PSX Mania – 041 – Theme Hospital (1997)

Completion time: 30:22:08

Our second channel point redemption by our friend and mod falconn00, Theme Hospital took me by surprise for a few reasons. First being that I had completely forgotten this was released on the PS1. Another reason was because this wasn’t a trolly-type game that I had expected (like another Mary Kate & Ashley game, something Winnie the Pooh, etc). Finally, I did not expect a PS1 port of a PC sim title to work this well, and be that much fun….at least early on.

Here is the problem with Theme Hospital – this is not a console challenge friendly game. For many, we play 5+ hours a stream for the most part. This isn’t a game that can be played in a marathon setting. After 2-3 hours, the experience greatly loses its luster. It’s a monotonous experience overall, and when you elongate play sessions, combined with the frustrations gained from the game, it really deteriorates your overall perception. I had to restart the game due to how overbearing the management becomes and how many game elements just made the experience awful.

With the difficulty on easy (this is any % any difficulty), Theme Hospital starts becoming more enjoyable. It does ease the management a bit too much (you don’t have to worry about managing the heat for instance until the 10th hospital). The pacing still can get overwhelming a couple of years into your residency, but the actual experience becomes more enjoyable.

That is, if you don’t marathon it.

Look, as a port from the PC, it’s shocking how well the gameplay came over. The only two nitpicks, outside the monotony after long sessions, are the speeds of scrolling around, and imprecision caused by slowdown for the majority of those issues. Otherwise creating and maintaining your hospital works very well. With it on easy, it’s vastly more enjoyable….IF you are not forced to have to marathon to regain where you were. I did five hospitals on day 2 to get back to where I had restarted at, and then another 4 the third night, and barely completing the final 3 the fourth night.

If this type of game is your jam (creating hospitals, cleaning up puke, etc), you will really enjoy Theme Hospital. Your mileage may vary with how long you can play it at once, but for me at least, a few hours at a time is ideal, otherwise it’s a monotonous nightmare. I’m happy I played it, though thrilled that I will never touch this again.

Rating: 6

Twitch VOD:
Part 1/4:
Part 2/4:
Part 3/4:
Part 4/4:

YouTube video:


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