Build and Manage A Maximum Security Prison.
User reviews: Very Positive (16,476 reviews) - 94% of the 16,476 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 (33)

November 13

Prison Architect update 1 released

And we are back! Update 1 has been released. Here is our video demonstrating the new features:

= Shared Cells
- New room type: Dormitory
- New furniture: Bunk Beds

A Dormitory can house any number of prisoners, based on the number of beds installed
Dormitories can be small eg 2x3, replacing the normal Cell, allowing for two or more inmates to share a cell together
Or Dormitories can be large, with shared showers, toilets, phones, tvs, recreational facilities etc.
Better facilities will result in a higher room grading, which will have a positive effect on your inmates

= Prisoner Intake (continued)
There are now several different modes of Intake that can be set for your prison
Choose your mode from the Intake report

- CLOSED No inmates will be brought to your prison
- FILL CAPACITY Inmates will be brought into your prison when available, until your available capacity is full
- TOTAL PRISONERS You set the total number of prisoners desired, and the Intake system works to fill that number
- NUM PER DAY You choose the number of prisoners to bring in each day (The old method)
- ALL All available prisoners will be brought in every day

= Escape mode (continued)
Escape mode was deemed too easy and unbalanced, and several features have been nerfed.

- Damage done to a prison and its staff is now repaired automatically,
once the player surrenders or is knocked out.

- All staff killed are replaced with new hires
- All fires are extinguished
- Burnt down walls now get construction jobs created to replace them

- All ranged weapons now have limited ammo.
Nb you can press G to drop the current weapon.
- Shotgun : 6 shots
- Pistol : 6 shots
- Tazer : 1 shot
- Assault rifle : 30 shots

- If you steal an item from a room, there is now a three hour timer before that item can be stolen again from that room.
This will put a stop to whole teams of escapees stealing knives from the kitchen.
Nb these timers end instantly when the player surrenders or is knocked out.

- Reputations rebalanced
- Skilled fighter: chance to disarm opponent now reduced to 20% per hit, down from 30%
- Extremely deadly: chance to kill reduced to 15% per hit, down from 30%
- Ranged weapons are no longer made more powerfull by the Strong/Deadly reputations
- Ranged weapons no longer disarm opponents when the attacker has the Skilled Fighter rep

- Improved game over screen to stack up victims in the same way as the intake report's prisoner preview.

- Gangs rebalanced
Rebalanced the chances of gang members and leaders arriving,
to make gangs a more likely occurance.
- Doubled the chances of receiving gang members at intake
- The chance of an incoming gang member being a leader is now much higher
- The probability of receiving a gang leader also increases as the size of the gang increases.

- New translations
Greek, Romanian, Swedish, Turkish, Spanish, Portuguese

- no more saving on escape mode gameover screen
- Items still loaded on trucks dont get search jobs during shakedown
- deployment menu has the correct default selected based on your research
- fog of war turns on sooner on GABOS level
- error sound only plays once when unable to afford objects

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94 comments Read more

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.

290 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
130 of 140 people (93%) found this review helpful
19 people found this review funny
163.1 hrs on record
Posted: October 25
The Campaign (which also serves as the tutorial) opens with a prison that isn't quite finished yet. And you are told by your boss, the CEO of the "For Profit" Prison, that you have been given the task of executing a murderer. And this order comes from the state itself.

The game then turns towards teaching you how to work the basic construction tools, explaining power, water, foundations, interior walls, and room basics in a straightforward and clean manner.

Then the game shows you exactly why your prisoner is guilty.

It is not a pleasant experience to watch as a tiny cartoon man walk into his home, find his tiny cartoon wife ♥♥♥♥ing a tiny cartoon stranger in his bed, and then tearfully shoot them both in the head.

This gives us the biggest lesson of all: Prison Architect is not a happy game.

Prison Architect is a top down management game where you run your prison company exactly how you want it. As far as the state is concerned, it doesn't matter how high your rehabilitation rate is, all that matters is that you have no escapes, keep the deaths to an acceptable low, and you keep the prisoners in line by any means you deem fit.

Once you finish your campaign, which takes you through the systems of the game, explaining core concepts quite happily while also telling you tales of loss, pain, murder, ambition, hope, and sheer murderous rage. Of course, the problem is that the game ONLY explains the core mechanics and leaves more complicated ones for you to figure out yourself. That said, while there is a Wiki and many a guide for you, the point of the core game in sandbox mode is mostly to see what works best. To adapt to problems and overcome even of it must be done through trail, error and blood.

