I can’t stop spying on my students in Two Point Campus

Wizards duelling in Two Point Campus
(Image credit: Two Point)

One of my students has just embarrassed himself terribly. I don’t know what he said, but I can tell it bombed by the way his audience immediately facepalmed. A pupil in the laboratory next door isn’t having any better luck. They’ve just stuck their eyeball into the purple vapors of a chemical vial and are now reeling in the middle of the classroom. A professor in the staff lounge, meanwhile, has promptly left the room after watching a janitor come in and sit down.

In Two Point Campus, every interaction is on display. The zany characters that inhabit your university are as much slapstick performers as they are students or staff who need to be cared for. From the moment they step through your school’s gates, they theatrically interact with everything they encounter – reacting to any tiny nuisance or inconsequential blessing as if it were the focal point of their existence.

It makes for charming viewing, as well as a constant distraction. Midway through constructing a new library, I found myself zooming down to its neighboring corridors for a cheeky peek at the students messing about outside. After being informed that my spendthrift management style threatened to drive the university into bankruptcy, I willfully ignored the financial warnings in favor of watching my student chefs struggle to bake a five-foot-wide pizza.

The bizarre buffoonery of Two Point Campus’s characters injects not only an element of levity but life into the game. Management simulations can so easily feel dry, as you’re challenged to optimize a series of metrics without any real perspective on the result of your work.

Student chefs making a giant pizza in Two Point Campus

(Image credit: Two Point)

But Two Point Campus captures the upshot of your decisions directly in its world. I don’t need to inspect my university’s hygiene graphs to know its sanitation standards have dropped through the floor. I already know I need to build more toilets after watching a desperate student run across campus while clutching his bladder, grimacing at the thought of a public accident.

Two Point Campus' cartoonish art style and exaggerated character models – spanning everything from gloomy goths to literal class clowns – might form the foundation of its tone. But the slapstick style is brought home by organic character animations. The students in my university aren’t just numbers on a spreadsheet to be monitored but genuinely weird people that demand my attention.

Not that this is a new invention of the game. People-watching is a long-held tradition among city builders. When playing Cities: Skylines, I’d often find myself glued to traffic, observing every car’s journey to tweak the infrastructure of my town. Even older city builders, like Pharaoh or the Caesar series, had you meticulously track the paths of your citizens to make sure each was taking the optimal route between their house and workplace, bazaar and temple, farm and granary.

But I’ve never played a management sim that’s captured my attention quite so acutely through its lively characters as Two Point Campus. My attempts at constructing commercially viable and socially successful universities might fail spectacularly, but at least I’ll have met some captivating students along the way.

Callum Bains
Gaming News Writer

Callum is TechRadar Gaming’s News Writer. You’ll find him whipping up stories about all the latest happenings in the gaming world, as well as penning the odd feature and review. Before coming to TechRadar, he wrote freelance for various sites, including Clash, The Telegraph, and Gamesindustry.biz, and worked as a Staff Writer at Wargamer. Strategy games and RPGs are his bread and butter, but he’ll eat anything that spins a captivating narrative. He also loves tabletop games, and will happily chew your ear off about TTRPGs and board games.