Uh oh. Your mum told you that you either had to go to university or you had to get a job so you begrudgingly signed up to a Media Studies course and dossed about for three years smoking doobies and watching Countdown. Now you've got a useless degree, a lingering reputation as the family pothead, and a mountain of debt from tuition fees to worry about. Thanks a lot, Nick Clegg.
We don't need to go to university to get a degree because we've already got a degree from the university of life backed up by four A levels from the school of hard-knocks. We've got canny instincts and street smarts and smart people know that university is good for one thing and one thing only — making oodles of cash from absurdly inflated tuition fees via student bums desperately trying to avoid an honest day's work. God bless capitalism.
Two Point Campus puts you in control of a university and lets you live out all of your fantasies of unscrupulously forcing the youth of today into financial crises under the guise of academic advancement while you rake in the cheddar cheese. You can also manage a welcoming, friendly, tightly run campus if for some reason you want to do that instead. Either is good.
If you've played Two Point Hospital from 2018 then you should instantly feel at home here as there's a lot of shared DNA between the two titles. Like Two Point Hospital, Campus is a management sim in which you try to create a successful business all the while dealing with increasingly complex adversities and ever decreasing margins for error. Here the business is attracting students to your college to study by offering an array of expertly taught subjects and a vibrant student lifestyle for them to enjoy.
Any campus worth its salt needs courses to study, teachers to teach the courses, classrooms for the teachers to teach the courses in, and so on and so forth. Staff rooms keep your teachers, janitors, and assistants happy as long as you stock them full of entertainment and refreshments, while student lounges or unions are the perfect place for your students to wind down after a hard day of watching Gordon Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares on YouTube.
These rooms and many, many more can then be customised with paint jobs, artwork, plants of varying descriptions, air conditioners for hot weather, radiators to combat the cold, lighting, furniture, and rugs to really tie the rooms together. Building a room and decorating it couldn't be much easier, and once you've designed one you like you can save the template so if you need another version of that room elsewhere in the campus you can copy and paste it to your heart's content.
Each mission in the campaign charges you with taking a campus from humble beginnings to scholastic glory with various trials and tribulations to contend with along the way. Most missions begin with you taking over an empty building and then designing a classroom and a lecture hall and basic facilities like toilets and showers and dormitories. You'll have to fulfil certain criteria to win stars and winning stars unlocks more locations to manage.
The goals in each mission are easy enough to follow. Perhaps you'll have to raise the overall student happiness to a certain level and so booking bands to play at the student union, building lavish dormitories, and installing a Crazy Taxi arcade machine in the lounge should put some smiles on faces. Other times you might have to raise a set amount of money, or ensure that a target number of students graduate with a high grade.
As you progress through the game the subjects you're allowed to teach become sillier and the challenge escalates accordingly. There's a level set in a wizarding school in which you have to teach the kids all about the dark arts while surviving attacks from evil warlocks and ghostly creatures, and there's also one in which you must guide a local college to victory in a strange, cheese-based sport in which your students dress up as mice.
It never becomes too taxing — even in the late game — and you can have the whole campaign wrapped up in thirty hours or so. If you ever hit a wall you can usually brute force your way to your next star with a little lateral thinking, and it never feels like a campus is truly hopeless, no matter how badly you might be doing. It's a management sim for people who don't want to spend four hours setting up a business only to discover that the profits collapse because you made one small error right at the beginning. You're kinda free to mess about here and just see what happens.
The sense of humour in the game lands somewhere between inoffensive Dad joke and stereotypical British silliness, and that's absolutely fine. Just like Two Point Hospital and the classic Theme Hospital and Theme Park games of old, the release isn't exactly funny but it's charming and light and perfectly acceptable for people of all ages. It deftly avoids real world dramas that are prevalent in university environments, similarly to how Two Point Hospital avoided dealing with the varying grotesqueries associated with accidents, emergencies, and debilitating sicknesses by inventing comedy illnesses for patients to suffer with.
Two Point Campus isn't going to push your PS5's limits graphically but then it doesn't really need to. The art style fits with the personality of the game even if we do think the character models are kinda hideous looking. The music is jaunty and the campus radio that plays in the background often has hosts making puns and cheeky remarks and some of these might make you smile while you play. Not us, though. We've no time for hijinks while there's money to be made.
The lack of genuine stakes means that Two Point Campus never becomes truly gripping, but the easy, breezy vibe makes for an enjoyable, leisurely build-'em-up. It's the perfect management sim for newcomers or children or even fans of the genre who just want a palette cleanser between more challenging titles. It's the sort of game you play on a Sunday afternoon, still in your pyjamas, with one hand because you've got a Cornetto in the other. And we're totally okay with that.