Build and Manage A Maximum Security Prison.
User reviews:
Recent:
Very Positive (940 reviews) - 88% of the 940 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
Overall:
Very Positive (21,590 reviews) - 94% of the 21,590 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!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UXrmp9F0uMY

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.

CHANGES

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

Nb.
- 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.


BUG FIXES
- 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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144 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.....


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e2e1zciptdI


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

- UNDO
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
Preacher

- 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.

BUG FIXES
- 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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80 comments Read more

Reviews

“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

Windows
Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux
    Minimum:
    • 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
    Minimum:
    • 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
Recent:
Very Positive (940 reviews)
Overall:
Very Positive (21,590 reviews)
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14,681 reviews match the filters above ( Very Positive)
Recently Posted
coperphild
31.3 hrs
Posted: September 26
Отличная и оригинальная песочница, можно убить не один час
Helpful? Yes No Funny
JesterOC
8.1 hrs
Posted: September 26
TLDR: Nice little time waster, A very fun game.

Pros:
Quick to load and start. If you don't have much time most of it will be playing not looking at loading screens
Adictive "just one more thing" gameplay
Fairly easy overall learning curve
Interesting if perhaps a little depressing theme.

Cons:
Many times I had to pause the game and check a wiki to figure out how to perform new tasks
Some features don't tell you why they are failing (prison labor, teaching sessions,I'm looking at you)
I have spent lots of (virtual) money on fixing room size requirment issues, you have to check one menu first, go to another, then go back to the original.

Helpful? Yes No Funny
Puffy
34.1 hrs
Posted: September 26
Really fun, I enjoy seeing my sexy prisoners rioting. I would lock them in their cells with poor conditons.
10/10 for toturing them.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Masa
10.1 hrs
Posted: September 26
Prison Architect is a pretty good indie prison management game with a number of flaws.

The art and audio are functional, but not particularly good. Luckily the core gameplay is quite fun and addictive. You build and improve your prison all the while trying to keep your prisoners reasonably happy (or at least under control). There's a very clear influence from Dwarf Fortress and other managament sims here.

The game has a decent if short campaign that acts as an extended tutorial. Unfortunately, many of the more advanced game concepts are poorly explained in-game and you are pretty much forced to either read through the wiki or work it out yourself through tedious (and expensive) trial and error.

Personally I would have liked to see some custom scenarios or at least more variety with the sandbox mode. As it is, the game gets repetitive fairly quickly after finishing the campaign and building a few prisons from scratch. Furthermore, many of the more advanced features feel quite unpolished or even unfinished.

Prison Architect is a good management game that's easy to recommend for the fans of the genre. However, the asking price is pretty high for an unpolished indie release, so it's probably best to get the game during a sale/bundle.

The good:
- Fun and addictive gameplay
- The campaign does a pretty decent job teaching basic game concepts

The bad:
- Many of the more advanced systems lack polish
- In-game tooltips are lacking and a lot of important information is only available in the wiki/guides
- Sandbox mode gets repetitive after a while

The ugly:
- There are a number of bugs with the campaign objectives
- Pathfinding issues
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Himulaya
5.4 hrs
Pre-Release Review
Posted: September 25
Great management/simulation game. Easy to get into, enjoyable, allows for creativity, with plenty of challenge.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Democritus
2.6 hrs
Posted: September 25
Tons of fun. Who could not enjoy building effective prison systems for more and more incarcerated folk? I see now why politicians do it. It's a blast.

Guard your libraries. Watch for a Shawdhank event.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Neverdusk
11.0 hrs
Posted: September 25
This game is surprisingly ethical. The story actually explores the decisions made with crime cases, from executions to corruption. And that doesn't stop with actual gameplay.

I created a prison for 100+ people that I had put a LOT of work into into. I'm talking sweat and tears. The results were low danger at all times, with very few prisoner complaints. Rehab programs, work programs, libraries - prisoner paradise. Then I saw an achievement for stopping a massive riot... What followed were lockdowns, bangups, and constant shakedowns. Several people were injured. One person was shot. The danger level soared. Once it reached max, I transferred all guards outside the facility, ready for the imminent riot.

But, it never came. Immediately, the danger level diminished and everybody went about their day as usual. What? Where did I go wrong? Then I realized it - my prison was such a happy, positive environment that no riot could ever happen. They were all too pleased with the way I had made things. My regime, programs, and design had been built for their wellbeing since day one. There, I just looked at my prison in shock. I quit and left, horrified with what I had done.

