Hysteria Hospital: Emergency Ward takes the casual gaming formula made famous by games such as Diner Dash and Sally’s Salon, and adds an emergency room twist. Like those other games, you manage a growing wave of characters who enter your facility for service. In this case, its patients who enter the emergency room needing different kinds of care. You treat the patients through the operating room or diagnose their problems using CAT scans and x-rays. Depending on the patient’s problems, you may need to treat the patients immediately or prioritize other patients. At first, the flow is manageable and you are easily able to get the patients the type of care they need. As you visit larger hospitals, the complexity ramps up and you are making life and death decisions at blinding speed. It can be quite a thrill.
There are at least seven hospitals available, each with their own treatment facilities and specialties. There will be a total of 63 levels, meaning that players will find plenty of challenge in Hysteria Hospital: Emergency Ward. Unfortunately, the preview build I had timed out so I was not able to progress very far into the game.
The visuals in Hysteria Hospital are pretty basic, which is expected from most casual-leaning titles. The emergency room and characters are ably animated, and you have a consistent point of view and uncluttered visual space that makes the task of managing the patients as simple as it should be. There are the different treatment modules and rooms, as well as ambulances that bring patients in, or (at your request) send patients to another hospital if you don’t have the capabilities to treat their injuries.
The preview build I played was for the PC, but its not very difficult to see how the simple mouse-based click and point gameplay will translate easily to the Wii’s pointer control. The clean look and accessible interface should make this a breeze to control on the Wii. For fans of titles like Sally’s Salon and Diner Dash, Hysteria Hospital for Wii and DS will be a no brainer. Fans of casual games who have not played either of those titles may want to check out Hysteria Hospital when it releases in June 2009.