|Platforms:||PC, Mac, PlayStation 1/2, PSP|
|Genres:||Strategy / Business Simulator|
You wouldn’t expect that Theme Park whimsy to be transferred into, of all things, a hospital setting. But that’s exactly what happened here. And with plenty of tasks, and an authentically feverish pace, there’s never a dull moment in Theme Hospital. Initially, players are granted their first hospital, with orders to make it successful and profitable. From an angled top-down view of the facility, players build the necessary rooms, clinics and amenities to furnish a functional, and hopefully thriving, hospital. As the game progresses, larger and more hectic hospitals are offered.
This game tries very seriously not to be taken seriously, and succeeds through the inclusion of humorous diseases and even more hilarious treatments. Take, for example, The King Complex. As tragic folks taken over by the spirit of Elvis himself (who took a hiatus from the grocery store tabloids just to grace this game), only the fine-tuned skills of a psychiatrist will meet the needs of these patients. Or Slack Tongue, caused by the excessive discussion of soap operas. Only cure? Chop the tongue off with quick, efficient, and painful ease.
At first, it’ll take a little time to figure out the necessary steps to make each hospital run smoothly. After a couple hours, the mechanics of game play become autonomic, allowing gamers to adjust their focus to the actual needs at hand. There’s no feature more welcome than the speed adjustment, set anywhere from a crawling speed to “Dead before they’re through the door” mode. It’s easy for the amount of decisions and tasks to overwhelm you in the blink of an eye. Being able to adjust the speed of the game brings welcome relief when it’s most needed
Theme Hospital truly comes alive after watching the activities that transpire within the game. Doctors rifle through folders on their desks. Patients let it rip in the rest rooms. Surgeons dress in scrubs for pending surgeries, all animated in painstaking detail. And don’t be fooled by the humorous undertones of Theme Hospital. Beneath the mirth and aortic antics lies a polished, balanced simulation.
System Requirements: 486 DX2/66, 8 MB RAM, Win 3.1 / DOS