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Note: This Early Access game is not complete and may or may not change further. If you are not excited to play this game in its current state, then you should wait to see if the game progresses further in development. Learn more

What the developers have to say:

“Prison Architect is currently in Alpha, which means we haven't finished it yet - it's full of bugs and glitches and you're not going to get a polished experience if you buy it at the moment. What you will get is early access to a bullfrog-style Prison Management Sim that over 250,000 gamers have already thought is worth a look at.



When you buy early access we also guarantee to give you a free copy of the full game once we've finished and you'll also get monthly updates which include new features and bug fixes. But that's not all, you can also pre-order a copy of the PA art book and Soundtrack (like the game, these aren't ready yet, but you'll be the first to get access when they are launched), or buy a pack that includes the whole Introversion back catalogue (we've made some seriously awesome games). Finally, you can immortalise yourself into the game, by naming a prisoner and writing his bio. Everyone that plays PA will see your bio and know that YOU helped to make Prison Architect a reality.



But that's not all, we also want to get your feedback and comments on the game and want you to help us to direct the development process. Tell us what you like and what you don't like and what you want us to work on. We've got a great community of Prison Architect early adopters and we'd love for you to join in - just head over to http://www.introversion.co.uk/prisonarchitect/developer/register.html once you've bought the alpha.”
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Buy Prison Architect Standard

Includes immediate access to the alpha and finished version when ready.

Buy Prison Architect Aficionado

Includes the Standard Edition, PLUS access to the Soundtrack and Artbook when they're finished.

Buy Prison Architect Introversioner

Includes the Standard & Aficionado Editions, PLUS Uplink, Darwinia, DEFCON and Multiwinia. Already own one of those titles? Give the Extra Copy to a friend!

Buy Prison Architect Name in Game

Includes the Standard, Aficionado, and Introversioner, PLUS the ability to name a prisoner and write his bio.

Buy Prison Architect Name in Game Upgrade DLC

Upgrade from any other version to gain the ability to name a prisoner and write his bio. Includes the Aficionado, and Introversioner content.

 

Recommended By Curators

""These are my little builder dudes and they're gonna help me build the WORLD'S! BIGGEST! PRISON! (That isn't Australia...)""
Read the full review here.

Recent updates View all (20)

October 30

Prison Architect Alpha 26

Alpha 26 has been released! Here is our video demonstrating the work done this month.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0p3EgTP2FYA&list=UUuWAgvyiWcBeZ8sT0sJZyBg

This month was dedicated to our second Bug Bash - which means all the programmers at Introversion focussed exclusively on bug fixes for an entire month. We've spent the month slogging our way through the bug database and fixing the highest priority issues to bring you a slicker, faster, better, less buggy Prison Architect. But that's not all - NOT ONLY have we fixed 39 issues and resolved 550 duplicates, we also present a brand new feature! Tell your mates, put it on facebook, set twitter on fire, let the world know that Prison Architect now comes with a digital clock.

At the very start of the month we decided we would aim to resolve the food/kitchen/chefs bugs as a priority. If you are a regular player you have no doubt experienced chefs being dumb, food going to the wrong canteen whilst inmates starve elsewhere, and various issues around kitchen resources. In many ways the food distribution system is the most complex of all of the AI within the game, and none of these problems are 100% solvable simply because everyone builds prisons differently, and there are many variables to take into account. Players can build one or many kitchens, one or many canteens, and can hire chefs or use prison labour. They may intend one kitchen to cook for everyone, or multiple kitchens to cook for one canteen, or multiple kitchens to cook for multiple canteens. If that wasn't bad enough, each kitchen may have a security designation limiting which prisoners can work in there when, and the canteens may be designated as well such that only certain prisoners can eat there, and each category of prisoner can potentially eat at a different time of day. Sometimes you may have a mixture of prisoner types in one canteen. Just figuring out how many prisoners will be eating in a single canteen at a certain time of day is a very complex AI problem. But thanks to the work done this month we think you'll find the whole system much more reliable from now on.

We also resolved lots of nasty bugs to do with zoning your prison into different categories of prisoners. Eg prisoners failing to go to reform programs, or visitations failing, all due to the AI not taking into account the security designation of different sectors.

Normal service will now resume, and we will be getting back to adding new features to the game. See you next month!

