Hospital Hustle Review

Hospital Hustle- 4/5

What do they call this genre, the Multitasker? They make these games for people that want the excitement of having a menial part time job, but instead of a paycheck you get points and virtual upgrades. You’re making pizzas or flipping burgers in one game, running a salon by the seat of your pants in another.

Hospital Hustle puts the gamer in the medical field, running the ER and treating patients. It’s a pretty misogynistic affair, with a ditsy-looking nurse folding sheets and washing bedpans while the male doctors and pharmacists tap their toes and fiddle around.

Reviewing this game, I had a chip on my shoulder in the first place because it insisted that I enter my name before playing, then proceeded to call me Sarah. There wasn’t time to dwell on it, though, because I soon had patients to tend to after a brief tutorial. The head nurse, or whatever she is, who does the tutorial was apparently a former weight lifter with the East German Olympian team. I don’t know why every fictional hospital ever has a “scary nurse”.

Anyways, folks with various maladies (indicated by the color of their faces) file in, the player’s job is to run them through triage and send them to their prescribed treatment. As you can imagine, with each level the patients’ needs become more ornate and they file in faster. Fail to attend to them quickly and they get mad and leave, rather than die.

So your pretty little nurse runs her buns off while you try to keep up by strategically placing beds, x-ray machines and other upgrades around the hospital. You can even buy things like drink dispensers and fake plants to help the patients last longer, and bribe the doctors so they work a little faster. One thing that got me peeved was how there wasn’t any apparent way to make your nurse move faster, which would have been nice.

Hospital hustle overall is well done but it’s not going to blow anybody’s mind. The gameplay is straightforward and easy, the graphics and the appearance of the game look good. The game escalates in difficulty at a nice pace, and new items unlocked as you go along help keep the gameplay fresh. There are little sound-bites and other amusing details that showed some creativity in the production.

The downsides to this game for me were the bland “muzak” and the basic lack of a story. I realize that these things are more about the challenge of time and economy, but when I become a character in a video game I like to have a little adversity. Maybe a browbeating hospital warden breathing down Sarah’s back or a penny-pinching board member squeezing the hospital’s budget could have been worked in there.

Overall, I would recommend this title to any gamer looking for a way to kill time without getting to deeply involved in a story. Hospital Hustle is a decent production and would hold up nicely when compared to other titles of the genre.