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Review: Hysteria Hospital: Emergency Ward - PC

by Steven Williamson on 28 July 2009, 16:43

Tags: Hysteria Hospital: Emergency Ward, Oxygen Interactive, PC, DS, Wii, Simulation

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Gameplay impressions


What do we like?

Hysteria Hospital: Emergency Ward (HH) doesn't just play it safe and offer a standard set of ailments or run-of-the-mill task to perform. The gameplay is injected with plenty of humour, including funny illnesses and over-the-top animations that entertain and lighten the mood, successfully. There's also some unique equipment that you can use that has some humourous results, including a de-stress machine that comes in the form of a angry robot cow.

HH also has pick-up-and-play appeal thanks to an easy to navigate interface and clear isometric viewpoint that allows you to move around the wards easily without obstruction. Furthermore, it has a simple, yet extremely effective, control scheme that should make it easy for anyone to master. In fact, the keyboard doesn’t come into play at all. You use the mouse to move the nurse and assign tasks, whereas a scroll of the mouse wheel allows you to move effortlessly in-between hospital floors.

HH isn't as in-depth as many other simulations, but its simplicity should appeal to a younger audience who may enjoy the challenge set by 60 levels of frantic and addictive life-saving action.





What don't we like?
The limited amount of illnesses and treatments on offer soon takes its toll and the lack of variety in the gameplay makes carrying out the same actions over and over again a repetitive chore. After the first couple of hours of gameplay, you’ll have experienced everything that HH has to throw at you. The difficulty of the challenge you face in HH, as you progress through seven different hospital locations, is simply determined by the amount of patients thrown at you and the larger game space that you have to multi-task in. Therefore, you simply need to be faster and more efficient at carrying out exactly the same tasks, rather than having a broad range of objectives to complete, which could have provided more variety, challenge and entertainment.

The basic graphics, low level of detail and looping audio also fail to impress.Hysteria Hospital: Emergency Ward is a basic simulation that screams low-budget from the very out-set.

Final Thoughts
Hysteria Hospital: Emergency Ward publisher, Oxygen Games, describes its simulation as a “casual game,” which is reflected in its low £7.99 price tag. In that respect, it should do enough to appease a younger, casual gaming audience, but won't satisfy gamers hoping for a challenging and in-depth management sim. With a Wii and DS version also available we'd assume that using the motion-sensing Wii Remote, or the DS stylus, will make the multi-tasking more immersive than it is with using a mouse - and therefore more appealing. The PC version is very basic when you compare it to some of the simulations we've seen in the past, but like many games of this ilk, repeating the same actions over and over again and progressing through the game to the multi-levelled hospitals can be surprisingly addictive.

Final Score: 6/10


HEXUS Forums :: 11 Comments

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I'm sadly going to get this owing to the many, many hours playing Theme Hospital on the original PlayStation. :)
was gonna say looks just like theme hospital i used to love that game
I thought I'd seen the images before, the last time I searched Google to see if there was an up to date alternative to Theme Hospital - it's known as Sarah's Emergency Room elsewhere - though I guess it wasn't able to get published as that here for some reason.

Hospital Tycoon might be worth a shot - it's £5.90 on Amazon (or alternatively £5.65 inc. free delivery if it's Gamesbuyer and Fulfilled by Amazon) at http://www.amazon.co.uk/Codemasters-Limited-Hospital-Tycoon-DVD/dp/B000O32TK2

According to Wikipedia though, there are some bugs (such as a shortage of patients at times) which has not been patched.

EDIT: Maybe not worth getting after all then, Hospital Tycoon seems to have pretty bad reviews (so the bugs must be big problems)
I'll wait for the collector's Pandemic Edition later this year..
Theme Hospital was really good. I think I still have a PC version somewhere.