Then I got home and played Prison Simulator.
10/10
Helpful? Yes No Funny
J9899
41.8 hrs
Posted: September 25
Bought Game.
Started Up Game.
Built A Gigantic Prison.
Riots Galore.

10/10 would nuke my prison again
Helpful? Yes No Funny
batzombie0121
1.6 hrs
Posted: September 25
Cool game definatley worth it
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Kalshirak
6.2 hrs
Posted: September 25
Nice sim with options
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
54 of 68 people (79%) found this review helpful
36 people found this review funny
Recommended
31.0 hrs on record
Posted: August 30
>Found a World War 2 POW mod
>Downloaded it
>Wonder how to build cell blocks
>See dormitory option
>Proceed to make a 1400 capacity dormitory of mixed prisoner securities.
>Prison works

I made a actual concentration camp and it worked.
It's a great game on normal too.
Like surely buy it.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
43 of 62 people (69%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Not Recommended
62.4 hrs on record
Posted: September 10
I would really love to recommend this game, but as it stands I simply can't do it for the full price. If you're able to find it on a good sale, go for it.

The reason I can't recommend it is that I honestly believe that the devepeloper is moving on from this game far too soon. The recently released 2.0 is (in their own words) the last feature update, and the game will only receive bug-fixes from now on. I bought this game back when it was in early access because I saw a lot of potential in it, but sadly a lot of that potential will seemingly go unfulfilled.

  • Guard assignments are a mess. Sure, they work, but the interface for it is awful and make setting up your guards needlessly tedious. The hourly schedule is one of the least intuitive implementations I can think of. The patrol routes apply to all guards, including dogs - so you can't have a dog patrol crossing a route that was meant for regular guards if you wanted to. You can get around that of course, but you shouldn't have to.
  • You can't assign areas yourself. Areas are assigned when they're blocked off (like by doors). That means that if you're trying to make a fairly open prison you still have to put down doors to make these blocks. You have to do that because canteens and laundries supply these blocks, and if it's all one big block everything will go everywhere, which is obviously not very efficient.
  • The gang system still seems very raw. It adds a challenge which is nice, but a lot of the mechanics seem very opaque. Non of the members will participate in any reform-programs (not even ones that aren't work related - such as spiritual guidance) and there doesn't seem to be any way that a gang member will ever leave a gang. Gangs can plan activities, such as planning a takeover of a yard, right in the middle of a bunch of guards, but there's no way of splitting them up or trying to prevent it from happening (you can prevent the actual takeover by having enough guards at the targeted location). Another curious (or lazy) mechanic is that gang members immediately know if their leader is being punished, even if the leader is in a different sector (or even another security level) with no gang members nearby.
  • All policies are prison-wide. You can't have different policies for minimum and super-max prisoners. You can't feed them differently either. That means that if you choose to put gang leaders in super-max because you don't want them to interact with their members, you can't specify that they should never be put in solitary or lockdown (to prevent their members being mad when it happens, as mentioned above). This also means that you can't ask your armed guards in max-security to free-fire without armed guards doing it everywhere else too.
  • The reform-program-page is lacking information. It shows number of prisoners in queue for a program, but it doesn't show which security levels they are. Once you get a big prison with a lot of programs running it also becomes a very long list to scroll, and a simple feature like minimizing a certain category doesn't exist.
  • Power stations have limited power, and for whatever reason they can't be connected to each other. Again this makes for a needlessly tedious setup. Water pumps can supply unlimited water though.
  • You can only hire one foreman. The foreman runs the workshop classes, so if you want to have multiple workshop classes (in different security levels for example) you either have to offset their work time or edit the savefile to hire more foremen. I have no idea why this limitation is there - it doesn't serve any purpose.
  • The workmen aren't very bright. If you build (or dismantle for that matter) a long line of piping or electric cables each part seems to be assigned to seperate workmen, which means a lot of running for a lot of people. This will often slow down construction (especially as your prison, and by that the distances, grow), because a workman runs from delivery or storage to installation point and back again. Even if the material to carry out the order is right there he will run past it and let another guy run the same distance to do the job.
  • Last, but not least, the game doesn't have a main menu when you start the game. No, I'm not kidding. Every time you start the game it just loads into an empty lot waiting for a prison to be built on it.

