Two Point Campus Review: Salutatorian

Running a school is a tough job, especially when your cooking classes are just a front for a secret spy school. Two Point Campus is a management sim in which you build a thriving university while trying to juggle a variety of goofy elements. It feels like the perfect sequel to 2018’s Two Point Hospital, with a goofy sense of humor and solid strategy systems that make it an absolute blast. Two Point Campus gets the most important thing about management games: it’s about the big picture rather than the details.

Two Point Campus Review: Salutatorian

Your goal in Two Point Campus is to build the best college campus possible, while juggling income, student happiness, and more. The main part of the game is divided into a variety of different maps, all of which come with unique objectives that you must complete to earn stars, with a star needed on each map to advance to the next. Completing all maps unlocks a sandbox mode, where you can play to your heart’s content. It’s a little disappointing that you can’t immediately jump into the sandbox, but there’s still enough dynamic content to keep any gamer happy until then. The interesting thing about Two Point Campus is that each of these maps is designed around a unique college campus map gradually introducing the core mechanics of the game, slowly adding more elements as you master the things. One map lets you create the perfect sports school and challenge other universities to Cheeseball matches, while another lets you create a wizarding school, where you have to keep the students happy amidst the rains. of meteors and evil hexagons. There are loose goals that dictate how you build your school, but overall it’s up to you how things are built. Teachers manage classrooms and provide tutoring, assistants help run various locations like libraries and food stalls, and janitors work to keep grounds clean and upgrade equipment. Once you’ve built the various university halls and staffed them, things pretty much work themselves out. Two Point Campus’ core loop is much more about finding small ways to improve your overall functioning before you revel in the craziness of how it works. Each room on campus has a level of prestige which can be improved by placing additional items in it and making it more beautiful. The higher the prestige level, the better the performance of the room. There are also many small things that can be tied to how your campus works. You can place special club podiums around that provide bonuses to students; the Speedwalking Club podium increases their overall movement speed, for example. You can also schedule parties and musical performances to give big boosts to your student’s entertainment needs in addition to other bonuses. There is also a system called Kudosh, which is used to unlock a host of new items. You earn Kudosh by reaching milestones for dozens of different categories, such as providing archeology courses or increasing the attractiveness of your campus. These milestones apply to the whole game, not just to specific levels. Although you usually have a decent income from Kudosh, it can be frustrating to receive a request from a student that you can’t meet because you don’t have enough. Yet the system gives you a secondary set of goals to achieve. When it comes to making money, each student pays a rolling tuition every month, and you get even more money every month from the amount of XP your students earn. You will need to balance your income with your employee salaries, maintenance costs, etc. It’s a delicate balancing act that you’ll need to constantly master to keep making improvements. Two Point Campus features the same cartoon art style as Two Point Hospital, and one of the most fun parts of the game is watching the goofy antics of your students and staff. Culinary students cook massive burgers the size of a tiny house, counterculture students strut around in leather jackets, and witchcraft students hit each other with spells. There is so much personality and dynamism in every aspect that it is simply a pleasure to sit down and watch the machine you have built work. Two Point Campus definitely looks a lot like Two Point Hospital, and if you’ve spent hundreds of hours in that game, there might be a bit of deja vu here. However, Two Point Campus really does a phenomenal job of making each campus feel unique and different, and the later levels are the best. The music-focused tier throws a wrench in things by not giving you any tuition money, but every time a student levels up you get a bonus. Meanwhile, the spy school introduces another mechanic: a mole is infiltrating your campus, and you need to track them down and kick them out so they don’t drag your other students down. It also helps that the game’s UI and interface is easy to navigate, with everything clearly separated into tabs for rooms, interior items, and exterior items. At least on PC, it’s incredibly easy to rotate and adjust items to place them where you want or even move and edit them after the fact.

Two Point Campus Review The Basics

Advantages

Easy-to-use systems. The levels do a fantastic job of mixing up the gameplay. Smooth user interface and easy to navigate interface. The gameplay focuses on improving your campus, instead of micromanaging everything. Really good sense of humor.

The inconvenients

Sandbox mode must be unlocked from the start. Doesn’t change the formula of Two Point Hospital a lot. The Kudosh system can be slightly frustrating. Much like the previous game in the series, Two Point Campus has a phenomenal sense of humor, with tongue-in-cheek student announcements cutting to “asking students not to ask questions,” among other chuckle-worthy things. Each map also has advisors and other characters who occasionally chime in with their own dialogue, and it all adds to the overall comedic tone. Somehow, Two Point Campus manages to strike a great balance between easy-to-pick-up gameplay and in-depth management mechanics. There’s an undeniable joyful joy in spending hours meticulously placing objects, watching it grow into a huge, well-oiled university. As stressful as you might think running a school would be, Two Point Campus is nothing short of fun.
[Note: Sega provided the copy of Two Point Campus used for this review.]

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