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Project Hospital is out today and taking medicine very seriously

Getting a second opinion

You wait since 1997 for for a decent hospital management game, and two come along at once. Fortunately, while Project Hospital may share its isometric look with Theme Hospital and its successor Two Point Hospital, it looks like a very different beast - a far more complex and realistic management sim with no time for jokes. Developed by Oxymoron Games and released today, would be hospital managers have to balance the books, staff the wards and (ideally) make sure patents leave healthier than when they arrived. A very businesslike and proper trailer waits below.

While Theme Hospital and its pseudo-remake Two Point Hospital may have had you dealing with cartoon diseases like Lightheadedness (your head is a lightbulb) or Disco Fever (guess), Project Hospital has your staff diagnosing and treating complex real-world afflictions. While you might not need to know the science yourself, it looks like you'll juggle the books a bit more carefully in Project Hospital. Hire the right people, make sure each room serves its purpose and try not to go cross-eyed looking at the enormously complex medical charts for each and every patient.

On top of the usual sandbox and challenge modes, Project Hospital has a linear campaign mode where the player is a crisis manager. You're sent to existing but struggling hospitals to make sure that profits and survival rates improve. Given how complex the construction and decoration side of Project Hospital looks, this seems like a relief - you're not asked to rebuild from scratch, just improve on an existing, flawed design. While the hospital is still running. Okay, so maybe being a hospital crisis manager isn't the easiest of jobs, but it could make for a fun game.

While I appreciate a challenge, I've never had a head for numbers, and there comes a point in any management game where I just look for the Godzilla Attack button. Eight out of ten doctors agree that Project Hospital is not right for me, and the other two are taking bribes from big pharma. Still, I can see the kind of people who shout at Casualty on TV for being too unrealistic finding their panacea here, and people seem happy with the game so far. I know Alice Prime has had her eye on Project Hospital for a while, but there's no Wot I Think in the pipeline that I'm aware of.

Project Hospital is out now on Steam, Humble and GOG for £22.49/€22.49/$22.49, which isn't how exchange rates work at all, and I'm rubbish with numbers.

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Dominic Tarason


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