The strategy game is a hallowed artform, and developers Two Point Studios have kept the spirit of 'SimCity' and 'Rollercoaster Tycoon' alive with their 'Two Point' franchise.
The studio was founded by industry veterans that worked on the likes of 'Theme Hospital' and 'Black and White', and this veteran status is what helps elevate 'Two Point Campus' above its peers.
'Two Point Campus' walks a very fine line between being an old-school throwback and a 2022 game, and the gameplay of 'Two Point Campus' has a timeless quality to it.
We went hands-on with the game back in May, and even then, there were signs the game was shaping up to be something special.
The finished product, we are pleased to report, is a rich and joyous experience that recalls the very best of the strategy genre.
Players who played 'Two Point Hospital' will feel right at home, but for players who are new to the world of Two Point, the game does a great job of getting you up to speed.
Unusually for a strategy game, there is a sense of progression, with players starting out on a modest campus by a canal, and before long, players are in charge of running a sprawling castle-based campus and trying to juggle 20 problems at once.
The progression is well-paced, with a gradual step up from simple student requests like asking for more study desks in the library all the way up to building a new dorm on campus for your students.
There is always something to do in 'Two Point Campus', and to the game's credit, repetition never really sets in.
Of course, being the admin of a college keeps you busy, and 'Two Point Campus' captures the mundane thrill of this beautifully.
The request mode in 'Two Point Campus' is like that bit in 'The Simpsons' when the students request items after the school receives a windfall, and it is fun to play god with students' lives.
Everyone gets a hot dog machine outside the lecture hall but we don't have room for a shower unit, sorry!
In a move straight from the 'XCOM' games, you can rename your students or faculty, so you can have a school named after characters from 'Buffy The Vampire Slayer' if you're so inclined.
It's these organic slice-of-life moments that really drive home the management element of 'Two Point Campus'.
'Cause back in school we are the leaders
'Two Point Campus' pulls the same trick as fellow Sega stable mate 'Football Manager' where you boot up the game for a quick session and suddenly it's 2 in the morning.
The game is able to melt hours away without you even noticing, which is the highest recommendation we can give to a game in this genre.
If a game makes you forget to eat or shower, then it has done its job extraordinarily well.
The game is best optimised for PC, but for review purposes we played the game on PlayStation 5 just to see how it held up, and we were pleasantly surprised with how well the game works on console.
Trying to get strategy games to work on console has long been the white whale of game developers, but 'Two Point Campus' manages to crack this elusive code.
Controls are tight and responsive, and players can adapt very quickly.
There is a simplicity and a good degree of intuitiveness with the controls, and after a while you forget you aren't playing on PC.
If 'Two Point Campus' has a fault, the game isn't very challenging, and the game keeps shoveling money at you meaning that there isn't really any consequences for failure, at least from what we have played.
There isn't really a consequence for failing to fulfill requests or cratering student happiness levels, and there is no tangible benefit to making your staff level up in skills or carrying out research.
While the controls are well-suited to console, there is sometimes an annoying tendency for the game to click on the wrong item or object, and there is a certain level of frustration involved in the building requirements.
The game is also sometimes bad at explaining how certain tasks can be completed, which is an annoying roadblock to our enjoyment of the game.
Despite these flaws, 'Two Point Campus' is worth your while.
'Two Point Campus' has enough content and variety to keep players engaged, and with the game's sense of progression, there is a degree of satisfaction in going back to your old campuses and giving them a facelift with your new-learned skills.
If you're a fan of old-school strategy games like 'SimCity', 'The Movies', or 'Rollercoaster Tycoon', 'Two Point Campus' deserves a spot in your gaming collection.
There is something winning and charming about the game's humour, graphical design, and overall tone that we keep coming back for more.