Dream Hospital is clearly an attempt to bring the classic hospital sim Theme Hospital to mobile. It plays very similarly, has a similar, albeit more modern, visual style, and there’s a huge focus on comedy.
And it does hit a lot of the right notes. You’ll build new treatment rooms, hire doctors and nurses to staff them, and ensure the hospital has enough amenities to keep your staff and patients happy.
All of the above is delivered with a very intuitive menu system that makes navigating a breeze. Placing stuff is similarly easy and we really appreciate that you can change the layout of any rooms or items you’ve already placed so any mistakes are easily rectifiable.
Dream Hospital does have a genuine stab at strategy, and it’s a solid effort
There is also genuine strategy to the experience, which is actually quite rare in this genre on mobile. You’ll have to consider room layouts carefully so patients can move quickly from treatment to treatment. The faster you cure them, the faster you’ll get cash.
The same goes for keeping patients happy. If they wait too long, can’t find a toilet, or find your hospital too dirty, they’ll leave in a huff and you won’t get any money from them. So you’ve got to pay attention and place amenities like seats, toilets, and cleaners as close together as possible.
There’s a reason we keep banging on about making money from patients and that’s because there’s a real shortage of it in Dream Hospital. That’s probably realistic of a modern health care system but it turns out that it doesn’t make for a very fun video game.
If you’ve played the original Theme Hospital, you’ll remember earning money at a fairly rapid pace then reinvesting it back into the hospital to make even more money. That’s the same strategy you’ll adopt here, except it’s at a glacial pace.
Unfortunately, it’s just far too greedy for its own good
The reason? So Dream Hospital can get some real cash out of you. This is a freemium game so resorts to all of the tricks of the trade, hamstringing you from making any real progress until you splash the cash.
That wouldn’t be quite so bad if it wasn’t such an expensive game generally. You can pay $5 for a weekly subscription and get a handful of diamonds on a daily basis, which does speed up progress substantially. But that’s $20 per month for a game that isn’t fun enough to justify it.
If there was a separate premium experience or you could pay to turn the game into a single player sim, we’d have a lot more positive things to say about it. Because it does have all of the elements in place to offer a fun Theme Hospital experience on mobile.
The strategy elements are there, the control scheme is intuitive, and it is full of humour. It’s just far too greedy for its own good and you’re far more likely to uninstall it because the progress is just far too darn slow than you are to splash the cash.
Dream Hospital is a solid stab at bringing the Theme Hospital experience to mobile, but, just like the modern healthcare system, it's far too greedy for its own good