Build and Manage A Maximum Security Prison.
User reviews:
Very Positive (345 reviews) - 92% of the 345 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
Very Positive (21,827 reviews) - 94% of the 21,827 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Oct 6, 2015

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Recent updates View all (41)

August 26

Version 2.0 released

Prison Architect Version 2.0 has been released!

TWO MILLION players have now enjoyed Prison Architect. We are flabbergasted. We would like to thank every single one of you from the bottom of our hearts, for making this such a dream project.

After six years of development including over 40 monthly updates, this is the final content update for Prison Architect and the final video. We will of course continue fixing bugs and providing support. We are going to take a break for a little while, but we will be back soon with our next game.


Developer Tools and Cheats
Developer tools and cheats, seen in some of the alpha videos, are now available to everyone.
A new option is shown when creating a new map, "Enable Cheats". This is prison specific and cannot be disabled later.

When enabled:
- All construction occurs immediately
- A new 'Spawn' toolbar button permits instant creation of any game object for zero cost
- Water can be placed like any other material
- Research in the bureaucracy screen can be sped up by holding down the right mouse button on the item

The Function keys now perform debug services:
F1 Edit world properties (Very easy to crash/ruin the game)
F2 Profiler
F3 Script Debugger
F4 Dialog Editor
F5 Sound Editor
F6 Sprite Bank Editor for Needs icons
F7 Sprite Bank Editor for User Interface icons
F8 Sprite Bank Editor for Game Sprites
F9 Debug rendering options
F11 Enlarge Map in All Directions

- Cheat prisons do not allow achievement unlocks
- Cheat prisons cannot be sold for profit.

Policy Window (continued)
You can now set which misbehaviours warrant an increase or decrease in prisoner security.
For example, murder can be set to immediately make a prisoner Max-Sec.

You can now disable the cell quality checks that determine which cells a prisoner can be assigned to.
When enabled, prisoners who misbehave will not be assigned to a nice cell, even if that nice cell is the only one available.
When disabled, prisoners will always be assigned to free cells if that is all that is available.

Modding System (continued)
- Added World.NumPrisoners and World.Capacity. These return tables containing the current number of prisoners
and the total number of cells in each security rating respectively.
- Added ability to use markers in object tooltip strings (via objectTable.Tooltip). See lua_function_list.txt

- Localisations: All languages updated.

