Build and Manage A Maximum Security Prison.
User reviews:
Very Positive (339 reviews) - 94% of the 339 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
Very Positive (18,996 reviews) - 94% of the 18,996 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Oct 6, 2015

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Recent updates View all (39)

April 29

Update 6 released - and brand new games from us

Prison Architect Update 6 has been released! And we have brand new game prototypes to show you.

Introducing 'Scanner Sombre' and 'Wrong Wire'

Skip forward to 22 minutes into the video, to see us demonstrate two of our (potentially) upcoming games. These are prototypes we have been developing in secret until now, and will form the basis of whatever comes next after Prison Architect. Please keep in mind that whilst we intend to continue supporting Prison Architect with updates for a very long time, we also intend to make new games, just as we have always done.

We are interested in your thoughts on the new games. Please go here to vote on your favourite:


= Seasons and Weather
- The game will now move through the seasons, with the outdoor temperature varying based on the time of year.
- Various weather patterns can occur during the game, varying based on the current season.
- Overcast
- Rain
- Torrential rain (Special event, rare)
- Snow and frost
- Heatwave (special event, rare)

- Prisoners needs will be affected by the weather when they are outdoors. Getting rained on will spike their
comfort, clothing and warmth needs.

- Prisoners left outside in extremely cold conditions (for example in an outdoor solitary confinement cage)
can now die of exposure.

- Weather is DISABLED by default in all prisons, and can be enabled when creating a new map.
Alternatively, use the new "Map Settings" screen in the Extras menu.

= Map Settings
You can now adjust the settings of your prison from a new screen called "Map Settings", found in the Extras menu.
This screen lets you enable certain options that may not have been enabled (or even available) when you first created the map.
Nb. You can enable these options, but you cannot disable them once enabled.

Available options:
- Enable Gangs
- Enable Events
- Enable Weather

= Job Prioritisation
- You can now mark any job as a high priority. Simple hold control and either
left click or left drag a selection to mark jobs. Available workers (who aren't
already on a high priority job) will stop what they are doing and be assigned
to the high priority job.

- If no workers are available, high priority jobs will take precedence when the
workers become available. A small icon in the lower right of a visible job shows
if it is marked as a high priority job.

- You can remove the high priority marking on jobs by holding control and either
right clicking or dragging a selection.

- Hovering over an in progress job will now highlight the entity working on it,
showing a red line leading to the worker responsible for the job.

- Pressing F while highlighting an in progress job will cause the camera to follow
the working entity and keep the highlight active.

= Performance Work (continued)
Further performance gains were made this month through several different approaches to optimisation.

- More systems moved to overlap with Render().
- Optimisations to the visible object list builder.
- Singly linked lists mostly replaced with arrays (FastList).
- Avoid copying of containers where possible.
- NeedSystem optimised.

= Bug Fixes
Temperature and lightmap system corruption bug fixed.

- 0010618: [Gameplay] Temperature next to fire is in the negatives
- 0010625: [Gameplay] Temperature drops instantly even in areas that should be producing heat

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50 comments Read more

March 30

Update 5c - Hot water pipe tweaks

Having read the feedback, we think that we made the hot water pipes too fiddly for many players by requiring every shower head to be wired up to warm water to avert a riot of frigid prisoners.

We've now changed the system so that a hot shower is an optional luxury and gives a benefit to prisoners' well-being if you feel generous enough to provide it.

- If a shower head is connected to hot water, this will benefit prisoner's warmth and comfort needs. Cold showers no longer cause frigid effect.
- Hot water range increased.
- Hot water makes sinks work faster.

63 comments Read more


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

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

About This Game

Build and Manage A Maximum Security Prison.