The game provides security measures such as cameras, remote doors opened by a button or a timer, stab vests and tazers for your guards, and even heavily armed maximum force response teams kept on site with shotguns, full body armor, and the will and means to paint your prison red with blood at your command. Along with this the game will provide schedules, assignments, patrols, and even resticted acess zoning, all of which is designed to keep your prisoners under control so they do not kill each other.

Along with this is provided many means to turn your prisoners into peaceful members of society if you so choose. You may provide basic education, as many prisoners lack even a child's reading and writing skills. And some of them cannot even read at all, let alone write. Give your prisoners trade skills as carpenters or metal workers. Teach them how to be cleaners or work a laundry. And then set up security systems to prevent prisoners stealing hammers or making crude knives.

Prisoners may come with medical issues such as addiction, alchoholism or violent pshycological instability. Build a common room for AA meetings, an office for one on one meetings for professional mental help, an infirmary for chemical treatmeants to help with addiction and minor surgery when the prisoners try to kill, and a mourge when they do kill.

Your prisoners are humans, with desires and needs, thoughts and feelings, and intelligence. Prisoners need to be fed, and you may give them things to do. Build a common room with tables, television sets, and phones. Provide meals at preset times, as many times as you want, in large quantaties and variety if you want, or a simple bowl of vegetable soup once a day if you don't. Prisoners with many things to do are less likey to cause trouble, and giving them these things may make them very happy indeed.

This does not mean you may treat them like sane members of society. You are running a prison. They are prisoners. And Prisoners are not in the habit of obeying the rules. Prisoners steal, fight, and even kill in your walls. Make no mistake, you and your officers are the only order inside the prison. Without your constant watchful gaze and omnipresent guards the prisoners will fall upon each other like wild animals; killing, fighting, and breaking.

If your prisoners are exceptionally angry, and if your prison is weak enough, the prisoners may decide that they can do whatever thy want and there is nothing you can do about it. They may decide to riot. Or you may subdue them, show them that any antisocial behaviour will not be tolerated, and make them docile through fear.

Problems may arise in your prison, and of course these are optional. Make it so that he game throws problems your way at random. Maybe a highly contagious disease is rampaging through your prison and killing your prisoners. Perhaps a water main has burst. Maybe a generator has overloaded, causing a fire and a blackout. Or maybe the mayor has bowed to political pressure and decided to implement reform without consulting you.

If you feel particularly brave, allow the game to generate gangs, and watch as your prison becomes split by three gangs into territories, and attempt to usurp your authority. And then spiral into gang wars, burn your prison down, kill your guards, and extort prisoners.

Prison Architect, ultimately, is exactly what it says it is, with a remarkable and well made game that most will like. BUt do not expect to laugh because of the cutesy graphics.

They mitigate the horror, but only make it bearable.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
75 of 82 people (91%) found this review helpful
101 people found this review funny
25.7 hrs on record
Posted: November 1
I made an entire prison to hold one prisoner.
It had a huge cell that had everything he could have ever wanted in it.
It had a kitchen with 8 chefs who wanted nothing but to cook him the finest meals.
It had four guards who were friendly to him at all times.
It had all of the gardeners and janitors you could ever need.
After 3 days "Chuck Testa" shanked one of the guards, then proceeded to escape the prison.
Would waste 4 hours of my life again.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
51 of 60 people (85%) found this review helpful
56 people found this review funny
31.7 hrs on record
Posted: October 26
In my first prison while playing this game, I got a max security prisoner, I have had my fair share of max sec prisoners, that was until I figured out it was a legendary. By the time a found out it was a legendary, he had somehow got his hands on a lighter, he then proceeded to start a riot and burn down half my prison. When the riot guards came the legendary prisoner killed both pairs of riot guards. He basically owned the prison, and so after he killed the warden, forman, chief, cooks, lawer, accountent, and guards he then proceeded ( In Badasserary ) to walk out of my prison that was burnt to the ground. It felt as if he planted a bomb and detonated it as he walked away, LIKE A BAWS.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
26 of 33 people (79%) found this review helpful
54 people found this review funny
25.1 hrs on record
Posted: October 28
I left my prison alone for only 10 minutes and all that is left is ashes.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
22 of 27 people (81%) found this review helpful
25 people found this review funny
10.2 hrs on record
Posted: November 2
Went on a rampage, killing over 30 guards, prisoners, staff, innocent families, burnt 3/4 of the prison down

Got 24 hours in a cell as a punishment

10/10 best prison simulator out there.
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