Game Review - by Dan Piparo
Theme Hospital gives you total control over a plot of land which you must turn into a thriving city hospital. You are in the driving seat from the outset, deciding which rooms you want to build, as well as where to position them and how big you want them to be. When you're happy with your building, the next thing is to hire staff. Do you go for the big-shot Psychiatrist, or the cheap novice to train with the skills you want? Do you let any VIPs in to see the state of your institution? Theme Hospital will drown you with tons of choices, so get ready to make a killing.
Build a hospital from the ground up, hire a medical staff, manage resources, and cure twenty (20) people within a years time. Includes a tutorial, allowing you to add new facilities to your isometric creation such as a diagnostic office and cardiogram room - and amenities such as soda machines and benches.
The interface for Theme Hospital makes it possible to get easy access to every important piece of information in the game. The toolbar along the bottom of the screen allows players to build rooms, buy extra equipment, and hire and fire new staff (doctors, nurses, handymen, etc.) quickly and easily. There were a number of information buttons which provide charts and graphs on all of the different areas pertaining to your hospital, including: cash flow, deaths, total number of patients, and wages. Status charts update your hospital's progress against that of your competitors. This enabled players to see where their strengths and weaknesses were in relation to rival hospitals.
The images of all the patients and staff members were drawn so well that it was like watching a 3D cartoon on your computer. Most patients were easy to identify by their appearance; sufferers of Bloaty Head had a enormous head while some patients with King disease walked around dressed and acting like Elvis Presley. The healing sequences for sick patients, who needed some procedure performed, were funny and quite interesting. The patients with the enormous heads, were popped with a needle and then inflated back to normal size with a vacuum. It was all very entertaining and fun to watch, it you actually get a chance to stop and notice between all the commotion. The overall quality and clarity of the graphics were super compared to most simulation games.
At times Theme Hospital becomes a little too frantic and overwhelming to the point where it you keep making the wrong hospital decisions that can hurt you. However, with good planning and foresight, these situations could be avoided.
The sound effects in Theme Hospital were very clear and recognizable. Such sounds effects in Theme Hospital included: cash register sounds whenever someone paid for services rendered, lots of sounds of doors opening and closing, and cheers and boos to indicate when a patient had been successfully or unsuccessfully treated. Occasionally a digitized woman's voice would speak over the intercom and make announcements. Plus these are dull roars of voices from all of the people moving around.