Build and Manage A Maximum Security Prison.
User reviews: Very Positive (15,414 reviews) - 94% of the 15,414 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Oct 6, 2015

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Recommended By Curators

"Management fans of old (theme/tycoon) will feel right at home in this addictive and mod-rich builder that is much deeper than it seems at first glance!"

Recent updates View all (32)

October 6

Prison Architect V1.0 has launched!

Congratulations everyone, Version 1.0 has been launched!

Here's is our video demonstrating the new features live at EGX:

Changes in Version 1.0:
Campaign Story
The perfect place to start for new players.

Chapter 1 : Death Row (The Introduction from the Alpha)
Chapter 2 : Palermo
Chapter 3 : GABOS
Chapter 4 : Conviction
Chapter 5 : Bootstraps

Escape Mode
You can now load any prison, and attempt to escape from it, in this brand new game mode.
Steam customers can load any Steam Workshop prison, or even use the 'Random'
button to be sent to a random steam workshop prison. (Experimental)
There is a 'HELP' button that you can click on, in the bottom right of the screen.

Use WASD to move around, and aim with the mouse.

- You can steal weapons and tools from all the rooms you'd expect.
- Stash your contraband to avoid being caught
- Earn Reputation points by starting fights and smashing up furniture.
You will receive bonuses for knocking people unconcious, and additional bonuses for kills.

Spend those points to upgrade your character with any of these reputations:
Strong You hit harder
Tough You can take more hits
Deadly You have a chance to kill with one hit
Quick You can run faster (hold SHIFT)
Instigator Nearby prisoners will fight when you do
Skilled Fighter You can disarm opponents

- You can also spend rep points to recruit other prisoners to your group.
They will follow you around and will assist during fights.

- If you have a digging tool you can dig an escape tunnel from the toilet in your cell.
- Win the game by escaping with your entire team.

There are two types of collectable item in the game.
As you discover them they will be added to the Extras menu.

- Polaroids : All story based polaroids. Some are shown during cutscenes.
Some only occur in the sandbox and must be found.

- Game Bible : The game design notebook has been scanned and can now be found
throughout your prison. Keep your eyes out for scraps of paper on the floor within the sandbox.
Click on those scraps to unlock another page.

Special Wardens
You can now select from one of six wardens, when creating a new prison.
Each Warden brings a special ability to the game.

- The Warden : The default warden, offers no special abilities.
- The Lobbyist : Halves likelyhood of Violent/Lethal/Deadly inmates arriving
- Rita : Diminishes effect of Stoical / Fearless. Doubles effect of Suppression.
- J.W.Periwinkle : Guard dogs have a 50% chance to immediately uncover tunnels
- The Pacifier : Permanent 25 point reduction in prison temperature
- Saphara Acknova: Corruption! Receives a backhand payment for all contraband found

We are working to translate the game into as many languages as possible.
More languages will be coming in the first update.

We currently have translations for:
English, Czech, Finnish, French, German,
Italian, Korean, Norwegian, Polish,
Brazilian Portuguese, Russian, Simplified Chinese

Education grant (continued)
The education grant has been rebalanced and made easier.
You now need 10 prisoners to pass the foundation course, and 1 prisoner to pass the general education course.

Event System (continued)
The event system has been rebalanced and is now much less destructive.
Specifically, the 'politician demand' event and the 'Virus outbreak' event have been nerfed.
Events occur far less frequently.
Many other small tweaks to make the event system better.

