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Wii Game Review

Hysteria Hospital: Emergency Ward


Format: Wii
Oxygen Games
RRP: £29.99
5 060015 539167
Age Restrictions: 3+
Available 17 July 2009

Reach for your stethoscope and grab your nurse's outfit. At Hysteria Hospital, life proves to be a manic challenge. Players have several levels of the hospital to navigate, and they have to reach desperate patients and demanding doctors within a set period of time. The frenzy inside the hospital increases as the game progresses with more and more demanding patients desperate to be cured...

In Hysteria Hospital: Emergency Ward you play as a female or male nurse whose job it is to organise the ward and direct the patients to treat their conditions as quickly as possible. You can design and improve your ward for life-saving efficiency to be the best head nurse in America and save the Hospital from being overrun. Each of the patients have many humorous conditions, all with cures using the latest, bleeding-edge treatment machines ranging from basic X-Ray's to steam therapy to the hilarious De-Stress machine. There are seven different wards to run, from a local Maryville clinic through to New York Central Hospital; over 60 levels including the 'Endless' mode that steadily increases in challenge as you progress.

Hysteria Hospital is a little like Theme Hospital for the old Playstation console crossed with Diner Dash. The main difference is that it's not as much fun, nor does it allow for the player to really design their own rooms and kit them out as they see fit. There is the ability to buy and sell equipment or furnishings, but these can only be placed in a limited number of places, and some items can only go in one place.

Sadly the game play and comical moments are too repetitive. The animations of the various hospital equipment isn't anywhere near as amusing as Theme Hospital and the public address system announcements and patient sound bytes are repeated way too often.

To progress to the next level you need to heal a set amount of patients and earn a set amount of money. Once you've cleared enough levels you get transferred to a bigger and busier hospital with new equipment and a larger working space - even being in charge of more than one floor.

I couldn't help feeling that the game was one long tutorial. You start off with very little equipment and slowly extra aspects of the game play are added in. For example, you have to set aside a certain amount of money for things like wages and maintenance. Here the more you allocate to each department the more efficiently they work, but this will mean that you'll have to work harder to earn more money.

The opening couple of levels are great fun, but it soon starts to become frustrating as you progress through the various hospitals. And once you've repeated the same level a few times you'll soon feel like quitting.

Another rather annoying aspect is that this game seems to be designed for those with 42"+ TV sets. Any smaller and you'll have to get close to the screen to read the onscreen instructions. This is made even harder by the ridiculous colour choice of the text and background. This is made all the more frustrating when you factor in using the Wii remote in order to move the onscreen pointer. It's not always easy to pick up the patients and collecting the drugs and patients medical records from the pharmacy is particularly fiddly.

It's a shame, because there is great potential here, but unfortunately a little more thought should have gone into the development stage. It's more fun than a trip to the hospital... but only just.


Darren Rea

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