Ghost and Ghost Busting
Two Point Studios has figured out something my parents never could: the best way to get me back in school is with ghostbusting.
Two Point Campus has only been out since August 2022, and we’re already on the second pack of DLC. I say that like it’s unusual, but I feel as though many of the larger studios would have already pushed out several downloadable items and announced that they’re working on a sequel by now. We previously got Space Academy, which took higher education to the Final Frontier, but this time we’ll be taking a trip into the great beyond.
The School Spirits expansion is the sum of my previous two paragraphs: it is new DLC that is all about ghostbusting. This is called narrative flow, and I hope you’re taking notes because it will be on the test.
Two Point Campus: School Spirits (PC [Reviewed], PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo Switch)
Developer: Two Point Studios
Released: March 15, 2023
Two Point Campus: School Spirits includes one campus, two courses, and a new challenge mode. That’s considerably less than what was included in Space Academy in terms of content, but the price is also lower to reflect this. On the other hand, however, the new campus plays so much differently than anything else in the game, that it’s almost the better overall experience.
The two courses provided are paranormal detection and the titular school spirits. The former is the aforementioned course on ghosts and ghost busting, while the latter involves teaching dead people how to be dead. Putting ghost students alongside ghost-busting students may seem like a recipe for a roiling pot of disaster, but you’d be wrong. There’s another type of ghost that is bad. I guess maybe those are the ones that didn’t go to school.
An invisible man sleepin’ in your dorm
The two courses are largely like the ones in the base game. Theme aside, there’s nothing too surprising. The big exception is that, in order to unlock more plots with which to expand your campus, you have to exorcise larger spirits from the lots around you. This really changes the direction on this campus. You need more students with higher competency in ghost busting, but in order to do so, you need more space to build facilities. This cycle ensures that you continually make attempts to exorcise the spirits around you, while also maximizing your use of space. It gives a goal beyond just “making a lot of money”, which helps this particular campus feel unique.
The downside to the focus being squarely on the campus’ challenge is that there’s no real excitement in taking these courses to the base game. There are no ghosts to bust in the county’s other locales, so the DLC’s main value is contained exclusively within Lifeless Estates, and that is somewhat disappointing.
Hapless puppet people
While School Spirits is undoubtedly a smaller package than Space Academy was, it makes the most of its concept without feeling bloated. Could it have done more? Yes. Mad science could have been added to the package. Should it have? Not necessarily. Mad science can still be served later.
The base game of Two Point Campus is a complete experience. Adding additional content just lets both players and Two Point Studios explore new wrinkles in the formula. While I personally plan on delving into them all, I think the ability to pick-and-choose themes that better suit your tastes is a reasonable approach to expanding the base game.
In regards to School Spirits specifically, I enjoyed the content. I feel it’s more memorable and interesting than what was done in Space Academy. The flow of the whole experience is altered much more appreciably without requiring you to pick up an entirely new set of skills. It’s definitely not a dramatic shake-up, but it was worth returning to Two Point Campus to experience it. However, if the core experience didn’t click with you, then it’s doubtful that School Spirits will help it rise from the grave.
[This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.]