Publisher: Electronic Arts
Developer: Bullfrog Productions
Release: March 26, 1997
Platforms: Playstation 2, PC
Theme Hospital was one of those games that came out for the computer years ago, ten years if you want to know the
truth on its release. When the game came out it had a mild popularity rate, people who had Theme Hospital, the
first amusement park building game that rocked, bought Theme Hospital. Bullfrog did a nice job with Theme Park
and Theme Hospital, but not everything about Theme Hospital is good.
When you start this game up you will be treated to an amusing intro video, which is still funny I think. Once you
are done with this you will see a screen with a doctor holding a chainsaw. That's a little scary, seeing a doctor with
a big power tool like that. Hell I am not sure if a chainsaw is considered a power tool, those things are just crazy.
Remember The Texas Chainsaw Massacre? Leather Face put people into a long sleep with his chainsaw and this doctor, who knows,
but all he wants to know is your name and he is gone. So....yeah the chainsaw doctor knows my name...I am going to sleep well tonight.
After you've cleaned your pants, depending if the chainsaw wielding doctor scared you or not, you'll see the crazy
scientist. I think he is the nerd of the office because he has a KICK ME sign on his back. Poor guy,
I hope this doesn't mean the chainsaw doctor will hurt him, I'd hate to see that. One thing that I thought was neat about this game was it had online play. Yes Theme
Hospital had online play and honestly I've never played it. Theme Hospital came out before the Internet was in everyones' house and when the Internet was every
where this game got lost in the dust. If anyone has this game and wants to try it out let me know, I am curious to see how this game plays online. I'm just assuming
we both play and we can see how much money we are making. Nothing too fancy, but if you want to brag to your friend then buy two copies of this game, if you can find
it, and try it, just make sure to let me know how it is.
Depending on if your copy of this game is new or not you get to set the game on either
EASY, MEDIUM, or HARD. When I got this game
there was no options like this, they had to release a patch after a few months with the extended options. Other than the three
difficulties everyone else doesn't matter much, just pick whatever and start the game. The level select screen looks like a board game,
each stage counts as a square, with three little steps after, just to give it that board game feel. On both the upper corners you will
see two extra squares. I've never got the one on the left, but the one on the right is a mini game where you kill rats. In order to get
the rat mini game you need to kill so many rats per level. If you keep your hospital like a pigs pen then you'll get enough of them and with
the click of a mouse button you get to shoot them. Don't worry this gun is only for the rats, you can't shoot your employees or customers.
You are running a nice hospital where killing rats gives you one point and a neat sound effect. This sound is better than the one you heard
when you killed those little critters in the old Warcraft games.
The basic game play for Theme Hospital is a lot like all the other tycoon games, but it mainly plays more like the other Bullfrog game,
Theme Park. You get to hire/fire staff members (handymen, doctors, nurses, and secretaries), build different rooms (bathrooms, scanner,
slack tongue, etc.) and buy more buildings for your hospital. You won't be able to build everything right away, you need to put money into
different research departments and the game will let you know when you have a new toy to build. When you build rooms you need to click and drag
how far you'd like them to be. Don't always make them the smallest so you can fit more in your hospital, this will upset our staff and customers.
When you get into the game you will find the perfect size and then you'll stick with it for everything, but then certain equipment needs
more room so then you'll need to figure out the space for those. It isn't that hard really, but on the Playstation version, cover shown to the left,
it was harder to build anything. Certain games should not be made for consoles, if I reviewed that one I would have given it a bad review, hence
why I reviewed the original on the PC. Sorry Playstation, maybe I will review Diablo on you at some point in time.
Theme Hospital does have some flaws, some in which that might make you angry. I really enjoyed this game, but when I first played it, and still now,
I found myself having a hard time beating early stages. Stage one is easy, it acts at a tutorial in ways and there is no way you can fail it. For the
second stage is throws you into it, the game adds in quite a bit more additions, and you have to know how to do all this. There is a doctor at the
bottom who gives you hints, but he is pretty useless for the most part. You can pick up on all the new features right away, but if you don't pay
attention you will kill a lot of your customers. The game just adds too much early on and when you finally get all of this stored in your brain the
game gets almost impossible to beat. I've never been able to beat this game, even now. I don't hate games that have a challenge, but Theme Hospital's
challenge is a little ridiculous. I think Bullfrog should have slowly added in the different features or maybe not make the game too intense so fast.
This can turn a lot of people off, I know it did for me back then. I loved the game for a month or two and when I couldn't get past a certain point
I found myself avoiding the game on my computer, I ended up playing a lot more of War Craft 2.
Theme Hospital has aged real well. I installed it on my
computer not to long again and I find myself playing it quite a
bit. This game helped cure my World of Warcraft addiction so I
should really write a nice letter to the developers. If you can
get past the difficult levels in this game, it's still hard on
EASY, then this game should be a most own for any tycoon fan.
Finding Theme Hospital might be a little hard, but I've read
rumors that we might see this on the Nintendo DS. I know I am
keep my fingers crossed, playing this one on the road would be
fun. Maybe if it does come out they will still have the online
feature, now I can play with friends if they own the game
or...wait the Nintendo Friend Code system doesn't work, dang it.
Guess I will need to get everyone Theme Hospital for the DS for
Christmas, if it does come out.
8 out of 10
Theme Hospital Trailer