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Last updated:
22:03 21-Jul-2005

Copyright 1999-2005
Ian Jefferies
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Theme Hospital Clinic: Getting Started

"Do you want a job at ToxiCity hospital?"

Introduction

Queue for hair curlers and TV soap

The manual covers just about all of the ground that you need to get up and running in playing the game. If you have never seen Theme Hospital before and are thinking of buying it then this is a good place to find out what you are getting yourself in for

If you've already bought the game and you have a phobia about manuals then go and have a peek. Just in case you hadn't noticed: this Clinic is a just another manual, so go join the queue for psychiatry. 

The rest of the clinic makes the basic assumption that you know something about how to do the following: 

  • construct rooms
  • redesign rooms
  • furnish rooms and corridors
  • hire staff
  • pick up and move staff
  • access and use the controls on the toolbar
  • use the menu bar at the top of the screen
  • move around in the hospital view

If you've already completed a level then you should have most or all of these skills. The Clinic will always tell you where to get the information you need to make decisions (its all in the manual...) 

 

 The mission statement

Better than a bottle of shampoo every day...

You start each level with the aim of designing and building a hospital that can cope with the day to day patient load, as well as just about any emergency that can be thrown at it. Rooms need to be built to successfully diagnose patients and cure them of their ailments. You also need to ensure that your staff are satisfied with working in your hospital, and that your patients don't have to wait too long to be treated. 

The interface is purely graphical: watch as patients walk around the hospital and are diagnosed and cured in a variety of humorous ways. The animation is detailed and well drawn and, like the other Bullfrog sims (Theme Park, Populous and Dungeon Keeper to name a few), you only control the environment that the people in your hospital walk around in - something that can be both rewarding and frustrating at times. 

A level is completed when several criterion have been matched. Sometimes these conditions are closely tied to each other (for example: making a lot of money is best done by curing a lot of patients). You can get a progress report on how well you are doing, and how close you are to the win/lose limits. 

There are a number of different rooms to build for the benefit of patients and staff alike. Staff need to be hired: doctors and nurses to diagnose and cure, handymen to keep the hospital clean and repaired, and receptionists to direct new patients for diagnosis. As you move through the levels you will have to research new diagnosis rooms and cures. Doctors can be trained in specialist skills such as surgery and psychiatry. 

Build a toilet - quick!Sound easy so far? 

Life is made far more complicated by a limited budget with which to pay staff and build your hospital. Patients have a mind of their own and often decide they don't like your hospital, its long queues, lack of toilets, coldness or high prices. 

Most of the machines for diagnosis and cure need to be repaired on a frequent basis - they can explode if you aren't careful. Your employees can threaten to walk out on you if you don't give them a good place of work. 

Emergencies and epidemics can stress your resources to the edge, and VIP's just rub salt in the wounds. Add to that there's a little consultant who tells you when things are going wrong! 
 

The mission statement win conditions can be summarized as: 

  • make a healthy profit
  • build an expensive hospital 
  • get an ego boosting reputation
  • cure some patients
  • don't kill or turn away too many patients

This is roughly in priority order. Who said health care was about the sick? 

All hospitals should have a mission statement, even if it is just so you can wave it in the face of every Dilbert that walks in through the door.

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