Two Point Campus Review: An Indie Classic?

Image credit: SEGA

After what was largely considered to be a large success with Two Point Hospital, Two Point Studios – after four long years – finally gave us the highly anticipated sequel: Two Point Campus.

For those that are unaware, Two Point Hospital – and now Two Point Campus – are simulation games on Switch, Steam, PlayStation and Xbox.

Simulation games generally offer relaxed fun and can usually keep you entertained for prolonged periods of time without any need to play in a competitive fashion, and often without any need to achieve any objective whatsoever.

In this Two Point Campus review, I’ll give you my honest thoughts on this charming indie offering.

Does it live up to expectations? Does it offer replayability and good value for money? We’ll explore all of that and more.

Gameplay

We’ll start by looking at Two Point Campus’s gameplay.

Like most simulation builders, the gameplay is fairly straightforward and easy to pick up even if you’ve never played one before.

You begin by being dropped into a plot of land and given a budget to work with. This budget is used to plan out and build all of the different rooms you need within your University.

You’ll require learning facilities and lecture theatres, alongside dormitories and personal hygiene rooms like bathrooms and shower rooms. The aim is fairly simple: create a university where students will thrive.

You’ll be judged at the end of each year by your students’ performance, so it’s important to give them the best environment to learn in as you can. The game holds your hand through the majority of this in your first building, so it’s pretty easy to make sure everything is in place for a functional university campus.

This sets the tone for the type of gameplay you’ll be experiencing throughout.

It’s extremely casual, which is a nice break from the usual competitive nature of video games these days, but it does mean that it can get a bit repetitive after a few hours of playing. One thing that does help with this though are the challenges that the game gives you to complete.

These are often little things like upgrading rooms and scheduling events, but they help provide more of a purpose to your time spent on the game.

Completing challenges earns you in-game currency in the form of ‘Kudosh’ – which is a great name by the way – that allows you to buy new equipment for your campus that previously wasn’t available for selection.

One of the key goals of the game is to improve your campus prestige so it becomes the best University in the land, and additionally-unlocked items will definitely help you do this, so there’s a good incentive for you to complete the tasks that they set.

Despite many items being locked behind Kudosh, it’s great to see that you can’t buy Kudosh with real money to speed things up. It’s not a pay-to-win game and there are no microtransactions included whatsoever.

In terms of how the game feels to play, it’s generally pretty smooth.

I’m playing on PC, so this may be a little different for console players, but all of the controls are easy to pick up and work as you’d expect them to.

Designing and building each room is extremely simple, and it even selects the next item for you that you need to place, so you’re never guessing what to include. 

The gameplay is a little repetitive after you play for a good chunk of time, but that’s the same for almost all sim builders. You’re not looking for something new and exciting with this genre, but something to zone out to instead.

It’s a great game to sit back and enjoy for a few hours at a time.

Overall, I’d give Two Point Campus a 7/10 for gameplay.

Visuals

This game isn’t trying to compete with top tier titles in terms of graphics, but that’s all part of its allure.

The charming and simplistic cartoon art style really suits the overall vibe when playing.

If you played Two Point Hospital, you’ll know that this game is supposed to be very arcade-like. Your students will partake in fun and wacky activities that you would definitely not see at your average university, so none of this is supposed to be taken too seriously. 

However, even though that may be the case, the overall look of the game is actually brilliant.

When you fully zoom into each room you can see what’s going on and it really feels like a small world is at your fingertips. Each character will be up to something and you get to just sit back and watch, which is actually quite therapeutic from my experience.

Alongside this, the individual character design of the students and staff is quite amusing.

You have random students that look like vampires and staff that are dabbing in their pictures…I’m not sure how I feel about that on reflection.

This game doesn’t take itself seriously at all, and this is shown in how the characters look and even the names they are given.

Somehow, despite the game being so graphically basic, there is a lot of detail packed into every room – there’s even a Crazy Taxi arcade machine that has footage from the real original game on screen. Little details like that are everywhere, which gives it a really immersive feel when playing.

As for outside of the campus, the surrounding areas also look great, with there always being something going on around you while you’re playing.

For example, in the initial area, Freshleigh Meadows, you’re located next to a canal, or in Piazza Lanatra you’re within the confines of a buzzing town square.

