Hits the funny bone
Fans of dark humour and management sims will find much to enjoy in this classic offering from Bullfrog Productions, producers of Theme Park. Players must effectively manage their hospital by purchasing rooms and hiring staff which will then attract paying patients. This is where the game really distinguishes itself, as the patients all arrive with amusing diseases which must then be diagnosed and treated. Some diseases can be cured simply enough, while others require careful investment to find a research, and there is much amusement to be had from the highly inventive machines used for treatment. Further challenge is offered by the detail to which the game goes into, with everything from your choice of staff to the arrangement of the rooms affecting the hospital's performance. Emergencies such as epidemics or earthquakes also crop up to keep players on their toes and it is only by careful resource management and swift thinking that players will be able to expand their facilities and earn the reputation as the best hospital in the city. Although perhaps a touch simple compared to modern games, Theme Hospital is still a worthy game. Its plain but effective 3D isometric graphics, twisted sense of humour (have fun blasting rats and don't forget to check out your employees' CVs!) and addictive gameplay all combine to make this a great blast from the past.