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

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

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

Story Mode

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

Escape Mode

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

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

System Requirements

Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux
    • OS:XP
    • Processor:Intel Core2 Duo 2.4Ghz or Higher / AMD 3Ghz or Higher
    • Memory:4 GB RAM
    • Graphics:Nvidia 8600 / Radeon equivalent (2009 era)
    • Hard Drive:300 MB HD space
    • Processor:2009 era Macbook Pro, Core2 Duo processor
    • Memory:4 GB RAM
    • Hard Drive:300 MB HD space
    • OS: Ubuntu 12.04 or later
    • Processor: Intel Core2 Duo 2.4Ghz or Higher / AMD 3Ghz or Higher
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Nvidia 8600 / Radeon equivalent (2009 era)
    • Hard Drive: 300 MB HD space
Customer reviews
Customer Review system updated! Learn more
Very Positive (339 reviews)
Very Positive (18,996 reviews)
Recently Posted
( 0.3 hrs on record )
Posted: May 26
Helpful? Yes No Funny
( 83.1 hrs on record )
Posted: May 25
No matter how you build your prison, the out come is never the same. Can be fun and time consuming (what feels like 30mins ends up being 3-5 hours).

My only big issue with the game is that if you speed up time during construction, the doors for most buildings/cells are installed over the area of a wall instead of where it should be, which gets really frustrating because then it tells you're missing the "enclosed surrounding area" requirement...

Helpful? Yes No Funny
Nape Vation Bruh
( 0.6 hrs on record )
Pre-Release Review
Posted: May 25
I did not enjoy this game
Helpful? Yes No Funny
( 64.3 hrs on record )
Posted: May 25
This game really impressed me, especially with the last couple of updates. There are a few strange things that happen, such as starving prisoners in the canteen deciding not to eat, or maybe people complaing about certain things like bowels even while in their cell. Besides that, its great. Amazing time killer since you can quit anytime. They could add some right click interactions in escape mode, maybe be able to shower, use weight benches, eat, etc. I think that overall, let people be able to open prison servers. Then, it can be a real-time interaction between the prison architect amd the prisoners trying to escape. There can be CPUs in the game with real players too. That is something I really want to see added in game.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
( 10.6 hrs on record )
Posted: May 25
Great Games.

+ (Pros) -(Cons)
+Very fun - no sale in 2016 YET (5/25/2016)
+Time consuming - The price
+Addictive - Some glitches ruin the game and make you start over
+Always something to Do.
+ The best tycoon I played on steam.
+ Good comunity / Help
+Easy with D pad or mouse

Rating: 9/10
You will love it, very fun. Takes some patience and somethimes messing up because of bugs but there is always a tutorial to help you.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
( 44.2 hrs on record )
Posted: May 25
At first I was not intending on buying this game after looking at the graphics, but wow I am sure glad I did.

This game is incredibly entertaining, the updates are phenomenal and draw me back to it even after I thought I had done everything the game was going to offer. The development team is spot on with their add-ons and include awesome youtube videos with developer commentary of exactly why they do the things they do. Probably the best "city-builder" I have ever played and after you feel your prison has been completed you can try to escape from it as a prisoner (awesome fun). Can not rave enough about how good this game is. I actually wish there were ways for me to throw more money at this because....

I'm hoping the developers make enough money so that they can create a sequal with 3d graphics that stun the eyes, the potential for this game and series is going to set the standard for how building simulators work.

Helpful? Yes No Funny
( 7.4 hrs on record )
Posted: May 25
Only been playing for a few days, but I love it. Yes, you need a bit of time to get into it from the start but after the main/ first set up it is excellent. Definitely worth the money, very pleased.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
( 181.9 hrs on record )
Posted: May 24
Awesome game . Its very addicting.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
( 72.7 hrs on record )
Posted: May 24
Ever wanted to spend countless hours, building your very own prison! Well, if you said no/yes to that, guess what! ITS A GAME FOR YOU!


-Create massive prison riots and kill hundreds.
-Make a incredible prison
-Plays pretty smooth
-Interesting Campaign
-Do taxes lol
-More things that can kill prisoners and make there life miserable
-Escape your own prison. :)
-Make your own prisoner? ;o

My Pro's may not make sense. Its fine. I think you know more then me. :)

-Uhh.. building is difficault at first. Yup.
-Laggy on computers that can't manage game well.
-PLUS, Gets a some lag spikes during creation of huge prisons.

Thats literally the only con's I can think of. Please, don't hurt me.

