Before EA swallowed them up into the void there was a small studio based in Guildford,  UK who were responsible for some of the finest gaming moments of the 90’s.

Of the studio’s impressive lineup, the finest moments are undoubtedly the Theme series, in particular, Theme Hospital.

Theme Hospital is a business simulation game where the player is responsible for the day to day running and development of various hospitals throughout the campaign, your main objectives are to cure as many fictitious comical ailments as possible while maintaining a high-profit margin, sound familiar?

Following the game’s original release on PC, it sold over 4 million copies worldwide and was hailed as a great success for Bullfrog, A port was later made to the Sony PlayStation and more recently an open source program called CorsixTH was released which up-scaled the game to 1080p; A seriously enjoyable way to spend all your free time.

The Campaign

Image result for theme hospital board
The game board, a familiar site for most TH players.

The campaign of theme hospital revolves around making a financially sustainable hospital which harbors a high enough reputation within the public health services to complete the level, Objectives are set at the start which can be traced by a series of scoreboards and frequent progress updates. There are 12 hospitals to take charge of, each getting progressively larger with more challenging layouts, a solid strategy is required to successfully tackle the higher levels, something I have spent many hours trying and retrying.

The Illnesses

All of the conditions and ailments are fictitious and hilarious in Theme Hospital, as you progress they become harder to treat with increasingly expensive and space consuming equipment required, here are some of my favorites below

Bloaty Head

My favorite! Caused by Sniffing cheese and drinking unpurified rainwater. Patients enter the hospital with a large, swollen head, the rather crude treatment involves having their bloaty head popped and re-inflated before handing over a wedge of cash for the trouble.

Slack Tongue

Another classic, patients come into the hospital with an enormous tongue which is caused by chronic over discussion of soap operas, the tongue is placed in the Slicer Machine, and removed quickly, efficiently and painfully (apparently)

TV Personalities

A psychiatric condition caused by excessive daytime TV consumption. in order to cure the patient, a trained Psychiatrist must convince them to sell their TV and buy a radio

Sacrificing an aesthetically pleasing hospital was often a necessity to have one which functioned well.

The game offers a wide variety of features, from the design, layout and quality of your hospital, to adjusting the levels of focus on researching new cures and technology, to competing with local rivals to be the best hospital in the area, all of which come together to create a depth of content rarely seen around the time of release.

You can visit the website for Theme Hospital by clicking here – You’ll find free downloads of the game, hints, tips, resources and a download for the upscaling program CorsixTH which will make playing the game much more enjoyable in 2017.

Overall, a timeless game which has stood the test of time and is widely regarded as one of the best and most enjoyable simulation games to date.

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