- Jobs to construct walls are now visible while designating rooms.
- Fix for reliability of + button in Build Toolbar
- Delivery Truck drivers no longer counted in Staff Reports
- Utilities Room in Quick Build no longer uses the default sprite
- Objects that can't be rotated are no longer rotated if part of a Quick Build
- Staff inside gang controlled areas can now be sacked
- 0010930: [AI & Behaviour] Death row prisoners show up as max security (Icepick) - resolved.
- 0011077: [Other] Name in Game Tier issue (John) - resolved.
- 0011091: [Control & User Interface] Clicking where the taskbar is located shows the taskbar in windows 10 anniversary update (lim_ak) - resolved.
- 0011119: [Gameplay] The issue with taking Death row prisoners. (Icepick) - resolved.
- 0010968: [Performance] Random crash.Especially during the riot or taser fighting (John) - resolved.
- 0011017: [Control & User Interface] [v2preview] crash when viewing "stolen from" (John) - resolved.
- 0010921: [AI & Behaviour] Freetime broken (Icepick) - resolved.
- 0011032: [Control & User Interface] wrong Japanese translation (John) - resolved.
- 0011052: [Gameplay] Quickbuild "luxury cell" and common room not updated for v2.0 tv behavior. (Icepick) - resolved.
- 0010191: [AI & Behaviour] Dead armed guards will not stop moving when put in Hearse. (Icepick) - resolved.
- 0011060: [Control & User Interface] Ability to disable the automatic prisoner security change. (Icepick) - resolved.
- 0007196: [Control & User Interface] Inmate Nutrition Research Grammar (Icepick) - resolved.
- 0011170: [AI & Behaviour] Several security-restricted reception rooms do not work (Icepick) - resolved.
- 0011168: [AI & Behaviour] Visitation does not satisfy family need. (Icepick) - resolved.
- 0010829: [Gameplay] Extension to automatic Security Risk re-assignment (Icepick) - resolved.
- 0003491: [Control & User Interface] I need more intake in order to keep the Prison profitable (Icepick) - resolved.
- 0011129: [Platform Specific Issues] Windows 10 Taskbar vs PA Toolbar (lim_ak) - resolved.
- 0009331: [Gameplay] Execution Lockdown fails to complete (Icepick) - resolved.
- 0011135: [Gameplay] Freedom need not satisfied by yard (Icepick) - resolved.
- 0011150: [AI & Behaviour] Confidential Informants Get Stuck In Security Room (Icepick) - resolved.
- 0011106: [Control & User Interface] Micromanagement bug - no teacher exists while he does. (Icepick) - resolved.
- 0011145: [Control & User Interface] Screen focus shifts while in Informants view mode (Icepick) - resolved.
- 0011158: [Control & User Interface] Cannot switch from Dump to Dismantle in Context Menu (Icepick) - resolved.
- 0011160: [Gameplay] National guard should cancel lockdown before entering the prison (Icepick) - resolved.
- 0011105: [AI & Behaviour] Cell doors are open during Work/Lockup regime (Icepick) - resolved.
- 0011120: [Mod System] [Bug] Using "Interface.RemoveComponent()" extends the menu window height instead of shortening (elDiablo) - resolved.
- 0011068: [Control & User Interface] Nasty new problems with Interface Buttons on objects (elDiablo) - resolved.
- 0011097: [Mod System] Make the amount of prisoners per Security Level and the amount available/total cells per Security level accessible for mods (elDiablo) - resolved.
- 0010996: [AI & Behaviour] (Version 2 preview) Prisoners in solitary aren't using toilets/showers even though their needs are high (Icepick) - resolved.
- 0011104: [Gameplay] Prisoners sniffed by dog and searched once deposited in solitary never start serving their punishment (Icepick) - resolved.
- 0011136: [AI & Behaviour] Food tray redistribution (Icepick) - resolved.
- 0011124: [Gameplay] The new suprise minsec legendary gangleader event didn't actually make the prisoner a gang leader (Icepick) - resolved.
- 0011133: [AI & Behaviour] Prisoners get stuck when sent to solitary (Icepick) - resolved.
- 0011132: [Gameplay] Object duplication with high-priority jobs (Icepick) - resolved.
- 0011014: [Save & Load] SectorSystem check keeps reverting changes (Icepick) - resolved.
- 0011131: [Gameplay] Snipers bug. (Icepick) - resolved.
- 0011046: [Control & User Interface] Confidential informants screen misplaced (Icepick) - resolved.
- 0010521: [AI & Behaviour] Families wont visit causing lots of fights (Icepick) - resolved.
- 0011126: [AI & Behaviour] Prisoners fail to satisfy "Literacy" need despite having library books (Icepick) - resolved.
- 0011087: [AI & Behaviour] Prisoners taken to medical beds are not healed or returned to cells (Icepick) - resolved.
- 0010998: [Control & User Interface] "Total Prisoners" intake always selects maximum number of inmates regardless of number set (lim_ak) - resolved.
- 0011071: [AI & Behaviour] Stacking babies in a single stack (Icepick) - resolved.
- 0011075: [Gameplay] Mother visited by her 0yr. old child (Icepick) - resolved.
- 0011092: [Gameplay] Certain events should not occour before the player has unlocked what (Icepick) - resolved.
- 0011030: [Control & User Interface] v2 Reg Doors cannot be locked open (Icepick) - resolved.
- 0011081: [AI & Behaviour] Snipers target same prisoner (Icepick) - resolved.
- 0011058: [Gameplay] Mayor does not require large TV removal (Icepick) - resolved.
- 0011079: [Gameplay] Cell Grading for Dormitories bugged with more than 1 Occupants. (Icepick) - resolved.
- 0011067: [Gameplay] Random items appearing on todo list. (Icepick) - resolved.
- 0011003: [Gameplay] Agitating radio broadcasts wont stop (Icepick) - resolved.

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151 comments Read more

July 27

Update 8 released (v2.0 preview!)

Prison Architect Update 8 has been released!

This update is on a steam branch, meaning it will not automatically download. You must manually switch to that branch to see this new version.
- Right click on Prison Architect in your games list
- Click 'Properties'
- Click 'Betas'
- Select 'v2preview' from the list. (Restart steam if it doesn't show up)
- The update will then download.

This is a preview build of the v2.0 features that we are properly launching next month. There may be a couple of bugs and glitches in this bad boy so only dl if you are proper brave.....

New improved User Interface
Many user interfaces have been redesigned to be clearer, more consistent, and better looking.