Well, puts you in a situation, where you have to attempt to build your own fuctional prison, without getting court marshalled.

Get it pls, :D 9.5/10 or um, 9/10. Yus.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
( 59.6 hrs on record )
Posted: May 24
Built prisons. Tortured ♥♥♥♥♥es.

Still waiting for them to add a human centipede type prison option, as it would save money on food, guards needed, and squarefootage.
Perhaps next patch.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Sir Eggroll
( 52.1 hrs on record )
Posted: May 24
The game is fun for your first couple prisons but as you progress the game starts to lose that touch that makes it fun and a bit distinct from other games. Still worth trying if your into games that has to do with building and management.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
( 66.3 hrs on record )
Posted: May 24
Great fun for building and managment control freaks. ;)
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Thilly Forpe
( 232.1 hrs on record )
Posted: May 24
A great simulation game from the days of bullfrog. Monthly updates keep bringing me beck, 10/10!
Helpful? Yes No Funny
( 294.7 hrs on record )
Posted: May 24
I believe that this game is a real time passer. It gives the world a look into how prisons run, and allows you to take control of your own. The story line was a bit cheesy, but this was a great game for a small company to develop. It's offical add-on support allows developers to make customizations to the game and that just adds a whole another level to the game. Since beta, it has grown drastically. The developers constantly update it with vlogs that are interesting, and show the new features of the game. I enjoyed playing.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
( 183.7 hrs on record )
Posted: May 24
Fantastic builder, a lot of fun
Helpful? Yes No Funny
( 1.8 hrs on record )
Pre-Release Review
Posted: May 24
Good game at good price.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
( 38.6 hrs on record )
Posted: May 24
I always come back to this game every now and then. Get it cheap and enjoy.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
( 16.1 hrs on record )
Posted: May 24
although there is alot to improve, this game is still really good. devs. please increase customisablity so the time it takes for you to "beat the game" lasts longer
Helpful? Yes No Funny
( 39.4 hrs on record )
Pre-Release Review
Posted: May 23
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
70 of 83 people (84%) found this review helpful
64 people found this review funny
18.0 hrs on record
Posted: April 26
One day....far ago........a guy named Jack Barrel joined my prison...He was a minimum level security prisoner...He got 6 years of jail for killing a kid with his car driving in the influence of the alcohol.He was a nice guy.I was happy i will see him there everyday i'm playing.He was eating..He was showering....He never got in any problems......Until one day when everything was about to change.........................A gang leader was moved to my prison. He and Jack were very good friends and they were always together..One day the leader called John invited Jack in his gang.He accepted just because they were nice friends...But one day...The other gang got mad on John and they started to riot and fight everybody.Jack tried to help his friend But it was too late... He died......But Jack escaped in some way from the hands of the rival gang.....He got depression and he started to atack everybody until he gone supermax level security.He wanted to do anything to destroy the other gang......One day the rival gang started a riot ...a very big riot..Everything was destroyed...Prisoners were escaping and the guards were killed........Jack tried to run too .He got at the gates of the prison and he started to run But a guard with shotgun told him to stop..He didn't ... And he shot him.......There was no more sperance for him to get back...The doctors tried all their best but it was too late...I liked Jack a lot..........In his memory i downloaded a mod and made all the members of the rival gang on Death Row... I executed all of them with no Mercy.............That was for u Jack,, I will remember you for the rest of my life.
11/10 would have an emotional story again with this game!
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
22 of 26 people (85%) found this review helpful
8 people found this review funny
64.3 hrs on record
Posted: May 5
I've been in prisons (worked, not a resident) and let me tell you, they're no fun. It's not just the company, it's the smell. The smell of body odor. It's always there. It never goes away. It creeps into your hair, your clothes, the concrete. Even the food starts to taste like body odor.

And someone is going to make a game of building a prison? This is an idiotic idea. It can't possibly be any good.

Yet somehow, it works. It is good. I've spent many hours planning and building my little lovely facilities to keep some virtual peeps In Her Majesty's Service. It's great fun designing and executing a plan while ensuring the little delinquents are fed and happy (well, as happy as they can be). It's even more fun to then take away their toys and watch them become miserable lunatics while painting the walls crimson.

