Can we all knock off work early? If we stick together, surely The Man will be powerless to stop us as we march in unison out our offices, taxis, shops, warehouses, workshops, fields, pools, forests, and skies to go play Theme Hospital. Bullfrog’s fine comedy hospital management sim is currently free on Origin, see, but I can’t go pop the balloonoid noggins of people suffering Bloaty Head or mock people in blue suede shoes with King Complex because ugh I have to write a thing for the Internet about how Theme Hospital is a great game and free on Origin right now. Unbelievable.
Theme Hospital is a great game, mind. It’s a Bullfrog management sim about running a hospital and curing patients’ wacky diseases. They might have long flapping tongues, literal iron lungs, delusions of Elvis, or… The Squits. Heaven help you if your waiting room collects a backlog of patients with The Squits. You lay out the hospital, fill rooms with equipment and trinkets, hire staff, and try to keep things running smoothly and profitably. It is tricky, funny, and jolly satisfying.
It is free on Origin right now too, as EA’s latest ‘On the House’ promo freebie to tempt people into using Origin. It runs in DOSBox, so you don’t even need to open Origin once it’s downloaded. Sure, it only usually costs £3.99, but Origin isn’t that demanding and hey, at times in my life, four quid has been my food budget for a week.
You might want to try running it in the open-source replacement engine CorsixTH, which you simply plug the game’s data files into. CorsixTH adds things like support for modern high resolutions, but I do believe it’s not quite complete yet.
I mean, obviously over the course of writing this post I downloaded Theme Hospital and played the first mission again. Take that, The Man! [Psst you’re News Editor here, you little revolutionary – ed.]