Galacticare title image

Galacticare, A Galactic Experience – Review

Take to the stars and tackle ailments you’ve never even heard of as the director of your own space hospital. Put your tycoon skills to the test and build your galactic empire with Galacticare from Brightrock Games.

Galacticare a space station with HEAL speaking to you

Theme Hospital. Two Point Hospital. There are some really obvious comparisons here but for the sake of this review, I’m going to imagine you’re new to the genre and haven’t played them. However, if you’re a fan of Two Point, you could probably just skip this review and head right on over to Steam to download Galaticare now. Need more convincing? Oh, okay. Then allow me…

Galaticare is a hospital-sim, tycoon game where you manage various hospitals across the galaxy. Supported by your onboard AI, HEAL, and a spherical robot called Medi, it is your task to oversee each hospital. Starting small with diagnosis and a few treatment rooms, you slowly build up to running giant space stations, treating different species with strange conditions.

Galacticare level map showing lots of destinations in a constelation

Each level sees you opening a new hospital in light of a recent catastrophe. Perhaps there has been an explosion or an outbreak of some kind, but it is up to you to adapt and develop the correct hospital for the job.

Be it testing canisters, treating burns or helping musicians through their substance abuse issues, your goals are presented as part of the story. Characters have names, voices and full-blown personalities which drive the narrative. In this, a plot begins to form as masks slip and sinister forces begin to show themselves.

Galacticare space station with a space shuttle with a red cross on

Some of these characters will join your team as consultants. Unlike regular staff who have only one expertise, consultants have skill trees which level up as individual goals are met. These skills offer area buffs and other boons which make them really useful to have on your station, but are likely to expect higher wages faster.

Managing regular staff is reasonably uninvolved providing you set up your rooms to meet the various species requirements and place staff rooms. They all have negative traits which range from embezzler to psychopath, so you have to weigh up which are worth the risk. Often I would take staff with lower exp rates or ones who dropped litter in a way to avoid staff who may injure my patients, but it wasn’t always possible.

Galacticare species information
Galacticare species information

There is one species which prefers rooms with extra space. Four squares to be precise. However, stations have limited space which only becomes tighter as you add more treatments to your roster. Another species likes upgraded rooms and another likes windows and toilets, while others like eating out of the trash. There’s a lot to take in, but each level builds slowly upon the last, so it was never overwhelming.

Galacticare close up of a diagnosis room

Again, most of the game mechanics are presented as part of the story. New rooms, species and anything you would require a tutorial for is presented with full voice acting and context. This made them easy to digest and remember while offering a degree of hand-holding for newcomers to the genre.

If you complete the story for a level, you can then continue in sandbox mode to reach the five-star rating. There are also side-levels which are outside the main plot to offer extra challenges. Here, different characters will contact you with jobs which you can choose to accept. Just like the main story, these challenges are fully voice-acted and full of character, making the casual grind really fun and engaging. I will say the variety in these wasn’t huge, but more unlock as you progress through the story.

Galacticare , close up of BAZ the colossus who sells you things

There are a few space-themed lo-fi tunes under the gameplay, which I found myself humming while playing Powerwash Simulator. They’re not anything special, but work really well within the setting and allow for the special effects and dialogue to shine.

Galacticare , close up of a dreamnarium as a patient is cured

Similarly, I felt the graphics did a great job of presenting the space-themed environments and characters in a cohesive manner. With so many NPCs, animated objects and rooms to contend with, I didn’t expect a huge amount of detail, but they do look nice. The backdrops are visually stunning though and often change depending on the story progression. There was some clipping and rubber-banding in the train level, but it was already patched out.

Galacticare , a narrow map with a train line down the middle of it

The dialogue and world-building are altogether incredible. Characters have history, charm and razor-sharp wit leading to consistent comedy and regular laugh-out-loud moments. There’s a Matt Berry sound-alike who had me in absolute stitches and I was eager to progress my hospitals to see who would pop up next. This is where Galacticare really sets itself apart from other sim-builder/tycoon games.

Every pixel of Galacticare is oozing with charm and creativity. The care and attention to detail put into creating a game which could have coasted easily as a “Two Point in Space” cash-grab, is actually something far superior to many of its peers. While many tycoon games coast on simple goals, Galacticare leans more towards Planet Zoo in creating a full and enriching experience.

Galacticare , a space map with lots of rooms and decorations

At the time of writing, the number of interactive enrichment unlocks available isn’t huge. I think there were three bonus vending machines and some additional seating and photos which I unlocked. Things like wall decorations, statues and character skins are there, but they’re largely cosmetic or static decorations. Having silly interactive objects to enrich the experience for customers is something I really enjoyed about other sim games. Things like the arcade machines and tunnel of love in Two Point are dumb fun, and I would like to see them added in the future.

Galacticare level as a doctor asks you about bones

I cannot recommend Galacticare enough. It’s full of charm and the perfect game to disassociate into. I might even pick it up on PS5 to try the trophies…

So how about it, Director?

9/10 star rating

Platforms: PC, PS5, XBS/X

Developers: Brightrock Games

Publishers: CULT Games





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