Here's the full list of all fixed bugs:

- 0005441: [Gameplay] object_FoodWaste is not being removed properly (Icepick) - resolved.
- 0002141: [Save & Load] Can overwrite save files without warning (Icepick) - resolved.
- 0006069: [Gameplay] Supermax security prisoners are downgraded back to Max security after a murder (lim_ak) - resolved.
- 0006493: [AI & Behaviour] prisoners use the same seat/phone/shower etc (Icepick) - resolved.
- 0001589: [Control & User Interface] Request - digital clock (elDiablo) - resolved.
- 0004535: [Control & User Interface] Enumerate cells by security level (elDiablo) - resolved.
- 0003822: [Gameplay] Always Fog Of War (Chris) - resolved.
- 0004464: [Gameplay] Cooks and reform programs clash with the new regime system (Icepick) - resolved.
- 0004193: [AI & Behaviour] (Some) Prisoners won't attend Reform Programs (Icepick) - resolved.
- 0003542: [Graphics] Full-screen image flash when contraband discovered (elDiablo) - resolved.
- 0004588: [AI & Behaviour] Multiple regimes not working with classroom scheduling (Icepick) - resolved.
- 0004515: [Sound] Riot Music Continues to Play After Loading a Different Prison (Icepick) - resolved.
- 0005846: [Save & Load] Special char in user account name result in the game failing to save (John) - resolved.
- 0001358: [AI & Behaviour] Dead inmate's family still come for visitation (Icepick) - resolved.
- 0004720: [AI & Behaviour] Teacher wanders into adjacent rooms while teaching (Icepick) - resolved.
- 0003948: [Control & User Interface] dragging sound may continue playing when it shouldn't (Icepick) - resolved.
- 0003162: [Sound] Construction sound would not stop (Icepick) - resolved.
- 0006001: [Other] Name in Game ages incorrect (lim_ak) - resolved.
- 0004048: [Sound] carpenter table sound continues even when no one is working at it (Icepick) - resolved.
- 0002093: [Sound] Sirens do not turn off (Icepick) - resolved.
- 0006208: [Sound] Ringing sound when deploying guard for patrols (Icepick) - resolved.
- 0000450: [Other] Make the introduction video skippable (elDiablo) - resolved.
- 0004419: [AI & Behaviour] Having Multiple Psychiatrists running Multiple Counseling Programs causes them to jump between. (Icepick) - resolved.
- 0004528: [Control & User Interface] non-click mouse input still possible when window is not in focus (John) - resolved.
- 0005164: [Control & User Interface] Introduction Objectives (lim_ak) - resolved.
- 0002655: [Save & Load] Incident free timer resets on load (lim_ak) - resolved.
- 0003969: [AI & Behaviour] visitors may go to the wrong visitation rooms (Icepick) - resolved.
- 0000027: [AI & Behaviour] Garbage is unloaded at Deliveries (elDiablo) - resolved.
- 0005611: [Control & User Interface] Clone toolbar not visible (Icepick) - resolved.
- 0001061: [Save & Load] Prisoner's sleep state not saved (Icepick) - resolved.
- 0004784: [Control & User Interface] Policy Tab - Setting punishments to "None" resets after save & load (lim_ak) - resolved.
- 0006021: [Control & User Interface] too many informants cover the screen (Icepick) - resolved.
- 0002563: [AI & Behaviour] Prisoner released same time as family goes to meet him (Icepick) - resolved.
- 0002611: [Graphics] An Invisible Prisoner (Icepick) - resolved.
- 0005896: [Save & Load] Cannot save game. So I cannot load it neither. (John) - resolved.
- 0006020: [Gameplay] Bankruptcy when playing with unlimited funds (lim_ak) - resolved.
- 0004601: [Sound] [motherbug] Issues regarding Sound which does not stop when it should (Icepick) - closed.
- 0002461: [Sound] riots music does not stop after a riot (Icepick) - closed.
- 0004874: [Sound] Lockdown alarm continues to sound after loading a different *.prison (Icepick) - closed.


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44 comments Read more

September 25

Alpha 25 launched

Alpha 25 has been released! Here is our video demonstrating the new features:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Z2W05vvIKU

Big changes this month! This is one of the biggest updates we've ever done. Alpha 25 was motivated by seeing prisons that just run themselves - and can even be left running overnight, without anything bad happening. This doesn't sit right with us, and running a prison shouldn't ever be something that can be done fully automatically. This month we've introduced a whole series of new systems and balance changes that bring unpredictability back to your prisoners.

= Reputation
New prisoners sometimes have a reputation, shown when highlighing them or in their rap sheet.
Nb. Existing prisoners (in alpha 24 save games) will not have any reputation - only new arrivals
The reputation specifies unusual abilities or traits they may possess, which affect their behaviour.

- 50% of reputations are known when the prisoner arrives. The other 50% can be revealed through your informants.
- All prisoners have a new "Character" tab in their rapsheet, which gives details on their reputation.

