2018’s Two Point Hospital was a worthy spiritual successor to management sim classic Theme Hospital, but I’ll tell you something it didn’t have: aliens. Thankfully, Galacticare is here to fix that tragic and obvious misstep.
The game charges you with running a medical space station, caring for a broad and bizarre array of species. “From tiny, biomechanical lemurs, to starship-sized spacefarers, to entire planets, take on patients of all shapes and sizes,” says the Steam page.
The basic building and management of your facilities looks very similar to Theme Hospital, but with a colourful sci-fi aesthetic reminiscent of another management sim classic: Startopia. It’s a clever mix—freaky aliens and a sci-fi setting are the perfect justification for taking Theme Hospital’s weird and comical diseases and treatments to new levels of absurdity.
There’s more to it than just a shiny new skin over an old favourite, though. Developer Brightrock Games previously made War for the Overworld, which recreated the Dungeon Keeper formula but added in whole new layers of play to expand the experience. Galacticare looks to have similar ambitions. For example, your crew of doctors and surgeons are named characters that you recruit and take with you from mission to mission—including a DJ and a “fungus-addled monk”. Each has its own mechanics, and you can choose how they level up over the course of a campaign, and even uncover their backstories.
Similarly, as you treat patients of different species, you’ll build reputation with their kind, unlocking new rewards to add to those revealed through your research labs.
The vibrant vibes and cheerful humour of the trailer have definitely captured my attention. There’s no release date yet—just a vague aim for 2023—but it looks like one for any management sim fan to keep their telescope trained on this year.