Things have gotten a little spooky in the latest Two Point Campus DLC. Despite releasing about as far away from Halloween as you can get, Two Point Campus: School Spirits takes the education based sim into the realm of the otherworldly. Basically, it’s got lots of ghosts in.
The newest expansion is a little smaller this time around, but also a little less expensive than the Two Point Campus: Space Academy expansion that came before it too. There’s just the one new campus for you to take control of, but it just so happens to be haunted. The aptly named Lifeless Estate has seen better days and its last heir, Lady Lifeless, wants your help in putting the evil spirits to rest once and for all.
Two Point Campus: School Spirits looks suitably spine-chilling, from the washed out grey lawns to the jazzy patterned carpets. Ghosts will freely roam, causing various issues as well as depositing gooey ectoplasm all over the place. The ethereal entities can also haunt rooms within the campus, which means a janitor trained in ghost capture will be required to come along and, well, de-haunt it.
There are two new courses for your students to master this time around, Paranormal Detection and School Spirits. These allow you to capture the voracious visions as well as learn more about them and their previous lives. Only through training your staff well and educating students properly, will you be able to tackle the paranormal pest problem.
There are plenty of new items available to kit out your campus once again, providing you earn enough kudosh to unlock them of course. This is done in the usual way, such as acting on suggestions and completing career goals. These usually involve ticking off a simple task so many times, such as capturing ghosts or training staff members.
Before, during your playthrough you were simply guided along via objectives which pointed you in the right direction. However, and this is the interesting part, the structure is a little different this time around. Usually, to expand your campus you need to save up enough hard earned dosh to purchase it, and then spend a little extra on constructing the buildings. In the last expansion, Two Point Campus: Space Academy mixed this up a little by giving you the option to unlock certain plots by meeting specific requirements. School Spirits takes this one step further.
In order to clear the plots for expansion, you will first need to organise an “Expulsion Ceremony”. This is essentially a battle between your students and the malignant spirit which occupies the land. Each enemy has several thousand hit points, and you’ll be given a range of damage your students will be able to inflict, depending on how well they are trained. There is also the chance to earn a damage bonus if you meet certain criteria.
If you fail, you’ll only embolden the evil spirits, and this will cause student satisfaction to take a hit resulting in a substantial setback to your progress. Win or lose, the animations are a joy to watch as always.
In essence, you’re still ticking off objectives but the method change works really well. This links into how you earn your stars, as for the first you’re simply told to defeat a certain spirit. But of course, achieving the bonus objective is key and this means you’re working on the same things as before, just in a different way. It also feels a little more open as you can choose to tackle any plot in any order, rather than simply just saving cash and buying the first one you can afford.
Two Point Campus: School Spirits also brings a brand new challenge too. For those who don’t remember, these side missions have been present since the original and offer a shorter, more targeted gameplay experience. “Gradeyard Shift” tasks you with capturing as many ghosts as possible in a year long scramble with the spirits.
As the structure forces you to change how you play and narrow your focus, this raises the question of how to earn money. Well, it just so happens your funding changes as you play, meaning you’ll need to go after different metrics such as attractiveness and student satisfaction to stay afloat financially. It’s a good test of the skills you’ve learned in the game, and perfect if you don’t want to invest several hours into a session of play. Oh, and as with all the challenges, there are various medals available depending on how you do.
SEGA has consistently supported Two Point Campus with brilliant extras and Two Point Campus: School Spirits is no different. Every time it’s worth revisiting Two Point County and I hope to do so again many more times in the near future.
Two Point Campus: School Spirits offers more of the high quality content we’ve come to expect from Two Point Campus. This time around it feels like the formula has been tweaked a little more than previously, rather than simply slapping a new skin on the action.