Two Point Campus preview: All the charm of campus life with much less debt
It's all fun and games until somebody fails Scientography.
It’s been a little while since we’ve heard from Two Point Studios, the developers behind the popular and wacky life simulator Two Point Hospital. Their sophomore release, Two Point Campus, was announced with an expected May 26, 2022, release date. Unfortunately, Two Point Studios was affected by the COVID-19 pandemic like all the rest of us, and as such, much of the production for Two Point Campus was done remotely. This resulted in the game being delayed until Aug. 9, so that it could fully come together.
I recently had the opportunity to go hands-on with Two Point Campus, and I was pleasantly surprised by the current state of the game. Despite the struggles of developing a game remotely during a global pandemic, the game played exceptionally well and the potential for the final product was already shining through.
What is Two Point Campus?
Like its predecessor, Two Point Campus is a slice-of-life and management simulator, though this time around we’re managing higher education as opposed to medical high rises. Players are tasked with enrolling new students to their educational institution and meeting their needs by providing dormitories and amenities while also choosing courses and managing the necessary staff to keep the facility afloat. There’s one twist here, though, in that everything about your campus is very silly.
Two Point Campus leans heavily into puns and visual gags combined with a comical art style that will remind some of classic Wallace and Gromit to inject humor into an otherwise stiff and serious institution. It’s simply not funny enough to have players building their own night school from the ground up but instead they must build and manage an actual Knight School, complete with important classes like Jousting and security measures such as warding off rival school intruders.
Two Point Campus starts each player with an overworld map, with different school scenarios scattered about Two Point County. Completing one scenario with at least one star unlocks the next, allowing players to gradually implement new skills as they learn by doing throughout the game. At any time, a player can save a campus’ progress and go back to the overview map to return to a previously played campus. Once there they can use tips and techniques learned in later levels to improve their older schools and unlock better scores.
Two Point Campus: The possibilities are almost endless
The team at Two Point Studios aren’t just content to inject their own humor and style into Two Point Campus, though. They want the players to have the creative freedom to make their universities their own. There are some pretty large advances in Two Point Campus’ technology over what was previously released in Two Point Hospital. In Hospital, players were limited to purchasing lots and expanding their buildings within the walls of existing structures.
Two Point Campus adds to that functionality, giving players the freedom to purchase empty lots on which they can build their campus buildings however they would like. The freedom to design your school your way continues to drill down to the size and shape of your classrooms, dormitories, and student unions. The addition of often-requested features, such as room copies and templates, drives home just how much Two Point Studios has listened to the feedback from fans of Two Point Hospital and taken those requests into account for Campus.
One thing to remember is that with great creative freedom comes at least a little bit of creative responsibility. Your designs do impact your students, and you will want to think carefully about the placement of benches and social hubs. College is about so much more than just education, and there is value in fostering relationships through carefully curated flower beds with romantic benches and dining opportunities. Building lasting friendships and even forcing some adorable meet cutes help to make the citizens of Two Point County feel more like fleshed-out citizens rather than just slapstick placeholders. New face animations and a brand-new rigging system also help the students' and faculty's personalities shine.
Two Point Campus: I’m ready to enroll
Throughout my hands-on time with Two Point Campus, there was one pressing issue in the back of my mind. Eventually I was going to have to stop playing the game and wait until the full release like everybody else. Each passing moment in Two Point County gave me a new experience, whether it was watching it rain down frogs all over campus or staring in fear as my students conducted experiments in the Scientography labs. You’re never really quite prepared for what Two Point Studios is going to lob at you next, but you will undoubtedly enjoy it.
Two Point Campus launches on Aug. 9, 2022, and will be available via Xbox Game Pass and PC Game Pass. There's certainly plenty of potential for Two Point Campus to be considered one of the best strategy and simulation games the service has to offer.
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Cole is the resident Call of Duty know-it-all and indie game enthusiast for Windows Central. She's a lifelong artist with two decades of experience in digital painting, and she will happily talk your ear off about budget pen displays.