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Galacticare

Galacticare

Manage a hospital among the stars in this daft management simulator.

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There hasn't really been a major new iteration on the management simulation formula for a long time. We've been enjoying games like Zoo Tycoon and The Sims for decades, and as of late spiced things up further with new contenders like the Two Point series. This April, Brightrock Games is putting its own spin on the format in the form of Galacticare, a game that you will be able to play yourself in the coming days, as has recently been confirmed.

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At first glance Galacticare could be construed as the next chapter in the Two Point series, a wackier, sci-fi follow-up to the wonderful Two Point Hospital. But that would be wrong, this is very much its own entity and you can feel and see that in the more mature tone and the slightly less refined systems. But this doesn't change the fact that at first glance the similarities are very noticeable.

The idea of Galacticare is to essentially build a functioning hospital in space. You have to construct a working facility with rooms dedicated to scientific practices that have become commonplace in the future to not just treat humans but a whole host of alien creatures too. You have to design a hospital that doesn't just function and fulfils all the needs of your patients, but you have to ensure it has the right amenities and is decorated so that it doesn't feel like a mausoleum, all while managing and dealing with limited funding, hazards and outbreaks, and a variety of other factors and occurrences that will not just slow but potentially could hamper your progress entirely.

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It's the same formula that we've seen used time and time again, and quite frankly there's not a whole lot that you can point out that works against it. The format is effortless and easy to pick up and enjoy, it's entertaining, and it is designed in such a way that there's a challenge without it feeling frustrating. Sure, it doesn't do much to surprise you or make you think there's something here you haven't seen countless times before, but as Galacticare has so much charm, it never requires this to be the case.

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In a similar vein to the Two Point series, Galacticare has an excellent humorous tone that perfectly resonates with the style of the game. There's daft and silly dialogue that genuinely feels well-constructed and is delivered with class thanks to the talented voice cast. Combining this with great animations and ridiculous and on-the-nose premises for each of the story levels (like by building a hospital at a cosmic music festival called Burning Moon...), and the overall whole exudes a wondrous amount of charm.

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But it's not all sunshine and rainbows. There's only so many times you can watch a monkey-looking alien getting re-boned or a human being treated for space parasites before you start to question your end goal. This is where Galacticare begins to falter as the game struggles to really expand beyond its most basic principles. Assuming you're not an awful planner and are able to place rooms and amenities in a competent fashion, you'll find that the hospital pretty much runs itself, generates obscene amounts of money, and steadily increases in its rating before ultimately capping out a grand total of five stars. Galacticare is not a game that has any significant challenge to its name, and while it does make for quite a relaxing and easy to enjoy game, it's also one that feels a bit too hands off where too much of an emphasis has been placed on decoration and not function.

The depth is without a doubt a concern with this game, as while the various levels do introduce a few extra challenges to contend with, such as meteor strikes or races against rival hospitals, the formula is never really expanded on or challenged. Where a game like Two Point would instead challenge the player by asking them to be incredibly precise with their designs due to limited space and a lot of differing tasks to complete in order to achieve top marks, Galacticare is much more forgiving with very little focus seemingly put on these areas.

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But the thing is Galacticare is fun and because of that you can excuse its severe lack of challenge. What is less easy to excuse is the messy and overwhelming presentation, which can become a bit of a nightmare to keep tabs on. The majority of Galacticare's levels are tiny and yet crammed with a lot of conflicting things, and this means the screen is often overflowing with colours and chaos that are near impossible to keep tabs on. This can be a bit of a problem with this style of game altogether, but when you add a HUD and UI that needs a little more refining to feel intuitive and smooth to this equation, it can become a bit of nuisance at times.

I have still enjoyed my time with Galacticare though. This is one of those games where the hours can fly by without you ever really noticing. There's a lot of brilliance, charm, and potential with this game, which is why it's a bit frustrating that the presentation holds it back a tad. If you enjoy Two Point games, and management simulation titles altogether, you'll no doubt have a lot of fun with Galacticare, but don't expect an experience of the same degree of refinement as some of the other titans in this space.

07 Gamereactor UK
7 / 10
+
Effortlessly fun. Hilarious and charming tone. Easy to pick up and play. Great animations. Brilliant dialogue.
-
Presentation is a bit overwhelming at times. Some performance problems.
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Galacticare

REVIEW. Written by Ben Lyons

Manage a hospital among the stars in this daft management simulator.



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