All of these locations provide a more realistic setting for your campus and it makes each new area exciting and different. Whilst there’s nothing groundbreaking about the graphics here, it’s undeniably charming.

Every single setting is vibrant and this keeps you engaged whilst also being incredibly therapeutic at the same time.

I think it would significantly detract from the game’s appeal if the graphics were any better or more realistic than they currently are, and for that reason, I’m awarding Two Point Campus a solid 7/10 for the visuals.

Features

Moving on to the features within the game, you start with a limited amount of buildings that you choose from, but this expands as you unlock new areas and up the prestige of your university.

While it may seem a little basic right at the beginning, it’s supposed to be, as you’re tasked with working your way up to the cooler facilities and features the game has to offer.

Every time you level up your university you’ll unlock access to new items to place down, which can include new arcade games for students, clubs for them to join and other miscellaneous things like posters and plants.

Just when you think you’ve filled your campus with everything you can imagine, a bunch of new things become available, which definitely keeps the game feeling fresh.

I wouldn’t say there are a tonne of features within the game, but there are enough additional items to hold your attention.

One of the features this game does boast is that you can upgrade your courses and start new ones each year.

With the use of Course Points in Two Point Campus, which you can obtain by leveling up your campus, you can improve your courses so that you take on more students and subsequently make more money from each of them.

The Course Points feature is a good idea, but I’d like to see more ways for you to obtain them, rather than it solely being through upgrading your campus. It makes the progression system quite one dimensional and it can get a little repetitive after a while.

A feature I do really like is that when you move to a new area and begin building your campus, you’ll slowly start to access new rooms that you haven’t seen before.

For example, in the first area you have the basic lecture theatre, laboratory, dormitories and wash rooms, but when you progress you start to unlock things like student bars, private tuition rooms and other cool rooms that offer new experiences for your students. This allows for each different location to feel like a completely different campus, with an array of courses and activities on offer. 

Sadly, a lot of the in-game features do boil down to just leveling up items you already have, or training staff that you’ve already hired.

For a game that seems to have so many different things going on at once, I’d have liked to have seen a few more features on offer, especially in terms of increasing room prestige without cheesing the game’s mechanics – for example, you can spam posters across every tile of every wall to significantly improve every room.

But seeing as it’s just a casual indie game to relax and play, I think it’s fine for what it is. I’d give Two Point Campus a 6/10 for features.

Enjoyability

Now onto the last criteria, we’re looking at enjoyability.

This is perhaps the most important thing to get right when designing a game like this because the idea is to have the player investing a lot of time into it.

The good news is that this game is far from boring. You’ll never find yourself just sitting there without anything to do as you’re constantly bombarded with requests from students and challenges that the game has given you.

Much like any building sim, most of the reward comes from slowly building a masterpiece, which you can then sit back and admire once you’re done.

Two Point Campus certainly offers this, with an amazing level of campus expansion on offer. Each area has 10 plots of land for you to buy and build on, so even just maxing out one area can take a significant amount of time. On top of that, there are loads of different and unique areas for you to unlock, making this game seem near enough endless. 

If you’re someone that likes games that have a grinding aspect to them then you’ll enjoy it, no questions asked.

As I said at the beginning, the gameplay is super simple to pick up, and creating your dream campus is pretty fun overall. Even if you just stick to the first area, you can build a huge ten-building campus to just sit and admire, if that’s your thing.

A lot of the enjoyability of this game comes from the activities that you can have the students doing. They can take part in student union parties, play sports and generally just socialise with each other round campus.

A lot of the fun comes from simply spectating.

Also, there’s something oddly satisfying about your students passing their exams and succeeding. It’s like watching your cartoon children graduate – but then they immediately disappear and you forget all about them.

I’d say the fun factor of this game is its main strength, it’s the reason why you pick a game like this up and spend hours playing. In terms of its fun factor, this game scores an extremely respectable 8/10.

Summary

In summary, here’s how I rated Two Point Campus:

Gameplay: 7/10

Visuals: 7/10

Features: 6/10

Enjoyability: 8/10

Overall rating: 7/10

Overall, my review of Two Point Campus is that it’s a cute, fun-to-play indie game with a lot of potential if you’re looking to unwind after a busy day.

It has a good amount of replayability and you could easily dip in and out of playing this for years to come.

I’d definitely recommend giving it a try and I think it’s worth the full RRP of $39.99.

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