War Hospital


It's 1918, your name is Major Henry Wells, and you have been drafted back to duty and sent to the Western Front to take over and manage a hospital near the trenches. It's a massive responsibility as you must keep the morale of your medical team and the soldiers up. You'll be pushed to the limit and must make many decisions daily. What is certain is that you will not be able to save everyone.  You will, however, have the difficult task of deciding who to send home and who to send back to the trenches. It is a tough job to manage a war hospital. Good luck, Sir!

War Hospital is a management game with choice-matter elements developed by Brave Lamb Studio S.A. and published by Nacon on the 11th of January 2024 on the Steam platform. The game is also available on Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5.

I was quite excited about the prospect of playing this game because of the subject: running a hospital towards the end of the First World War. But I had this persistent thought: how far could the developers take the subject? I was curious to see how much variation could be had in terms of gameplay, and how the strategic aspect would be implemented. I gave this game a good go - over 24 hours in total - and with this one, I am truly sitting on the fence!

The game is laid out in two perspectives: the village where the hospital is based, and the trenches. You will have access to another aspect further down the track with the scouts, but it does not bring much to the gameplay.

As you start the game, your field hospital will be pretty small. You'll have an operation room set up in the church, a train station, a casualty clearing station, a cemetery, a canteen, a staff lodging, a warehouse, a rehabilitation centre and an advanced dressing station in the trenches. The pharmacy and the scout tent will need to be built so you can start manufacturing medicine and send scouts on missions to gather goods.

At the top of your screen is a daily timeline. This timeline will show when the German bombardment will occur and how strong your military contingents are in the trenches. One or more icons (two swords) will be placed on the timeline, and depending on the colour, it will tell you about your military strength against the next attacks. Red will be poor and blue strong, with several other colours in between. At the rehabilitation centre, you'll be making all the decisions regarding where to send the soldiers when they recover from their operations, and the time of recovery is different from one soldier to the next. The rehabilitation centre has a desk with three trays on it. One tray will send soldiers back to the trenches, another will send soldiers back to Headquarters by train, and the last tray will discharge soldiers who are unfit to return to the ranks; it's pretty hard to send a double-arm amputee to the frontline. All you have to do is choose which tray to place their medical sheet in.

But before you get to choose where to send the recovered soldiers, you have to operate on them and try to save their lives. In a nutshell, this is why you have to do all three chapters of the game. The story is pretty good, and you have tasks to achieve all the way through to receive Staff Permits to boost your medical teams (doctors, nurses and stretcher teams) and bring in more engineers. You'll also receive Military Drafts for each soldier you send back to your Headquarters.

The most important resources are the two I mentioned above (Staff Permits and Military Drafts). Still, you also need to ensure you have enough surgical, chemical and trauma medicine supplies. Engineers can manufacture the medical supplies at the pharmacy, and you can order some to be delivered on the next incoming train using Military Drafts. New personnel can be recruited at the train station if you have enough Staff Permits and space at the lodge where they can rest. They, too, will arrive via the next train. Engineers can also make food and alcohol, which you’ll need as resources. But their main task is to upgrade all your hospital buildings/tents (camp improvements). They are divided into four improvements: healing, housing, production and scouting. Again, you need Military Drafts to activate each upgrade.

As the game progresses, regular events will occur, such as wounded soldiers coming in from the trenches and via trains.  You’ll also receive requests from Headquarters, and additional events, such as accepting civilians into your camp. That will boost morale, which is essential in this game because if morale reaches zero, it’s game over! But the downside of this example is that you'll need to have a good supply of food to accommodate the influx of civilians into your camp.

When you reach the stage where you can build a scout, you can send a scout to explore the area near your hospital. In the tent, a map will be displayed with locations to visit. Depending on the distance from your camp to the destination, it will take a certain number of hours or days. When they reach the location, you'll be asked to choose between two options. Depending on your choice, you’ll either receive supplies or discover new locations on the map. There is not much addition regarding gameplay.

The gameplay is pretty much clicking on every building to open the team rosters, and then managing your medical teams, stretcher teams, and engineer shifts over and over again, being careful to swap teams and engineers before they get exhausted. That's all you do! Even though there is a shift upgrade to help you manage your personnel, you are better off doing it by yourself.

There are only two types of bombardment illustrations. It happens, and there is nothing else to do. You'll return to the hospital when it finishes and start triaging the wounded. It would have been nice to have a mini-game where you have to moved your soldiers to safe places within the trenches, but no, there was nothing of the sort.

The graphics are good, and I really liked the water painting illustrations at the start of each chapter. As I was expecting, taking on such a subject for a game is difficult, but I admire the development team for taking such a gamble. There is some good stuff in this game, but it needs more variety as well as mini-games between scenes. Even taking on an operation yourself would have elevated the game so much further. There are a few annoying bugs that need to be addressed. The one that gave me plenty of grief was reloading a saved game; I couldn't use my engineers to upgrade anything. It recorded the request under the timeline but didn't start. I had to restart the game several times before the bug made a Houdini exit, after which it worked fine for a while, and then the bug reappeared.

Review written by THE CPT FROGGY for Zeepond.com

War Hospital Steam Store Page


+ Nice graphics
+ Courageous choice of subject for a game
+ Interesting story
+ Good interface and management system
+ Good gamepedia
+ Achievements


- Very repetitive
- Needed more variety, such as mini-games
- Scout implementation is poorly thought out
- Feels like more of a clicker game than anything else
- The price point is too high for what you get
- No trading cards

Review Summary

Manage a war hospital on the edge of the Western Front in 1918. A courageous subject for a game that, unfortunately, lacks substance.

Share this review!

Zeepond Rating: 6/10