Today – 7th May – as you probably know from the title of this piece, is World Health Day. It could not have come at a more perfect time – in both a personal and societal sense, and it always helps to keep knowledgeable and aware. And the gaming scene can help with that knowledge, in a variety of ways. Whilst multi-format, hopefully every one of these titles will offer a little something different to mull over. Or for you to just enjoy.
Two Point Hospital – Xbox One, PS4, Nintendo Switch and PC
Evoking 1997 classic Theme Hospital is Two Point Hospital, a wonderful mix of simplicity and complexity.
In it, you must create and operate a hospital – or multiple ones should you so wish – fully responsible for treating patients. It often offers an, occasionally overwhelming, combination of puzzle solving and money management. But it is this which makes Two Point Hospital great. Although it’s a wacky title featuring patients who believe they are clowns or Freddy Mercury, it often gives you a subtle appreciation of hospital administration and the immense amount of thought around it.
It’s also wacky, charming, and a fantastic time sink. It keeps the thought of these things in your head whilst injecting enough campiness and fun to distract you – delightful.
Plague Inc. – Xbox One, PC, PS4, Nintendo Switch, Mobile
Plague Inc. is, in the right mindset, one of the scariest games I’ve played. Its atmosphere is dark, its general tone bleak and downright crushing. This doesn’t mean there aren’t inherent positives in it.
In Plague Inc., you play the role of a virus. You must mutate it correctly and take away mutation where necessary in order to kill the whole world. You can make it highly resistant to medicine or focus on spreading it to as many people as possible; it’s oddly addicting in an utterly sociopathic way. There are major upsides to this too. For instance, upon first attempt, it is very hard to actually win. If you leave just a few humans alive, they can win. They can repopulate, invent a cure and thrive. In a philosophical, humanistic way, this is absolutely fascinating.
Furthermore, the developers behind it are now implementing a mode where you play against the virus and attempt to come up with a cure. It’s incredibly human that we can turn something as simple as Plague Inc. into a testament of human willpower. This is certainly a title worth looking into.
Big Pharma – Xbox One, PS4, Nintendo Switch and PC
Big Pharma is something I totally misunderstood before going in. Its sleek design and art made me think of Theme Hospital; it is not this. Big Pharma is, to put it simply, a puzzle game where you must compete with other companies to create life-saving drugs.
It offers you, the player, the freedom to help the vulnerable or make as much money as possible. It is difficult and complex but this gives it a fascinating learning curve. It may take hours to get to grips with it but it’s totally worth it. You must research certain things to make drugs and you can then patent those drugs to get an edge over your competitor.
What makes this fascinating in your own life are your decisions and how they may affect you. Do you rush out a medicine for the common cold that may hurt someone or spend more time in research to make the perfect medicine? This is, ultimately, your choice.
Surgeon Simulator – PS4, Nintendo Switch, iOS and PC
This has been a fairly serious list. Luckily, Surgeon Simulator is here to smash through the walls and throw hammers everywhere.
In Surgeon Simulator, you play the role of a surgeon, be it in the operating theater or in space. You must crack open body parts, smash your way through the right organs and place new ones in. It’s chaotic, strange and can be downright hilarious. Sometimes medical games don’t have to be smart and prophetic, sometimes they can just be a really fun time.
It also has an equally fun coop mode that i would advise trying out for yourself, as long as you’re 2 meters apart, of course.
From these 4 games, I hope you come away with a mix of feeling and thoughts, but mostly I hope you have fun. Happy World Health Day. Let us know what you’ll be playing.