  • STRONG hits harder with each punch during fights
  • TOUGH can withstand a lot more punishment in a fight. He can also sometimes withstand being hit by a Tazer
  • VOLATILE liable to kick off without warning and for no reason
  • STOICAL will not become suppressed when locked in Solitary
  • SNITCH a known informant, and as such his life may be in danger. Don't leave him alone with other prisoners for too long
  • DEADLY a master in lethal combat moves, and can sometimes kill with a single hit
  • EX LAW was once a Police Officer, or some other law enforcement profession. His life may be in danger
  • COP KILLER guilty of murdering a Police Officer. Your prison guards may be unable to restrain themselves when subduing him
  • FEARLESS not intimidated by the sight of Armed Guards, and is less likely to surrender during a fight
  • QUICK an unusually fast runner
  • INSTIGATOR sows seeds of discontent in all those nearby. When he causes trouble, nearby prisoners will feel compelled to do the same

- In some cases, the prisoner will have a high degree of a reputation, eg "Extremely Strong" or "Extremely Volatile".

- In a very small number of cases, you will receive a LEGENDARY PRISONER.
These guys have a potent mix of the above list that makes them very dangerous.


= New Prisoner Categories
To help deal with the new troublesome prisoners, two new categories of prisoner have been created.
Prisoners must be manually assigned to these categories.
These new categories have a corrisponding new Zone in the Deployment screen, and a new Regime column.

- Protective Custody
Useful for hiding your snitches, ex law enforcement etc in a safe zone where they cannot be attacked
Nb. Informants sent to protective custody lose coverage quickly (out of the loop)
Nb. During riot conditions, some of your most dangerous prisoners may attempt to attack the protective custody wing

- SuperMax
If you simply cannot control a particular prisoner, move him to supermax.
Allows you to segregate them away and instigate strong lockdown and security measures


= Escape Tunnels Overhall
Escape Tunnels have been rebalanced, and are now viable once again
Prisoners in neighbouring cells will team up to try to dig a combined escape tunnel.
They can share any tools they have during the operation
Many weapons can now also be used as digging tools, eg Knifes, Forks etc
Guard dogs are now more reliable at discovering tunnels, and will mark the suspected spot with a small flag.
Searching a cell now has only a low chance to discover an escape tunnel, UNLESS the prisoner is digging it when the guard enters!
To discover a tunnel for certain, dismantle the toilets in the cells you suspect.


= Confidential Informants (continued)
- Any single informant now has a maximum coverage of 50% at the time he is hired
- An informants coverage will slowly increase over time (beyond 50%), so long as his suspicion is low and he is not 'active'
- The Informants overlay now shows the highest level of suspicion ever reached by an informant, as a black line.
- You can now highlight and select prisoners and staff etc in the Informants window

- Informants now reveal Assassination Targets - ie prisoners who will be attacked if left alone for too long
This is shown as a red crosshair over the prisoner.
(Known informants / Snitches, ex law enforcement etc)


= Game Balance changes
- Prisoners responsible for a serious injury will have their category automatically increased (min-sec to medium, medium to max-sec)

- Prisoners responsible for a murder will be charged and given an additional 25 year sentence,
and will automatically reclassify as Maximum Security (if they weren't already)

- The 'temperature' of your prison must now be at least 33% before a riot can start

- 10 Prisoners must be rioting before a prison-wide RIOT status can occur.
To stop the riot, you must reduce the number of rioting prisoners to 3 or less.

- Tazer Training Program
All regular guards must now pass the Tazer Certification Program before they are permitted to use a tazer.
This takes place in the classroom and is led by the Chief.
The staff window now shows which guards have body armour and tazers.
Nb. When loading an alpha 24 save, all Tazers owned by regular Guards and Dog Handlers will be confiscated, and a refund given.
Nb. Dog Handlers can no longer carry Tazers.

- Prisoners can now pick up weapons from their current room during fights, escapes, riots etc. (Based on what is available as contraband)
- The Morgue is now a source of Knifes and Scissors
- Prisoners can now improvise a Shank in the Workshop
- Prisoners can now improvise a Baton in the Cleaning Cupboard (by snapping mops)
- Prisoners can now improvise a wooden pickaxe in the Workshop (for digging tunnels)


= Mod System Continued
- Now supports multiple active mods at once, even if those mods all add their own new graphics
- New property to set material auto-consumed on job
- Can now auto-order raw materials

- NEW SCRIPT COMMANDS:
GetNearbyObjects - Get a list of all nearby objects of a certain type
NavigateTo - Instruct an entity to go somewhere
ClearRouting - Clear an entity's destination

- Panic Button mod
A new 'official' test mod that adds a Panic Button to the game, using the new script commands.
Injured staff members will run to it and press it, and guards will be summoned to the area.