- Improved Build toolbar
New look build toolbar for with much cleaner icons and graphics
Toolbar now filters out locked items by default, leading to simpler menus in early game (Click + to reveal all)
The Room toolbar now highlights room types when you mouse over them
Help tooltips have been added to many of the toolbar menus

- Tooltip sizes made more consistent and screen friendly across the board

- New Context Menu
Click on any object or entity to bring up the context menu
Allows for quick context sensitive actions
Prisoner Rap sheet now auto-follows prisoners

All construction work is now covered by a global UNDO button at the bottom right of the screen
Click UNDO to gradually reverse any decisions you have made, and receive a full refund
Nb. UNDO button is only shown when using the toolbar for foundations, materials, objects, utilities etc.

- Research/bureaucracy screen improved to look better
- Patrols interface improved for clarity
- Pipe and water rendering improved for clarity
- Informants window improved by moving the list to the right of the screen and making it smaller
- Logistics views now more consistent, showing only objects and entities relevant to each view.
Eg Food logistics now shows everything relevent to food: Ingredients, meals, chefs, prisoners working in the kitchen

- Nb. All of the new GUI features can be disabled through Main Menu -> Options -> Game -> Version 2.0 GUI tickbox

- Zoom to mouse
Nb. Can be disabled through Main Menu -> Options -> Game -> Zoom to mouse.

Modding System (continued)

- 'Infinite' mod loading
The game now supports many more simultanious graphical mods than before
It achieves this by gradually increasing the size of the graphics tileset, until your graphics card itself hits its limit
In general users should find they can now activate a great deal more mods before any problems occur
In addition, when the limit is reached you will now receive a warning/error message. (Previously it just started misbehaving)

- Mods with spritesheets larger than 1024x1024 are now supported

- Lua World Scripts
Each mod can now have a data/world.lua script file, which should contain both Init() and Update( timePassed ) functions.
This script is initialised on World initialisation (for both new maps and loaded save games) and Updated on each World update.
Variables set in the "this" or "World" tables will be cast to strings and persist in the save game.
Variables are loaded after Init and before the first call to Update.

- Mods can now have their own sounds.txt file, containing only new/modified sounds.
These will override base data in the same way as other mod files.

- Added Update button to Prison Sharing menu.
Allows any published prison to be updated with the prison that you are currently playing.

- Fixed a bug in the lua scripting system that would try to cast boolean strings (in lua) to a bool (in c++).

New game content
- New events
Contraband surge
Tree fire
Food poisoning
Agitating radio
CI list leak
Mass tunnelling

- TVs now broadcast over an area (3x3, shown as a green box).
Prisoners sitting within the viewing area can watch TV and thereby have their recreation needs taken care of.
Nb. Prisoners can be doing other things at the same time, eg eating in the canteen.

- New item: Large TV.
Has a larger viewing area and can easily provide Recreation to an entire room.
Be sure to provide lots of seating spaces.

- Radios now passively broadcast to the entire room.
Any prisoners in a room with a radio are slightly less bored, so get a small reduction to their Recreation needs.

- New item: Arcade Cabinet
Two inmates can play games on an arcade cabinet at the same time

- New Contraband menu option: 'Stolen From'
Shows the location each item of contraband was stolen from, rather than where it was ultimately recovered
Shows 7 days of contraband history.
This is very handy for finding which of your rooms is lacking security
Also easily reveals where contraband is being thrown into your prison.

- New Regime options
Added a 'Work/Lockup' regime type. Treats prisoners who aren't working as being on a Lockup regime instead of free time.
The standard Work regime has been renamed to 'Work/Freetime'

- Dead entities now have their cause of death displayed in their tooltip

- Prisoners without jail cells now show the reason why in their tooltip

- Family cells that are in their own block, separate from other prisoner housing, will form a single sector

- The 'Names in the Game' database can now be manually updated from the Extras | Name in Game menu.

- Updates to all translations to bring all languages up to v2.0.

- Fixed: A gang would never receive a new leader, if its previous leader was killed and left the map.
- Fix for Intake System to ensure that the correct number of prisoners are taken
- 0010443: [AI & Behaviour] Family cells do not form a continuous cell block
- 0010559: [Mod System] Changing WorldCell "Ind" property always sets to false
- 0009556: [Mod System] Lua: Triggered property sometimes a string, sometimes a number, sometimes boolean
- 0003033: [Save & Load] Steam Workshop Update not possible
- 0009729: [Mod System] Sprites.png: 1024x1024 size not working
- 0010882: [Mod System] Sprite.png size limitations cause compatibility issues with mods
- 0010290: [Mod System] Sprite Limits
- 0009618: [Mod System] sprites.png: current approach necessary but not sufficient

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81 comments Read more


“Prison Architect chills me to the bone. If played haphazardly it can be a wonderful farce rich with hilarious anecdotes, but played patiently and carefully it’s a horror game, a top-down voyage into the heart of darkness, an eternal raging fire I forever try but can only fail to douse.” RPS

"Prison Architect, to be sure, is an excellent game, worthy of comparison to its canonical inspirations, Dwarf Fortress and Bullfrog Productions’ 1990 construct-and-manage simulations. Few games can hope to match Prison Architect’s emergent storytelling, and fewer still can balance brutality and poignancy like it does." KILLSCREEN

About This Game

Build and Manage A Maximum Security Prison.