Most of these things aren't really major, and the game works fine despite them. They are not things I would expect from a finished €28 game though. It was fine when it was in early access, and I honestly still didn't mind them that much when the game went out of early access. But I do mind that the developer now considers the game fully complete when I think there's a lot of features that point to the opposite. I don't regret buying it when it was on sale in early access, but I would regret buying it for the full price.

Edit: I forgot to mention the complete lack of feedback messages when you can't do something. If a gang has taken over a yard, you can't build there. Unless you actually know in advance how gangs work, you won't know why. You just won't be allowed to build there. When trying to schedule a reform-program, sometimes you simply won't be able to because of lack of rooms or lack of personel to take care of the class. Again, there's no error message here telling you the problem - clicking the button to start the program simply won't do anything at all, and it's now your job to figure out why the game won't let you.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
17 of 18 people (94%) found this review helpful
Recommended
167.9 hrs on record
Posted: August 30
This game is, in my honest opinion, the crowning achievement of Early Access. Not only is the game more than feature complete, but it has also been in a fully playable and enjoyable state since the earliest of days. The monthly dev logs are a joy to watch and kept players informed about changes along the way in a very excellent fashion.

Not only that but even after leaving Early Access these devs continued working and improving upon this game. I can only applaud their work ethic because there are companies releasing 60$ titles that have never even dreamt of putting in this type of sustained effort.

The game is also really, really good and you should just buy it really.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
22 of 28 people (79%) found this review helpful
42 people found this review funny
Recommended
30.1 hrs on record
Posted: August 31
So, as my wife and I are planning on building a house, I immediately bought this game, thinking that this must the ultimative game to test out my designing skills.
Things went off pretty good for a start.

A few weeks later in the real design phase of the house, my wife asked me if I was serious about the design, and of course I was supermax serious about it.
I told her it was designed for keeping our children safe and avoid harm.
However, she did not really think that the armed guards I had planned was necessary and that the CCTV was a bit overrated.

As I was in charge, I decided immediately that I also needed a maximum security place for her.


After a few months, I lost of all rights to design the house and was fired for not being able to stop the riot going on in the house.

10/10!
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22 of 30 people (73%) found this review helpful
29 people found this review funny
Recommended
12.3 hrs on record
Posted: September 2
> Be Me
> Start out with small prison
> Get a few anons
> Treat them ok
> Prison grows
> Starts getting harder to properly take care of prisoners
> Stop Caring what prisoners think
> Constant angry prisoners
> Find out that you get paid to bring in new prisoners once old ones die
> Hire armed guards and free fire on prisoners when they act up
> constantlyshootingprisoners.jpg
> intentionally try to provoke prisoners to act up so I can shoot them and bring in new ones
> profit
> mfw police brutality simulator 2016
10/10
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16 of 22 people (73%) found this review helpful
24 people found this review funny
Recommended
6.5 hrs on record
Posted: September 1
> Gets sent to prison for minor thievery.
> "The only way to survive in a prison is to earn respect"
> Hits a few shower-heads.
> Is the most respected inmate now.
> Instantly gets buff, quick and becomes a good talker.
> Steals a lighter and sets half the prison on fire and kills a few dozen people.
> Sent to solitary for 24 hours.
> Comes out of solitary and the guards forget how many people he killed.
> Gets bored and just walks out of the front entrance.

And this how a weak shy boy became a serial killer in 1 and a half days and they said prison is meant to prevent people from committing crime.
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31 of 51 people (61%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
5.6 hrs on record
Posted: August 27
I really want to like Prison Architect, it's the sort of game i usually enjoy.

That said it just feels like the scope is too narrow, there are obvious, efficient ways to build a prison and the whole thing feels more like a puzzle game than a simulation game as a result. The starting setup is constantly the same as you work out what the game will and won't let you get away with the starting capital. The room system plays back into this as even though you can make rooms larger than strictly necessary your budget rarely allows for this as the number of inmates continues to grow. The result isn't really your own creation but a bland concrete set of rooms of minimum size often back to back so as to minimise patrol spaces and lighting. Unlike Dwarf Fortress, Simcity or other building games it doesn't feel to me like you're building to your vision of a prison but rather the hyper complex and efficient warren the developers intend you to build towards.
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9 of 10 people (90%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
240.6 hrs on record
Posted: September 1
Prison Architect is a top-down simulation game like the ages-old Tycoon games on PC. You're tasked with overseeing all aspects of prison management. The developer, Introversion Software, truly has thought of everything in this regard, too. You build the prison from the ground up, lay water pipes and electrical wiring, hire staff like guards, doctors, and therapists, install surveillance and emergency countermeasures, and if you eventually have the prison running as it should, then you have to keep it that way.
This is done by keeping the population of inmates fed, content, nonviolent, and within the walls and fences of the institution. Because you're also operating a private prison, the endgame is to also make money.