Hundreds of fixes and improvements were added in the run up to v1.0.
In addition, the following Mantis bugs were fixed:

- 0002935: [Gameplay] Guard dogs kill prisoners (Icepick) - resolved.
- 0009914: [AI & Behaviour] Doctors Wont Heal Sick Prisoners. (Icepick) - resolved.
- 0009911: [Gameplay] 'Virus Outbreak' event is near 'unbeatable' (Icepick) - resolved.
- 0009970: [Gameplay] Perimeter walls cannot be rebuilt after events (Icepick) - resolved.
- 0005691: [Graphics] Unconscious prisoners appear as a black box on screen when in a medical bed. (supersampling fault?) (Icepick) - resolved.
- 0009954: [Save & Load] Virus outbreak not saved (Icepick) - resolved.
- 0009931: [Control & User Interface] Gang members not displayed in gang view (Icepick) - resolved.
- 0008149: [AI & Behaviour] Dead parole lawyer won't be taken away from morgue to hearse (Icepick) - resolved.
- 0009891: [AI & Behaviour] Dead prisoners pile up in Infirmary (Icepick) - resolved.
- 0009924: [AI & Behaviour] Prisoners developing extra hands during combat when handcuffed - (and killing an impossibly high number of gaurds) (Icepick) - resolved.
- 0009826: [Other] Internal Clock error (Icepick) - resolved.
- 0006453: [Other] Bankruptcy timer runs out in less than 24 hours (Icepick) - resolved.
- 0007397: [AI & Behaviour] Lockdown/Solitary timers run at different rate to game clock (Icepick) - resolved.
- 0009912: [Gameplay] Federal witness countdown is lost after reloading game (Icepick) - resolved.
- 0009926: [Graphics] Empty tray being fed (Icepick) - resolved.
- 0009938: [Graphics] Maximum Safe Capacity unreadable (Icepick) - resolved.
- 0009915: [AI & Behaviour] Sick prisoners are completely ignored by doctors and paramedics (Icepick) - resolved.
- 0009890: [Gameplay] federal witness in death row (Icepick) - resolved.

268 comments Read more

August 28

Alpha 36 - the FINAL ALPHA - released

Alpha 36 has been released! Here is our video demonstrating the new features:

This is the last ever alpha video for Prison Architect, and we will be launching version 1.0 in October. But fear not! We are planning to continue the cycle of monthly updates beyond version 1.0, including new videos to go with each update each month.

Here are our new features:

= Random event system
Random incidents, disasters and challenges will occur during your game, providing extra difficulty and unpredictability.
This is an optional system, and is enabled from the "Create new prison" screen.

- Events will not happen during riots, or if you have less than 50 prisoners on site
- Events are less likely if there have been deaths and escapes recently.
- Sometimes, rarely, several events may occur at once.
- All events have an EXTREME version, which is very rare, and much more severe.

Your power station catches fire. Can only occur if your powerstation is overloaded.
EXTREME version: Your power station explodes, damaging buildings/equipment/people nearby.

A cooker in the kitchen catches fire. This can cause havok with your mealtime arrangements!
We recommend you build sprinkler systems in key areas to mitigate this.

A random number of prisoners will be transferred into your facility within the next hour.
EXTREME version: All of the prisoners belong to the same gang, and you are probably fucked.

A prisoner injures himself on the equipment in the workshop, and requires medical attention.
Prisoners injured this way get the "Bleeding" status effect. Get them to a doctor quick!

A random section of your wall or fence collapses. Get it rebuilt before we have a mass escape!
We always recommend double outer walls, and this gives yet another good reason.

A prisoner comes down with a highly contagious virus. The virus will spread to nearby inmates, so try to isolate them.
Prisoners suffering from this virus will look sickly, move slowly, and vomit a lot. Some will fall unconcious.
Your guards will try to take confirmed cases to the infirmary for cure.
Some inmates will go to the infirmary themselves, but only when they are let out their cells.
EXTREME version: Some prisoners will eventually die from the virus if left untreated.

You discover that several inmates at your prison are federal witnesses in an upcoming prosecution.
Unfortunately, somebody has put a price on their heads and they will all be assassinated in the next few hours.
Find out who there are (using your Confidential Informants), and get them moved to Protected Custody.
Once the timer hits zero, they will all leave the prison to attend the court hearing, and will not return.
(Most likely living out their lives in federal witness protection, holding their breath every time they start their cars)

The Mayor is under political pressure to appear to be doing the right thing.
He will from time to time phone you and demand certain changes to your prison, in the public interest.
The demand is always temporary - after a few days, things return to normal.
However Failure to comply will result in a heavy fine.

