Theme Hospital

Moby ID: 674

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Critic Reviews add missing review

Average score: 78% (based on 15 ratings)

Player Reviews

Average score: 4.0 out of 5 (based on 53 ratings with 3 reviews)

well, what can you say really?

The Good
Absolutely everything. This game is a masterpiece and stands out in my games collection as one of my top 10 of all time. It's in the top 5 even.

You are given an empty building, and build a hospital. Starts off small, with a few doctors, general diagnostic, reception, pharmacy and a few other necessities. Then you get up in the levels and wow - that becomes one huge hospital. You buy more land and buildings and before you know it, you own a hospital empire.

I liked the challenge of this game, it wasn't just what it appeared to be - building hospitals. It was much more, as you had to research illnesses, keep the hospital clean, plants alive, patients happy, staff happy and the bank manager too.

The Bad
Not much really. It was excellent. I think it was probably that I had no manual and took a while to get used to it. But once you learn about everything you need, you can pretty much own it - easier said than done ;)

The Bottom Line
Such an original idea, a totally classic game - I adore it. Playing it on the 19' screen with a Playstation is another added bonus.

Get your hands on this game, its addictive and you'll love it.

DOS · by Michelle (176) · 2002

Bullfrog getting everything right

The Good
Everything about the game avoids being dry and long-winded, leaving the serious approach to Civilization and the like, and ensuring that the general appeal of the hospital idea isn't wasted. The graphics are bright and cartoony, and the sound effects enlivened by some comic speech ("Will patients please try not to be sick in the corridors?" is a good example).

The largely-fictional illnesses are a good idea, enlivened by a few amusing diagnosis sheets and some entertaining animations of the specialised ones being cured. The combination of ward and operating theatre, plus the multiple uses for psychiatry and pharmacy, put a premium on hospital planning.

The importance of money within the game, and the occasional compromising of patient safety in response for money (such as epidemic cover-ups and refusing to treat risky patients if you have a 100% cure rate for the year (and need the £10,000 bonus this offers)) present a neat satire on commercial medicine.

Several new features are added as you play through the levels, including training staff, which is a minor feature on level 4 but a HUGE deal on level 5, as the local doctors are all trainees. Levels which are prone to earthquakes and epidemics add some variety as well.

The Bad
There is a slight unfinished feel to the game, evident in a few oversights, bugs and 'features'. It appears possible for other hospitals to buy the land that is available to you, but (having got as far as level 8) this doesn't seem to happen. The UK box has a sticker crudely obscuring details of a multi-player mode which was dropped at the last minute. Some training-related messages appear garbled. Objects occasionally get stuck, which makes it harder to adjust your hospital's design to accommodate a new room. Considering that it was released in April, with the first Dungeon Keeper mere weeks later, there was no excuse not to resolve these issues.

The epidemics don't work as well as they should. If a patient leaves the hospital, the Health Authority are immediately notified. Fine, but this also often happens when a patient moves from one building within the hospital to another.

A few things such as setting the temperature of the radiators are the kind of Micro-Management that should be avoided in games like this.

The Bottom Line
Superficially a sequel to Theme Park (hence the nonsensical title), Theme Hospital sets you as manager of a small-town hospital. You must hire staff, place rooms and other objects, and ensure that people are treated well enough to keep your reputation high and get your bank balance high. Succeed on the first level and you will be offered increasingly tough assignments, each with different success targets.

The game hooks you in quickly, and as long as you can cope with the occasional spells where everything is running smoothly but you have to wait to build up enough cures or money, there are enough changes on each level to keep the interest going. It's funny, original, unique, and worth checking out today.

DOS · by Martin Smith (81661) · 2020

It all started like a game...

The Good
At the beginning, to me, Theme Hospital was looking and did sound great in every aspect and I liked it very much indeed. Never been so easy and so much fun to build and run a hospital. All went right a little bit more until I couldn't manage to run my hospital in one of the levels of the game. Everything went crazy, my patients no more wanted to be patient: EPIDEMIC was covering every part of my building. People were vomiting, dying everywhere and I couldn't help them, I was the only responsible person for that chaos. It all started like a game but it didn't end like that. Game's funny? I remember the fake quarrel between Joe Pesci and Ray Liotta in Matin Scorsese's Goodfellas originated from a word, a world only, "FUNNY ha?" But before that memory I was deeply shocked when I thought Lars von Trier's movie, epidemic, its unexpected end, where epidemic's harmful touches had effected everybody, even our precious heroes: I think I will never forget "that" scream of the woman...

The Bad
If it is a Bullfrog game, I will expect repetitive gameplay. Unfortunately, Theme Hospital is forming no exception.

The Bottom Line
I know, anyone who played or will play this game can't be as clumsy as I am and I don't expect them to live the same emotions, maybe I am just exaggerating. Anyway, for me, Theme Hospital is a rare piece of art, definitely the best "hospital" simulation!

DOS · by Accatone (5191) · 2007

Contributors to this Entry

Critic reviews added by Alsy, Cantillon, Havoc Crow, Patrick Bregger, Wizo, Tim Janssen, Scaryfun.