I like that strategy games are back on the rise. Starcraft II is doing incredibly well in the eSports scene – with Heart of the Swarm’s release on the horizon, Prison Architect has been getting some much deserved praise following a terrific Eurogamer showing, and Civilisation V is still getting plenty of support – hardcore fans are still eagerly awaiting the completion of their fist game which they started on the launch date. You know what is missing from that mix though? A new Theme Hospital game.
I, as usual, realise how far fetched the idea of a new Theme Hospital is. Bullfrog were swallowed and ripped apart in particularly gruesome fashion by EA many years ago, and the Theme Hospital rights likely lie somewhere in the bloody remains.
It’s a shame because it was one of the more carefree strategy games of its time. My personal favourite illness was the Invisible Man, who you got to heal using a magic potion which reformed him from the feet up as he drank it. There was a very distinct charm with the whole thing. You rarely felt rushed. You got to take your time, carefully craft each hospital to its optimum efficiency before moving on the next plot of land – assuming you decided to choose to at all.
I loved that I was able to be relaxed about my play style. I didn’t have to be fully alert or constantly on edge. I could take that extra five minutes to decide where to put down that fire extinguisher, and it was a perfectly acceptable use of my time. There was a very strange zen-like quality to sitting back and simply watching your hospital function, making people feel better, and making sure that grumpy-ass janitor actually cleaned up the puke and didn’t hog the staff-room pool table.
Everybody I know who’s heard of the game would want a sequel. Not a remastered version, or an HD rerelease, because you can buy the original over at GOG.com today and it’s as awesome today as it was back in the 90’s. A sequel, with more diseases, cures, modern facilities, and a large variety of choice. The basic formula of the game wouldn’t even need to change, only have more options to the formula of the original. Slap on some current generation graphics and let the cash roll on in. It’s as close to a sure fire money maker as you can get outside of a Call of Duty release.
The real tragedy is that the likeliest sequel will come from a homebrew fan version. There have been a few attempts in the past to release or report the original using various C++ coding, but none have ever been successful. However, if you buy the GOG version you can get it into HD thanks to some nifty modders over at CorSix-TH. Which is something at least, but it’s not a sequel to one of my most beloved childhood strategy games.
Think of some of the amazing diseases which could have been: Engorged testicle man, dragon tail syndrome, pan-romantic vampire infection, BeiberFever, extended-long-pointy nipple affliction, Kinder Egg addiction, I’m Batman disease, engorged testicle woman… The list goes on!
EA, I can understand that there must have been reasons to pull Command & Conquer: Generals 2 from production, but it did rather upset me. Make Theme Hospital 2 a reality, and I’m happy to call it even.
That’s it for this episode of Pipe Dreams, my name’s Duncan Aird and I approve these dreams.
Do you have a suggestion for future Pipe Dream posts? I want to hear it! I think it would be awesome, and make my job a lot easier, so please do leave it as a comment down below. However, if you would prefer to use that social networking addiction we all have constructively then you can also Tweet your thoughts to @ReadyUp with the hashtag #RUPipeDreams, or just put a post over on our Facebook Page. The options are endless! Except those three are pretty much all of the options… I look forward to each and every one of your opinions! Especially if you watched the patients in the toilets.