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Two Point Campus: Top Of The Class, But Shy Of Full Marks

Two Point Campus: Top Of The Class, But Shy Of Full Marks

For a game that puts you in charge of making a university run like clockwork, Two Point Campus does a surprisingly good job at portraying actual university life. A campus full of nerds, clowns, and posh people, with everyone manically running from classes to societies to the library, broken up with bouts of junk food, partying, and all-nighters — It’s like looking into a funhouse mirror.


Simply put, you’ll be building lecture theatres, choosing courses to run, and keeping the place in good shape so you can help your students get high grades, and they can pay you top dollar. Two Point Campus’ main campaign will have you completing objectives to earn stars and unlock the next area, but if that’s not your thing, there’s also a well-crafted sandbox mode for building multi-million-dollar buildings to your heart's content.


Cards on the table here, I’m a sucker for Claymation-style art. So the arcade-y and light-hearted art style were right up my street. However, it also combines well with the stressful end-of-year revision sessions, all while providing a calm, happy-go-lucky charm, as you stare at students and staff going about their day-to-day from on high. It’s a lot like people-watching on a bench — if that bench was being carried by an albatross.


This charm is made all the better by the quirky mannerisms of different students, such as the pompous strut of the Poshos and the sullen trundle of the Goths; plus, having each student type grant small but significant buffs and debuffs is a great way to add a little more personality. Likewise, all the classes feel distinct and almost all of them are worth having on campus. Yet as much as I want more classes to be added in future, I think courses like Money Wrangling need to be given another college try first.


Similarly, I’d have preferred more wall and carpet customisation options for adding a personal touch that most management games can struggle with, but importantly, each room type looks different enough so you can easily navigate around your campus. But please add the ability to fully zoom out. If not to find a specific room, then at least to admire my own handiwork.


As for the room design, there are plenty of fantastic-looking items that can add flavour to your campus, especially if you want to cater to specific students. The more stuff you add, the higher the room/campus level becomes, which sounds alright until you start adding your seventh rug to a dormitory that looks like it came out of Picasso’s nightmares.


As for the scenery, all the locations are lovingly designed. Outside of the generic green grass and sunny suburbia, you can set up shop within medieval castle grounds, a cursed wizarding school, an Italian piazza, and more. Importantly, the stark contrasts in theming make each site feel unique, with each place telling a different story.


Speaking of themes, whoever had the idea of a university radio station in the background deserves a raise. The student voices mixed with in-game commercials, announcements, and quirky pop music make you feel part of this absurd but loveable community. But again, I really wish they’d expanded this further, as good as the music and semi-coherent rants can be, after hearing it for the third time, it gets old quick. Even a three-hour play session was starting to test my patience.


However, there's something just as audibly satisfying about the interaction sounds. That delightful ‘pop’ when you pick up and place objects is bliss, while the surprised gasps of staff being moved around like a cat moves kittens is charming, bordering on adorable. Even the small flourishes from bubbling potion cauldrons and wand sparkles to student union parties having their music fade in over the usual radio, are all well-executed.


In the end, playing this game feels to me like watching cartoons before going to bed: The screen is always full of life and colour, the audio is eccentric and zany, but the whole experience is relaxing, almost trance-inducing. I’d load up the game just so my final year students could graduate, then leave three hours later having created four new buildings and adopting three new courses.


Overall, Two Point Campus is a fantastic management game. Yes, it could have studied harder, whilst the humour and general style can be overbearing at times. But it’s still a sharp, encapsulating, and rewarding experience that I was looking for. I’m looking forward to any updates and the next title being worked on by the well-respected Two Point Studios.


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