Build and manage a Maximum Security Prison. As the sun casts it’s early morning rays on a beautiful patch of countryside the clock starts ticking. You’ve got to crack on and build a holding cell to detain the job­ lot of maximum security prisoners that are trundling to your future prison on their yellow bus. As your workmen lay the last brick you don’t have a moment to let them rest as they need to get started on the first proper cell block so you can make room for the next prisoner intake. Once they’ve all got a place to lay their weary heads the fun can really start.

You’ll need a canteen, infirmary and a guard room, oh, and don’t forget to plumb in a toilet, or things will get messy, but what about a workout area? Or solitary confinement cells? Or an execution chamber?

Inspired by Dungeon Keeper, Dwarf Fortress and Theme Hospital and with over 1 million players having spent time inside, Prison Architect is the world’s best lock-­em-­up.

Story Mode

Prison Architect opens with the story of Edward, a man facing the electric chair for committing a crime of passion. This is followed by four additional chapters focusing on different characters and aspects of prison life. From Mafia Dons to power-crazed senators, Prison Architect has them all! To bring these characters to life, Introversion teamed up with award winning professional writer Chris Hastings, producing an enthralling tale of corruption and human misery set against the background of the modern prison industrial complex.

Escape Mode

Finished your supermax? Got guard dogs roving every corridor and prisoners eating out of your hand? Now you can live the horror by firing up escape mode and play as a prisoner hell-bent on getting the hell out of dodge.

Dig a tunnel, go for the armoury or start a riot and slip out in the chaos, it’s entirely up to you! Figure out how to escape from your own creation, or hit the random button and load one of the 12,000 prisons created by the steam co

System Requirements

Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux
    • OS:XP
    • Processor:Intel Core2 Duo 2.4Ghz or Higher / AMD 3Ghz or Higher
    • Memory:4 GB RAM
    • Graphics:Nvidia 8600 / Radeon equivalent (2009 era)
    • Hard Drive:300 MB HD space
    • Processor:2009 era Macbook Pro, Core2 Duo processor
    • Memory:4 GB RAM
    • Hard Drive:300 MB HD space
    • OS: Ubuntu 12.04 or later
    • Processor: Intel Core2 Duo 2.4Ghz or Higher / AMD 3Ghz or Higher
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Nvidia 8600 / Radeon equivalent (2009 era)
    • Hard Drive: 300 MB HD space
Customer reviews
Customer Review system updated Sept. 2016! Learn more
Very Positive (345 reviews)
Very Positive (21,827 reviews)
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14,809 reviews match the filters above ( Very Positive)
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
9 of 11 people (82%) found this review helpful
23.5 hrs on record
Posted: October 2
Wow. Originally played during Beta... The campaigns added a lot of enjoyment to the overall game. The game runs a lot smoother and there is less bugs in general. Highly entertaining.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
10 of 13 people (77%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
49.1 hrs on record
Posted: October 1
This game is amazing, simply put. The graphics don't look good at all when you first start playing the game, but as you become used to them they can actually be quite pretty at times. The sound is good as well, though it can become pretty loud if you zoom in on a riot or other large scale events. The gameplay is fun, and it's really satisfying as your workers make the foundations of your next building, especially if it's a large one. The feeling of it slowly coming into existence is just awesome.

And then there's the community. This community is one of the best I've ever seen, and it saved me from leaving a negative review and never playing again. I hadn't played in like 5 or so months, so I forgot that I had some mods on, and since those mods had been downloaded while the game was still in early acces, they had a huge negative impact on my game. There was a game breaking "bug" happening in my save, where the guards wouldn't move prisoners from the Reception to the holding cell, and I was about to quit the game. I started a discussion on the community home page with just 2 screenshots, and then within 6 minutes I got a response from a very kind individual, who noticed that I had some mods on, which might have been causing the problem. He suggested I disable them and see if that helped, and lo and behold, I had been saved from my own dumbassry.

So yeah, I really do recommend this game
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6 of 7 people (86%) found this review helpful
41.9 hrs on record
Posted: September 27
Really hard to stop playing until you pull yourself away, then it's oddly equally hard to start playing again.

