Wooga Goes For the Maternal Instinct With Its Fourth Facebook Game, Happy Hospital

German outfit Wooga is going public with a new title in its Facebook collection: Happy Hospital. Still in its early beta stages, the game has been growing over the past week with a total monthly active user count of around 252,000 and a daily active user count near 66,000.

Somewhat similar to games like Hotel City, Happy Hospital is a virtual space game about curing and caring for cute animals. With simple mechanics, the real draws are the visual style and quirky ailments, both of which are almost certainly designed to attract a primarily female demographic. With the user base growing at an ever increasing rate, this scheme appears to be working.

Players start with a hospital, with the true objective being to decorate and build the nicest virtual space possible. In order to earn enough to build and decorate these rooms, however, players must treat patients. This is where the “cuteness factor” (for lack of a better term) comes into play. Each patient is an animal with a rather bizarre ailment, like the tiny dog dressed as Napoleon with “Napoleon Syndrome,” or the sleeping giraffe that had a toy car drive into its mouth while snoring.

For each illness, different rooms are needed for treatment and will take varying amounts of time (the longer treatments reward greater coin and experience, and can be sped up by one hour by consuming slowly recharging energy). Also, some critters will need multiple rooms for treatment. Assuming players have the rooms needed — such as a examination room or a physical therapy room — the creature will make its way up and start treatment under the eyes of an obviously qualified physician, like a goldfish.

However, before the timer for treatment officially starts, players must power up the machines. This is done by batteries that are won through a slot machine already in the hospital. For a small amount of coin, players can win varying amounts of batteries to power their machinery.

As players progress and level up, more rooms and treatments become available. Despite new visuals, it’s basically more of the same play-wise, but there is a level of amusement with seeing each new ailment. The only truly unique aspect that we’ve stumbled across thus far is the “Fountain of Youth” room that plays dramatically on the game’s cutsie style.

Once unlocked (by reaching a certain level) players can build this room and treat an elderly animal by turning them into adorable baby animals. Since batteries and water would be a bad idea, this treatment is powered by gems, which can be found in a magic flower outside the hospital every couple of hours. Once friends unlock this room, their hospital can be visited and their gems collected as well. Treating these “Elders,” as they are called, rewards much more coin and experience, but will only appear after so many regular patients have been treated.

As for other social elements, they consist of the usual suspects for virtual spaces. This means leaderboards, visiting each other’s space, and earning a small amount of income for doing so (by finding some random blue bird). It’s a bit basic, but past Wooga games, like Monster World, also started out basic and succeeded anyway.

In the end, some might mark Happy Hospital’s simplicity as a drawback, but considering the clear target audience and the increasing growth rate of the game over the past week or so, it really shouldn’t be. Wooga seems to have homed in on a group of players who enjoy the specific style of their games, and it would be surprising if Happy Hospital doesn’t do as well as past titles.