- TV Removal Due to public pressure, all TVs must be removed
- Weights Removal Due to public pressure, all Weights Benches must be removed
- Less Food Provide smaller meals with less variety, to try to save on costs
- Remove Visitation For security reasons, all visitation must be halted

From time to time the prisoners in your facility become so frustrated that they demand changes.
It's your choice to comply or not, but the prisoners will not be happy if you refuse.

- Less Work Prisoners wish to work for less hours during the day
- More Sleep Prisoners want longer to sleep at night
- More Free Time Prisoners want more free time during the day

- Logs will now be automatically exported, unless EITHER
- You have at least one carpenters table
- OR You have a running carpentry program
Nb. This obviously requires an Exports zone near the road.

- The CEO's letter is now made of a graphic and a (localisable) string in the language file.
This should make it much easier to translate into multiple languages.

= Bug Fixes
- 0009322: [AI & Behaviour] The mere presence of a shop is stopping prisoners from wanting to do carpentry (Icepick) - resolved.
- 0009713: [Other] Crash after Assertion failed : 'index < m_numItems' (John) - resolved.
- 0009842: [Gameplay] CRASH: The attached savegame crashes within minutes (John) - resolved.
- 0009701: [Gameplay] Fatal error with lots of dead bodys stuck. (John) - resolved.
- 0009623: [Control & User Interface] Weird Mini-Sectors in doorways (John) - resolved.
- 0000515: [Graphics] Garbage bag sprite overlays garbage bin sprite (lim_ak) - resolved.
- 0009806: [Mod System] Lua scripting: .GetNearbyObjects() range values are strings, not numbers (elDiablo) - resolved.
- 0009716: [Mod System] Lua scripting: this.SubType is always type string, even if I specifically set it to a number (elDiablo) - resolved.
- 0009499: [Graphics] Phone taps and Filling Cabinets bug (lim_ak) - resolved.
- 0009559: [Graphics] Layering (z-index) issue with outdoor lights and trees (lim_ak) - resolved.
- 0009543: [Graphics] Layering (z-index) issue with door control and filing cabinet against wall (lim_ak) - resolved.
- 0009588: [Graphics] Layering (z-index): light vs. sprinkler flickering (lim_ak) - resolved.
- 0009589: [Graphics] Layering (z-index): light vs. cctv camera (lim_ak) - resolved.
- 0009709: [Graphics] Layering (z-index) issue: lights vs. road gate pillar (lim_ak) - resolved.
- 0009647: [Save & Load] Save crash! (John) - resolved.
- 0009715: [Mod System] Lua scripting: this.SubType is -1 if accessed during Create() function (elDiablo) - resolved.
- 0009585: [Other] Assertion failed : 'm_cellCache.ValidIndex( newCachedIndex )' (John) - resolved.
- 0006776: [Save & Load] Fatal error during load save file. (John) - resolved.

108 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.”

"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

Steam Workshop

Feature List

Version 1.0+ includes:
- Sandbox: Open-ended prison building
- Story Mode: 5 awesome chapters telling tales of incarceration, misery and strife
- Escape Mode: Play as a prisoner in any of the thousands of prisons on the steam workshop

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 community, whichever you choose it’s not going to be easy...

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
Helpful customer reviews
62 of 73 people (85%) found this review helpful
95 people found this review funny
31.5 hrs on record
Posted: October 12
-Started prison
-Built a holding cell and 9 cells
-Ask for 10 prisoners
-5 minutes later they gave me 147 prisoners with no money
-Turns out a nearby prison shut down so they gave me all the prisoners...

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21 of 22 people (95%) found this review helpful
9.2 hrs on record
Posted: October 12
Early Access done right. One of very few examples of such a phenomenon. From the communications the devs had with the community through both written and video updates, to the constant patching of the game which added significant changes and additions at an incredibly effective pace.

