Two Point Campus is a goofy management sim created by a British studio that gave us Two Point Hospital. Calling it a “sim” might be an exaggeration because the systems it simulates are grotesquely and hilariously trivialized. Like its predecessor, it tries to use satire and humor to paint a picture of a complex business entity from a manager’s point of view. This time, it is a university, or rather a series of universities with different backgrounds and curricula. From cooking-oriented college in a fictional Italian setting to a Hogwarts-like academy of magical arts, you’ll face similar challenges. You will worry about money, a single resource on which everything else revolves, more than anything else.
Money makes the curriculum work
Unintended satire or not, cash flow is the alpha and omega of all things education at Two Point Campus. Your monthly earnings depend on the number of students enrolled, their average grades, and other attributes. Building university facilities and hiring staff is understandably a budget issue. But the grades and happiness of the students also directly depend on the money allocated to the objects around them. College spirit, politics, academic trends, or even headhunting don’t exist here. To develop an expert in any given field, all you need to do is put the teacher in the brain machine, select the appropriate training, and wait. If you have the money to pay for the training room, brain machine, faculty recruitment fee, and salary, you can produce as many academic giants as you like. The same goes for attendants and concierges. Other systems follow the equally simple/banal principle.
Two Point Campus consists of several different colleges, with a linear campaign (of sorts) that, in part, serves as an extended tutorial. Each new university is unlocked after achieving a one-star rating at the previous one, which isn’t particularly difficult. At some point, you will open the sandbox mode, where you can customize the challenges and adjust the difficulty in various ways. During the campaign, you will unlock countless items that will allow you to fully customize the academy of your dreams. Unlocking costs Kudosh points, awarded for completing specific tasks and internal achievements. Placing unlocked stuff on the field, you guessed it, costs money and nothing else.
Spam items to win
To have a functional university, you should try to meet the basic requirements in terms of classes, housing and extracurricular activities. It will build conference rooms, laboratories, libraries and other facilities, such as a jousting field at the knight’s college. Students also need bedrooms, bathrooms, showers, and places to rest and relax. All buildable facilities and the general environment can be customized with optional and unlockable items. Additional reading tables in the library allow more students to use it simultaneously, for example. Other items, such as potted plants and signs, add to the environmental value of your surroundings. You can spam most articles without diminishing returns, as long as you can afford it and have space. You don’t have to worry about aesthetics. Creating a congested, uninhabitable monstrosity and benefiting from overlapping element auras is a viable strategy.
So money allows for comfort and happiness, which translates to good grades, which translates to higher monthly income. You can scale that profit cycle as long as you have room to build facilities. Every campaign mission has a twist or two, but none of them can lead to failure. For example, on a map, you’ll get regular intrusions from the rival school, but one or two security-trained janitors will take care of that. It is very, very difficult to fail in this game.
Dad jokes and general embarrassment
Two Point Campus’s silliness is simple and cheerful, without the sinister undertones present in, say, Tropico. Their radio hosts mostly talk superficial things related to campus life. At best, you can expect tame satire on student loans and related debt prospects; at worst, jokes about purple chicken and unattended sandwiches. Inconsequential white noise, not much else I’m afraid. The developers had a great opportunity to teasingly touch the safe spaces and the university woke up the trends in general, but they finally moved away from any possible controversy.
In many ways, Two Point Campus reminded me of the Idle games popular on iOS and Android these days. Using basic common sense or blind instinct, you can accumulate things and the result will come by itself, requiring minimal corrections and input later. Some people will appreciate a simplistic approach with no chance of real failure, but players looking for a challenge will be disappointed. Others will argue that the real value lies in unlocking a million customization items and joyfully building the campus of your dreams. They also have a valid point.
- Good-natured and cheerful fun.
- Suitable for younger audiences or players with less management simulation experience.
- The lack of a significant challenge will discourage experienced players.
- Dad jokes and has a lot of humor.