- Fixed : You can no longer place Foundations that you cannot afford

- 'Unlimited Funds' option in 'New Prison' screen.
Spend as much money as you like while building your prison - a more pure sandbox mode.

- Prisoners will now be assigned to Rehab programs more reliably, when addicted/alcoholic/withdrawn

64 comments Read more
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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

Steam Workshop

About This Game

Build and Manage A Maximum Security Prison.

Prison Architect is the world's latest Prison Management Sim. Starting with an empty plot of land you must construct a holding cell with basic water and electricity to house your first batch of prisoners, to buy you enough time to create a proper cell block. You'll need to hire some guards, get some showers built and unless the kitchen is up and running with chefs working away you're going to end up with a riot on your hands. From there you take your prison in which-ever direction you like. A monsterous super-max or comfortable center for rehabilitation, the choice is up to you.


Prison Architect is currently in Alpha which means that the game is playable, but still in development. Not all features are implemented yet and there are many bugs that may affect gameplay. We are currently releasing monthly updated builds which include new features and bug fixes. By buying the alpha you will automatically be gifted a free copy of the full game when it's finished.

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:100 MB HD space
    Minimum:
    • Processor:2009 era Macbook Pro, Core2 Duo processor
    • Memory:4 GB RAM
    • Hard Drive:100 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: 100 MB HD space
Helpful customer reviews
53 of 71 people (75%) found this review helpful
48.6 hrs on record
Posted: November 3
Early Access Review
My Informent snitched on himself - 10/10
Was this review helpful? Yes No
39 of 55 people (71%) found this review helpful
17.3 hrs on record
Posted: November 3
Early Access Review
You get to build your future home. - 10/10
Was this review helpful? Yes No
19 of 22 people (86%) found this review helpful
86.3 hrs on record
Posted: November 2
Early Access Review
If you're interested in this game, just buy it. It has workshop integration with an active modding community. Earlier tonight I changed the theme to star wars with a press of the button. This is a very addictive game where real time begins to speed by in a blur. 5 minutes becomes 5 hours and you only noticed because you need to use the restroom. There is a wonderful charm about it and the fat little characters. There is a lot of micromanagement so if you're the kind of person that hates to think, can't oil your brain because it hurts, well then you should pass. It's not overly complicated but the game doesn't hold your hand starting out. It's like bam build a prison. The only downside is struggling to figure out why things aren't being built, or populated. This may further confuse someone since it is alpha which makes it difficult to distinguish between a bug and something you aren't doing correctly. Other than that you should enjoy this game.
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17 of 21 people (81%) found this review helpful
22.0 hrs on record
Posted: November 5
Early Access Review
16 hours sank in three days. Not much for some, but when you have multiple assignments due, it's a pretty big deal.

That's how good this game is. Better than my Masters Degree.
Was this review helpful? Yes No
13 of 16 people (81%) found this review helpful
28.6 hrs on record
Posted: November 11
Early Access Review
You Know what, im fed up of hearing people complaing about the price of prison architect. Id pay full whack for it sheerly on the basis that its better than half the games released by the major gaming developers. Its genius, fun and adictive. I cant remmember the last time i played a game that kept me engrossed for 2 days solid and im still going. I have a feeling this is going to get much, much better. That all you need to know BUY IT NOW .
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15 of 23 people (65%) found this review helpful
6.3 hrs on record
Posted: November 9
Early Access Review
Like the Sims but you HAVE to lock the people in the house
Was this review helpful? Yes No
8 of 10 people (80%) found this review helpful
17.2 hrs on record
Posted: November 8
Early Access Review
I absolutely love sandbox building games that aren't a cosmetic tea party. This game has done nothing but amuse me as I've tried and failed to manage a prison properly probably a half dozen times now, but that's really the beauty of it. I could probably read a guide and get a lot of "I win" information, but games like these are just big ant farms slash chemisty sets where I like to be forced to evaluate my choices and try to balance a ton of factors into the plan. The best thing about this game is that everything is staged and nothing is instant. Your plan has to work from A to B and it's up to decide what you build or research next, but once you do you've sacrificed something and opened a hole somewhere. Eventually you have moments of stability where things seem to be going ok, but another wrench is thrown and the whole thing can spiral into chaos quickly.

