Summer holidays or not, it’s time to head back to school at the illustrious Two Point Campus for a university spin on the Two Point Hospital formula.
Students adhere to a list of archetypes, including swot, clown and goth, and each have their own wants and needs in terms of the environment and how they learn.
For example, there are various items which are relationship-building between students, such as a heart-shaped love seat, and some students will call for different new items which match their archetype, such as a spooky Goth chair or a rose garden, which one pair of students will not stop bothering me about every month.
Herein lies the most frustrating part of the game so far. Some of us will have put hundreds of hours into Two Point Hospital, unlocking a wide range of items and decorations, and the process for unlocking new things is the same – kudosh.
Unfortunately, the amount you get is tied to in-game challenges and rewards is quite low, so you find yourself being asked to unlock three or four items at a time, and are frustratingly limited.
Another lack of flexibility, which is particularly apparent in the early stages, and no doubt by design in the vein of simplicity, is the inflexibility of teaching options. Any changes you want to make won't come into effect until the following year, and moving teachers around can be fiddly, leaving you being asked to recruit extra staff and having nothing for them to do.
Sometimes you want to be able to dig into the detail right away, and the game holds you back, which can lead to you feeling impatient.
The fun and games come from the ingenuity and fun which stems from the equipment needed to deliver the various classes, from Knight School to Wizardry to Gastronomy...
Humour has been a big part of these sorts of games, and the tannoy quips, and resident DJ, are back this time to keep you chuckling here and there.
The world map offers a range of campuses you slowly take over, and you can either max them out up to three stars, or push on to the next adventure.
There is something a little repetitive about starting from scratch each time as well, not to mention you feel like missing out on the vast wealth or even pro teachers from your previous, a little unfair, but at least the items you've unlocked are unlocked everywhere.
The fun and games come from the ingenuity and fun which stems from the equipment needed to deliver the various classes, from Knight School to Wizardry to Gastronomy.
There's a joy in seeing a little character animation, or a cheeky pun or reference which you know the game is jam packed full of. You almost feel like they've been hidden in there just for you.
The built-in downtime of the summer break can mean you're less tempted to constantly stop time to make changes during the year, which certainly has been an issue for us for our hospitals in the past, but the chaos seems to ebb and flow rather than gradually building to a nightmarish panic of queue lines everywhere.
The madness itself can be endearing, but at the same time in some areas there's not enough depth. In others there seems to be too much, but once you get your head around it all there's a really good time to be had here. No doubt there's nooks and crannies, such as student clubs, we didn't explore as much as we wanted to either.
Overall, the gamble of remixing the formula and throwing in a dash of new ideas largely works, giving us that hit of fun and frantic management we have been craving but still managing to surprise us.