Truly, this game deserves your attention even if you're not interested in its gameplay mechanics or ideas. Simply because we ought to support this kind of transparent, respectful and talented videogame development. We need to show the rest of the industry that hard work and good communication is in the end rewarded.

Oh yeah, and the game itself is of course really good. It's like a more complex and more free-form version of Theme Hospital, chock full of intentional and unintentional humor. It's virtually replayable ad infinitum due to the smart integration of really complex systems and mechanics that are still simple enough to get a basic grasp on quickly.

And then you add the solid Steam Workshop integration that's already been out for months and months, molding into a vast web of minor tweaks and major total convention mods to further extend your playtime. Like the mod that lets you take control of a prisoner, and use the game's own mechanics to try and break out of your own (or someone else's) prison! How genius is that?!

You could pay all the salary you're ever going to earn in your entire life, and you'd STILL be able to get a whole lot of bang for your buck with Prison Architect. And I'm not even sure if that's an exaggeration.

16 shivs out of 10.
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9 of 10 people (90%) found this review helpful
84.1 hrs on record
Posted: October 12
Having played Prison Architect since the early days of alpha 4 and 5 this game has come a long ways and continues to surprise with each update. The dev team has truly created a masterpiece of a game that will challenge your mind and wits to deal with situations.

Overall I give this game a 9 out of 10.

Pros -
Story mode that keeps you learning but having fun not just bored tutorial.
layers and layers of depth that can be turned on or off based on your comfort with the game.
Detail detail detail in a simulation strategy this is such as important part of the game that many forget to add, you can see how happy each person is or see how happy everyone is allowing you to control how things go.
Workshop and mod support

Cons -
It can feel a bit repetitive if you don't like this style of game.
Audio can be very repetitive and not enjoyable
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
7 of 9 people (78%) found this review helpful
4 people found this review funny
14.0 hrs on record
Posted: October 12
I made a prison for my friend and then he went to Prisoner mode. I thought my 300 guards, 18 armed guards, 10 dogs could stop him..... I was wrong, after he got maxium level he started a gang with Hubert, and Pedro and some other mexicans. Guards let them pass through the armory with guns,He started a rampage killing all my guards, started punching every cell door open.

500/10 Would be the best FPS shooter.
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4 of 5 people (80%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
28.2 hrs on record
Posted: October 12
"Our previous warden died or something like that, so now you're in charge. What? Need a tutorial? Sure, here's how you build a house, build utilities, hire people, designate rooms, execute people etc.. What? Oh, the rest of the stuff? Don't worry about that, you'll learn the meaning and the use of it just seconds after you fu*k something up!"

So... It's a prison builder. You would think that there would be nothing really to do, other than boss around the inmates, but you are wrong. IVSoftware has made it really, REALLY detailed. And they make you care about your prisoners, especially if you have less ~50 prisoners. This game allows you to manage prisons in the way YOU want, with YOUR political or ethical standarts. And that is what a sandbox should be: the ability to express your creations the way you want and not be forced to do otherwise.
Has great mod support and a growing community to make sure, that, even if you somehow get bored, you will be able to find something new to try out. But that is also a negative. After 8-12 hours I have done everything: completed the campaign, built a functioning prison with 300+ prisoners, played the "Escape" mode (which is a LOT of fun at first, but after like your third or fourth prison, each new prison becomes a speedrun on "How fast can I break the shower heads and toilets, stirl up a riot, grab a shotgun and run out". But, as it's only found in the "Extras" section, I believe, that this bare-bone mode is not finished yet, despite the game being released). All that's left is to find those meaningless photos and notes, in which I can't figure out the handwriting.
All and all, this is a great sandbox and the price is fairly cheap for a game, that gives content for atleast a day, plus mods, plus replayability with different playing styles. I rate the game with an 8/10- a MUST try-out, with a potential of stealing tens or even hundreads of hours, depending on your taste.
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