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This new management game looks like Theme Hospital meets Startopia

In space nobody accepts your health insurance

Far be it from me to get excited about games that have just been announced, but the reveal trailer for Galacticare has slapped this management game right onto the old radar. An intergalactic radar, in fact, because this is a hospital management game - in spaaaaace! - coming later this year. It's from a Brighton-based indie studio called Brightrock Games, and it sort of looks like Theme Hospital with a space skin, or Startopia with a hospital sim. Neither option is a bad thing, in my opinion.

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According to the shiny new Steam page, Galacticare will offer both a campaign and a sandbox moder, where you build a hospital, satisfy the needs of your variously weird alien patients and staff, and, you know, try to cure them (with sometimes experimental treatment facilities). You'll meet with different scenarios, including providing healthcare for music festivals, prisons and industrial disasters. So far, so hospital, but some of the aliens have a distinctly Startopian flavour to them.

You might encounter, for example, a "DJ, a big-veg farmer, a fungus-addled monk, and may others". The voiceover in the trailer is giving big Startopia, too. I've always wondered why more people don't make games that are just take-offs of wildly successful 90s/00s games, and apparently Brightrock agree with me, because their previous game War For The Overworld is a base-bulding strategy game that, from the look of things, might as well have been called Shmungeon Shmeeper.

Nothing wrong with that; I call it sound business sense. But I'm being a bit unfair, because it's not like Galacticare is doing nothing new. Different species have different personal habits, of course, but in this game you can develop relationships with them, Star-Trek first-contact style, earning you bonuses from their respective cultures. That could be really cool in practise!

Put simply: I am well into this game's pitch, but, as with every game, you won't know if promise is fulfilled until you've played it. Still, one to keep your eye on, even if your eye is a diseased alien eye-stalk. Galacticare is wishlistable on Steam now, but no release date beyond 2023 yet.

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