above all, every month a significant bonus is paid according to the xp earned by your students.
It feels a bit like an RPG, students have a level in the training they have chosen, and earn xp as soon as they attend a course or do their homework. But all the characters also have a Sims side. They have bars of need that must be met to keep them happy during the 3 years of their course. This is crucial if you want them to pay their tuition fees. And if it goes very badly, their average will drop, and you may find yourself micro-managing trainees to whom you will have to offer tutoring.
The professors and the rest of the staff are not left out, and all these beautiful people are distinguished by particular traits, some humorous and some involving real gameplay elements. Someone who naturally has deplorable hygiene will be reluctant to wash and will complain because he is dirty… They too will have to train or be in a good mood to be more efficient. And since they are your main expense item, you will have to be careful who you recruit!
The brilliant idea of the game in two phases
We were saying that a management game generally leaves little time to go about since you have to constantly solve problems and build quickly. Two Point Campus decides to solve this problem. The game is played in two main phases, so the school year phase is all about keeping your campus running smoothly. A schedule that concerns students and teachers is established from the outset by automatically occupying the available rooms. It is not possible to make the schedule yourself, beyond the creation of special events such as student parties. But, anyway, do we want to inflict this headache on ourselves? And when they don’t have class, your students will take care of themselves or do their homework, often asking for new materials to do them, such as a well-equipped library for example.
It’s not just academic results that you will be monitoring: relations between students, creation of clubs, training of teachers, attacks by rival gangs or natural disasters punctuate campus life, in addition to the incessant demands of students or inspectors. However, this phase remains less active than that of the long holidays., since everything is supposed to work. After the delight of discovering the animations of a new classroom, the tendency is to press the “fast forward” button of the progress of time, which would even benefit from being faster. Nothing prohibits embarking on large constructions during the school year, but it is always dangerous to touch everything while the students are in class, it is a blow to break their routine.
The second phase, quite original in the world of management games, is the long summer vacation phase, a kind of active break that gives you time to plan for the next year. You have to choose from the many courses that your campus will be able to offer or improve those you already offer, and build the rooms required, taking into account the ever-increasing number of students. More students means more facilities to accommodate them, so your campus will grow from year to year. The game therefore offers you this moment of respite, infinitely expandable, before pressing the “launch the school year” button. You don’t lose money apart from what you spend on construction, your students and teachers meet their needs automatically… In short, it’s a pleasant and stress-free planning time.. You can try a layout, abandon it, improve it, change your mind about a formation… Nothing will collapse during this time, so if you want to optimize for long minutes the installation of the toilets of Annex B, have fun! And it allows you to take full advantage of the game’s cosmetic customization tools.
The Power of the Building System
The game gives you a ton of varied items to place. They add appeal to your campus, provide entertainment for your students, or simply create a place that will please your eye. And the possibilities are wide. Because now you have control of the entire proposed space, interior and exterior, in complete freedom. You can choose to have a large building that accommodates all your rooms, or several outbuildings, each with its own specialty. And some classrooms have to be built in the open anyway. This results in a management game that does not pay into the “puzzle game in disguise”, with pre-designed buildings that are not very suitable for what you want to do, which force you to turn the elements in all directions to find the right combination. Space is certainly not infinite, but as long as you have money to buy new land, you’ll have plenty of room to build whatever you have in mind.
The construction itself even has the luxury of being pleasant. It avoids redundancy if you plan to use the many tools at your disposal. Filters, favorites system, possibility of duplicating rooms or saving blueprints from one scenario to another… There is no frustration in putting on your construction site clothes. On the other hand, we regret the difficulty of finding certain information in the management interfaces. We feel a desire to make pretty displays, very “Powerpoint presentations”, but we lose clarity. For example, you couldn’t find a page that summarizes all authorized and prohibited assignments for your staff, even though Two Point Hospital offered it. If you want to manage on a large scale, who among the pedagogues is authorized to do tutoring, either the function no longer exists or yours truly has not found it. And it’s not for lack of looking… Well, it’s a bit of a negative end assessment so that the game doesn’t rest on its laurels over the next few quarters, because the report remains excellent!
- The long vacation phase, a brilliant system
- Repeating scenarios
- The many and varied training courses
- The cute, shimmering and funny universe
- The very complete construction tools
- Customization and exterior use
- Micro-management, well balanced
- The school year phase, sometimes a bit long with nothing to do
- The interfaces, it’s almost that, but not yet perfect
Two Point Campus makes an almost perfect copy by renewing the management game genre. Its amazing two-phase game system allows you to combine the best of both worlds: a game where you can build without stress and with ease, and a game where you can observe with pleasure the result of your work. If the phase of the school year turns out to be more idle than the summer holidays, it allows you to appreciate the excellent work on the atmosphere, the animations and the personalization of your campus. The game is funny and does not fall into the classic repetitiveness of the genre, thanks to its powerful construction tools and its scenarios that know how to renew themselves in terms of decor and gameplay. An example to follow !
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