Two Point Campus - Big Manager on Campus
PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, Nintendo Switch
I love management games. I like ‘em silly, where you spend most of your time doing horrifying things to your populace, and I also like ‘em complex, where you need to look at graphs and consider supply lines and spreadsheets to make things work. The former of these types of management games aren’t seen a whole lot any more, but that’s where Two Point Campus comes in. Well, comes in again, after Two Point Hospital.
I’ve not played the predecessor to this game, but I know my wife absolutely adores it. I won’t deny I lean it a bit more to the more in-depth management games, but I think every style has its place. Two Point is a very light touch for the most part. You’re tasked with running a campus (spoilers!), which most comes down to making sure grades are good and teachers aren’t slacking off. There is more to it, of course. For grades to be good, students need their needs met; comfort, hunger and thirst, toilet needs, entertainment and the like. As you progress through the career mode more needs will be added, like medical or psychological needs that require attending to.
Those extra unlocks through level progression do a few things; firstly they make the entire career mode feel a bit like a tutorial, secondly they give you a reason to consider going back to those earlier levels, now with extra pressures and benefits that mix things up. I’m torn about how I feel about the drip fed unlock system. It does make you dip your toes in kind of slowly, but I really wanted to jump in at the deep end. This being said, I could see how this system works for some people, as it gives them time to adjust to new mechanics as they arise before they need to adapt to the next layer.
There is a bit of a juxtaposition between what the game is giving off as a vibe and the way it wants you to get your three stars on a level. Generally, the game has a super laid back feel, where things generally sort themselves out with little input from you outside of building rooms, hiring staff, and decorating. Getting those three stars requires being quite masterful with the mechanics, but it feels like the game does very little to help you get there. Often I was just scratching my head thinking “Why won’t this student drop what they are doing and go to the loo?” or “Why are all these people ignoring the entertainment and complaining they’re bored?” I don’t have answers to a lot of these questions, as the overlays and popups the game gives are pretty lightweight, and doesn’t give you a whole lot of information around critical issues. Would be great to see this fixed up a bit in the future, and thankfully it’s not so awful that it couldn’t be brought in via patches or the like.
I spoke about the silliness earlier, and man I do love me some puns. I think the game really nails the one-liners. I found myself giggling to myself at course names and descriptions. Their short, punchy jokes are really great. Campus radio, not so much. I actually think they were riffing on non-professional students running the radio as their side gig, which honestly if true is a good bit, but doesn’t make a whole lot of entertainment to listen to. The radio ads are pretty great though, I quite enjoyed them. After a time, I did turn the subtitles on and dropped the radio volume, which led me to find out the subtitles are timed quite badly. Not a deal breaker, but it’s always a bit of a bummer to see.
In general, Two Point Campus is a fun game. It’s quite relaxing on the whole for a management game, but there is a good bit of challenge to be found later in career levels and three starring levels if you’re itching to really flex your management muscles. I wish there was a bit more feedback on issues so you can fix bottlenecks, but a lot of these can be solved by just throwing more of everything at the students and hoping for the best. Knowing Two Point Studios, there’s going to be a good bit of support for this game in the future in terms of DLC and content updates, so I’ll be keeping a keen eye on this one long term.
Two Point Campus was reviewed on PC with a review code kindly provided by 5 Star Games