The introduction to the game's many systems can be extremely intimidating at first. Thankfully, this feeling of being overwhelmed is largely undone using the game's Prison Stories mode that doubles as a structured narrative and tutorial. Using simple cutscenes across several different scenarios, the game slowly breaks down all of its confusing menus and options into something that becomes more familiar. It even has options to quick-build rooms like cells, kitchens, dining halls, and so on. Still, after more than 235 hours with the title, it felt like there was more to learn in Prison Architect.

Prison Architect is a deep offering of gameplay elements, interconnected systems, and emergent storytelling, but if all this sounds like more work than fun, you're probably right; this game just isn't for you. However if you're a fan of simulations, Prison Architect is one of the best there is.

THE GOOD
- Great gameplay
- Emergent story moments and character backgrounds for all inmates
- Building/management freedom
- Great tutorial
- Deals with sociopolitical themes surprisingly well and maturely
- Freedom to run the prisons in many different ways


THE BAD
- Minimal sound design
- Lacks soundtrack
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5 of 5 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
17.5 hrs on record
Posted: September 20
Give one person power over everything and they will unleash their true self

That's the test this game forces you to take. Being the overseer of a prison, you have access to anything, from building new facilities to designing a daily routine your prisoners must follow. At first, you probably will be kind to your prisoners: you will buy them sofas, TVs, have them live in large, comfortable cells and feed them well. And then, they will respond with riots, fires and schemes while your guards have their backs turned. After this, things must become a little bit more "rough".

Think of the prisons in this game like cities in other popular city building simulators, like Stonehearth or Cities: Skylines: they are smaller-scale versions of "ecosystems", where everything must work in harmony and the wheels must always spin, or else everything fails and disaster follows.

First of all, the building system is nice and well-designed, but a little bit clunky. Let's elaborate. Planning a building means you have to set up foundations, furniture, electricity and water pipelining. More often than not you will mess up the dimensions of your building, meaning you have to start from scratch, or realise you needed something bigger to satisfy your prison's needs. However, all systems work: one large building for everything or smaller ones for each specific need.

Players that won't prefer to waste time on the tutorial (in the form of 5 mini-campaigns that cover the basics), will realise that they will need guides and the wiki to keep their prisons going forward. The game is so complex that you will feel lost in the beginning, and it's gonna take a while before you manage to reform your prisoners instead of incarcerating them. You have many needs to cover, from space and proper bedding to psychological support and community service. Keeping your prisoners content is not easy, and no matter what you do they will usually ask for more. Failing to give them what they demand, means that they will riot and try to bring down the facility. Personally, I like to slam them in solitary with barely any food and rest to drain them from the energy to revolt again.

Keep in mind your prisoners have many ways to escape. They might steal stuff like knives and wires, dig tunnels, smuggle drugs etc. The prisoners' AI adapts to a certain degree to your actions, so if, for example, you start using patrol dogs to find their tunnels, they will start digging in a circular pattern to confuse them. Clever stuff indeed.

It's a nicely addicting game and its content will keep you hooked for quite a while. If you ever wanted to dictate the lives of a bunch of criminals that noone will shed a tear for, start unleashing the sinister punisher from within you with this game.

RATING:

Gameplay:
8.5/10

Presentation:
8/10

Story:
8.5/10

Unique Factor: Simulation:
9/10

OVERALL: 8.5/10
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12 of 20 people (60%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Not Recommended
22.4 hrs on record
Posted: September 20
I didn't want to thumbs-down this one, but I'm afraid it has to be. There's just too many bugs.

For example, one level in the campaign asks me to increase my prisoners' happiness. It suggests building a Common Room for that, so I do. Then later on, it asks me to build a Common Room with some chairs. I do, but the game then fails to progress. Apparently, multiple Common Rooms break the level.

Unfortunately, the game seems to be riddled with this sort of thing. It feels like it should still be in Early Access.

It's not a bad game, it's just blatantly unpolished. Because of that, I can't recommend it at full price.
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