Unfortunately it won't see any further significant updates according to the devs, mods may entice my interest again.
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12 of 19 people (63%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Not Recommended
141.8 hrs on record
Posted: October 4
They abandoned the game way too soon. It still needs tons of updates. Otherwise, it's a fun game to play.
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
436.0 hrs on record
Posted: October 11
Prison Architect is one of the best games I have played in years. I had it on my wishlist for ages as I wasn't sure if I would like it or not. I purchased it on sale and have currently played around 435 hours so finally getting to grips with my latest prison. Years ago I played games like Theme Hospital and this has all the best attributes of these types of games. I love building new prisons, the prisoners are quite comical but challenging to deal with so this game can keep your interest for weeks at a time. I do have a very good gaming laptop so am able to build vast establishments. I have not fully explored all the scenarios or challenges within the game but wanted to leave a review for anyone like myself that doubted the game - best money I have spent on steam this year! Currently I am challenging myself to stop escapes and get my statistics up and like all good games, this takes time, but is fun to do - nobody has escaped so far.....
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
20.8 hrs on record
Posted: October 5
There are many things I love about prison architect but ultimately it has too many bugs, even in it's campaign, to have a truly quality experience. Far too often i was trying to figure out why doors don't open or mysteriously get stuck, why guards are getting stuck in doorways, why two different electrical grids can't interconnect but water can (seriously this was lame) etc.

Plus the UI needs to be improved. Not knowing which of the dozens of pieces of furniture will be functional when placed flush up against a wall or corner without guesswork and memorization is silly. The duplication tool is far too restrictive to be useful.

Some people can look past this and probably get lost in the redeeming features it has but I just couldn't go the distance.
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
37.8 hrs on record
Posted: October 21
Listen, I LOVE this game, but theres one small issue.

(Goes to a corner and kills himself)
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7 of 11 people (64%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
5.6 hrs on record
Posted: September 25
Extremely ambitious, and it got close. Just not polished enough.
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3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
23.6 hrs on record
Posted: September 27
Nice game! But the escape mode needs work!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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7 of 12 people (58%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
6.2 hrs on record
Posted: September 25
there are a ton of bugs yet i have had to start my prison over 3 times now i dont see how this game is worth 30$ because its not worth that at this moment.
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Recently Posted
28.7 hrs
Posted: October 22
♥♥♥♥ing fun.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
16.7 hrs
Posted: October 22
although this is a good game at its stages right now i really hope that the whole "final update" message in the news feed was a prank or some sort of joke becuase holy ♥♥♥♥ there are still an insane ammount of bugs to get worked out. i've got a proble where EVERY worker and janitior will go to one spot in my prison and continuosly attempt to pick stff up or clean something but continueously fail because its "too dangerous" considering it is a max security wing for my prison i had alot of guards posted there and its still not working right. all in all it is a good game but do not i repeat DO NOT make that your last update and release something as buggy as it is. still a good game but alot of changes should be made to AI pathing.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
[D2N] Demon
10.5 hrs
Posted: October 22
Prison ==
How could it be to build a prison
*after 3 hours playtime
STOP BATTLE YOU ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥, all guard die on riot
100% will die again
Helpful? Yes No Funny
100.5 hrs
Posted: October 22
Love this game, so many ways to make a prison a hell hole! :D
Helpful? Yes No Funny
25.7 hrs
Posted: October 22
Fun Indie Love
Helpful? Yes No Funny
36.7 hrs
Posted: October 22
10/10 would enslave prisoners again.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
10.8 hrs
Posted: October 22
Prison Architect wont work for me help i hafe not got eny add ons !!!!!!!!!!!??????????
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Sammich Guy
103.4 hrs
Posted: October 22
This game is one of my favorites. I love how i can play the game however i want to, if i want to make a giant prison and not worry about my money, then thats ok. But if i want to go slow and play the game the way it probably was made to be played, then thats ok. That is why this game is so good. You can play anny way you want to.

When i got the game it was a strange thing, i watched a bunch of videos of this game and it looked awesome. So the only problem i had with the game was how hard it was in the beginning. But I took it slow and then i learned how most of the things worked.

Now when i just got the game i was i shock that it was still in early acces. The devs relesed one new update allmost every for three years. Now that is insane.

So my revew is, great game. Maybe a must buy if you love building and resource management games. 9,4/10
Helpful? Yes No Funny
justin+_+cleve (tdt)
15.9 hrs
Posted: October 22
Helpful? Yes No Funny
78.0 hrs
Posted: October 21
don't be a snitch....
Helpful? Yes No Funny