If you glanced at this and thought it would be a cheap imitation of something that should be labeled "Tycoon" and thrown in a bargin bin, then you are sorely mistaken. This is an OCD stress test of micromanagement, choice making and logistics. It feels like everything matters and sometimes it feels like everything you do is 5 steps behind the thing you should have already been doing 10 steps ago. Of course you can pace the game at your choices and even play in full "free" mode where you have lots of money, but even still...you aren't inviting kittens into your Barbie Dream House that you are filling up full of cheap furniture. You are inviting murderers and thieves into a house full of other murderers and thieves and it's up to get a TON of variables to play nice with each other. They are not stupid. They will revolt. They will try to escape. They will steal from the kitchen and try to stab people, etc etc.

The scope to which this game has expanded is more than impressive and for a game that started off mentioning Dwarf Fortress as it's inspiration, it's created something even more unique that casts it's own shadow. Of course there have been other prison games, but this one has nailed so many concepts perfectly and given the track record for upgrades and patches, there will be more. I have found some bugs and the foundation system took me a while to really get my head around. I have to say the "Planning Mode" is something that every single builder type game needs to embrace right the eff now as well.

This is a solid recommendation from me even in Early Access state. If you don't like to support that kind of thing, completely understandable. The devs are active and the game has had over 20 patches full of content and fixes just since I've bought it. I actually turned it on just to see how it was progressing and I'm sucked into it and hopeless trying to figure out how last more than 30 minutes without someone dying. (I know I could read a guide or something but who the heck plays games like that?)
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8 of 11 people (73%) found this review helpful
92.6 hrs on record
Posted: October 31
Early Access Review
- Addicting
- Fun
- Easy to get into
- Constanlty updated
- Has a lot of objects and such that you can build/place in the game's world
- Mod support

For an Early Access game I'd say this game is doing great. If you like sandbox type of games or games where you have to manage something (in this case - a prison) then get this, you won't be disappointed!

Oh, also you can encounter this:

Christopher "The rabid penguin" Setterstrom's biography -
Responsible for the pre-meditated deaths of 12 people, this man earned his nickname when it was discovered he had developed a chemical that gave penguins similar symptoms to rabies and used that so they would consume his victims leaving no evidence.

11/10
Would keep him in jail again!
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
40.3 hrs on record
Posted: November 20
Early Access Review
I raided a Prisoner's cell and found thirty spoons, he wasn't even tunneling, just had a collection going.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
16.7 hrs on record
Posted: November 23
Early Access Review
Imagine Sims, if you had to house dozens at first, or eventually hundreds of people in only one house.
Then, having lots of babysitters to watch everybody... And if you didn't fullfill all their needs, they would start acting up, wrecking your house and attacking eachother and the babysitters.
That is basically Prison Architect. :D
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
2.2 hrs on record
Posted: November 24
Early Access Review
*Starts game*

DEPLOY THE SWATS NOW!
Was this review helpful? Yes No
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
1.2 hrs on record
Posted: November 24
Early Access Review
lool funn stuff
Was this review helpful? Yes No
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
54.2 hrs on record
Posted: November 21
Early Access Review
A must have on steam! Build prisons, Control prisoners and have freakin armed guards provides for hours of entertainment and even after that just look on the workshop for more fun!! 7/10
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
1.7 hrs on record
Posted: November 25
Early Access Review
The game you can deploy SWATs after finding a spoon in a prisoners cell.
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2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
140.0 hrs on record
Posted: October 26
Early Access Review
I got in early and this game quickly became one of my all time favorites! Since then a dedicated development team has consistantly raised the bar of fun by adding more content, more features and more layers of flavor to an already delicious strategy/sim/builder. Amazingly addictive!
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2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
26.0 hrs on record
Posted: November 2
Early Access Review
I love this game. The monthly updates show the developers commitment to the game.
Was this review helpful? Yes No
2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
289.6 hrs on record
Posted: October 27
Early Access Review
Really love this game! It's still in Alpha, but you can have loads of fun already. Build your prison, keep it save, or let them riot. It's your call! Very interesting game to play. Also fun to see how others build their prisons. If you like Simulation games and Indie games this is definately a game you should play.
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2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
80.2 hrs on record
Posted: November 13
Early Access Review
awesome game
Was this review helpful? Yes No
2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
14.6 hrs on record
Posted: November 5
Early Access Review
I love this game only played it for like 7 hours but i love being a noob on it, those ♥♥♥♥ ups that you love like acidently getting rid of your yard fence and watching all the prisoners escape and the lazy gaurds that wont chase them down.

"Prison Architect, on of the best simulations of our time" Quote by Larks
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2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
58.7 hrs on record
Posted: November 5
Early Access Review
It is a great game and you can play hours of it.
Was this review helpful? Yes No