Two Point Campus review: Smart management sim gets an A-grade
Two Point Campus builds off its predecessor in smart ways that make it hard to stop playing, even after dozens of hours.
I’m not sure about you, but I rarely look back on my time in education fondly. Between forgetting the right books, long bus rides full of screaming kids, and being a little on the nerdy side, I had no intention of moving into higher education. If it had been as fun as it is in Two Point Campus, though, I’d have stuck around a little longer.
Two Point Studio’s follow-up to its 2018 hit Two Point Hospital is full of charm but isn’t afraid to knuckle down and study for tougher tests. As a result, it’s a lovingly crafted management sim that takes almost everything about the first game and helps tutor it to reach even higher levels.
Two Point Campus key details
- Developer: Two Point Studios
- Price: $39.99 / £34.99
- Release date: August 9, 2022
- Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series S|X
Two Point Campus trailer
Get to work
As you can probably have gleaned from the name of each title, Two Point Campus is to academia what Two Point Hospital was to healthcare. That means you’ll take over an initial campus, build your buildings, enroll your students, and look to help them achieve results to be rewarded with additional funding.
Complete challenges and move on, or spend longer customizing your campus to your exact specifications. A big part of the appeal of Two Point Hospital is that you could breeze through each of the hospitals with relative ease, but completing challenges would take more time, and it’s good to see Two Point Campus continue that.
Also returning are the absolutely charming animations for constructing buildings. Draw a line for walls, place a door, and watch the building spring to life with cartoonish glee. Perhaps it’s to be expected with Bullfrog and Lionhead veterans at the helm, but an element of silliness permeates every single part of Two Point Campus.
Yes, that means that the excellent radio presenters return, and while they’re still spinning instrumental tracks, nothing hits quite on the same level as the last game’s Miami Swing or Night Ward. Still, there’s a healthy dose of 80’s pop culture references alongside an impressive number of DJ voice lines. These, paired with the franchise’s now iconic tannoy voice subtly mocking students, staff, and even the player, are likely to keep players coming back.
If you found taking over failing hospitals in the last game to be a little too depressing, then you’ll be pleased to know that Two Point Campus reaches much more fantastical levels.
After the tutorial level, the game stacks its mechanics (and comedic energy) ever upward. From culinary school to wizardry and spy school, no two levels are the same.
Success is judged based on completing objectives that range from keeping students happy to helping them achieve the desired results in any number of courses, while each Campus adds interesting new layers to the core management fundamentals. Upper Etching, the game’s performing arts school, requires players to level up students more quickly in lieu of tuition fees, while on a more micro-level, the warm temperature of Pebberley Ruins requires additional air conditioning.
On their own, these are fairly simple considerations, but when they’re stacked on top of plenty more like the Gastronomy department’s giant burgers, things can get out of hand. The spy school even has moles that work to sabotage other students, who must be rooted out and expelled before they hamper results.
It’s not just students you need to look after, either, with staff needing to be managed so they have a place to rest, are pleased with their salary, and aren’t overworked, while also using earned cash to buy things to keep them happy like special staff room items that they request.
Much of that follows the successful template set by Two Point Hospital, but one of the biggest changes here is the inclusion of school years. Not only do these set regular checkpoints to assess your Campus’ progress, but they also offer a welcome break between graduation and the next semester.
During this time, you can construct buildings, hire additional staff, and begin preparing for additional courses. Two Point Hospital’s targets and timeframes could feel arbitrary, but while it’s nice to have a regular “finish line” of sorts, most of Two Point Campus’ objective deadlines need to be completed each year. Fail, and you may need to wait another year, which can be a tad frustrating, but similarly helps to focus the mind ahead of exam season.
A huge part of Two Point Campus’ appeal, though, is the campuses themselves. While the basic template doesn’t change, rotating the core mechanics through jousting lessons at Noblestead and Blundergrad’s gadget labs keeps things consistently fresh.
All the themed campus options are a treat, and watching Noblestead’s castle grounds spring additional buildings as you add more courses, students, and faculty members is great fun.
Arguably the high point, though, is the Wizardry school Spiffinmoore. Aside from having kids flinging spells all over the place, your janitors also have their work cut out from them keeping the school safe from invasions.
It’s Hogwarts by any other name, but the silliness and family-friendly humor elevate it to be something all its own.
The Verdict – 9/10
Two Point Campus is the kind of moreish strategy experience that can occupy players for a matter of hours or a matter of months. It constantly builds upon itself and its predecessor without feeling overbearing and is the most fun you can have in education. A certain A-grade for fans of its predecessor.
Reviewed on PC
For more adventures in academia, but sure to check out our review of The Sims 4: High School Years.