Look, the game is simply one of the best builders you can find out there. It's wonderfully executed and it's wonderful to execute someone. 10/10, would do slave labor again.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
20 of 26 people (77%) found this review helpful
31 people found this review funny
26.2 hrs on record
Posted: May 2
-Kills half of the population of the prison.
-Lets 10 prisoners escape.
-Burned hundreds of cells.
-Gets caught.
-Get punished for 24 hours.
-Spends one rep point.
-Does it all again

Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
13 of 17 people (76%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
105.2 hrs on record
Posted: April 29
I adore this game, you should aswell, best prison simulator around. And far worth the price. I backed it on early access and watched it grow into the fine game it is today. The devs are fab, making frequent update videos with indepth change logs.

They are almost finished with this title and are planning on expanding to other projects, keep an eye out for them, because i feel they are going to be of a very similar spectical.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
10 of 12 people (83%) found this review helpful
28.5 hrs on record
Posted: April 27
If you love management games and time wasters this is the game for you. I wouldn't pay thirty bucks for it though. Wait until a steam sale and get it.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
9 of 12 people (75%) found this review helpful
7 people found this review funny
146.6 hrs on record
Posted: May 8
During the heavy-rain another prison nearby collapsed, leaving me to take on these 32 new prisoners. I know nothing about them except they will arrive shortly.

My prison before they came.
Guards 40
Armed 5

Prisoners 170
Only medium and minimum (except for 3 max)
2 bunk beds for spare.

I hire 15 new workers and tell them to build the new cell-block, in the middle of the night with heavy rain.

The 32 prisoners arrive, all maximum and all in the same gang.
Takes them 5 minutes before they loose their temper and my 20 guards on duty to recieve them have to deal with that.

I have paused and am scared to press play. I think I've lost control of my prison...
10/10 would recomend
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
5 of 5 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
594.0 hrs on record
Posted: May 8
Long-time player here, I've been supporting the game and the team for a few years now.

For starters, this game has a huge mod database, and mod community continuing to produce for it. Developers see this and notice that some mods need to become supported by an official patch, and they are implemented. These guys have worked their asses off to prove the Early Access system wrong, and they did. This game is a sucess and proves what backers can do for developers who put their heart into their game.

Game has minimal, if any bugs with vanilla base game. When you put in mods in any game you run the risk for bugs, thankfully the base game experience provides a simply incredible game, one that doesn't actually NEED modifications, but if you want them, plenty exist.

Must buy for those who enjoy city builders, or simulation games.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
6 of 7 people (86%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
113.1 hrs on record
Posted: May 6
I can build whatever I want, I even have my own name in the game.
They keep adding new updates, weather, heating, new characters, now theres even female characters who bring BABIES into the prison. Yeah.

It's fun though!
If you just wanna build and not stress yourself out, you can remove things like weather, and random events,
so your people are very quiet, and kind (mostly) while you build away.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
4 people found this review funny
64.3 hrs on record
Posted: May 11
Make your own Prison and watch it Riot while you call the SWAT team to kill half of your inmates.

11/10 - Would ignore human rights again.

Ps.: Amazing game with free updates coming every month. Just buy it.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
39.8 hrs on record
Posted: May 9
When I started playing this game I played 5 hours in one sitting and thought I had only played 30 mins.
Very fun management game.
Quite a steep learning curve but still very fun
Highly Recommended
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
5 people found this review funny
144.0 hrs on record
Posted: May 16
i have just exsperince something so funny just hear this.

Donald ''J'' Trump
age 27

Risk level: Supermax


Became the republican party's front runner in 2016. Won the election and two years later had cost the US taxpayers over
$50bn, due to the cost of his wall, and his war with China wich very nearly went nuclear

Sentenced to 4 years for Fraud

Family: Wife(25), Son(3), Father(53)
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
4 of 5 people (80%) found this review helpful
39.5 hrs on record
Posted: April 29
Ever wanted to build your own prison? Well, Prison Architect takes that idealogy to new heights, featuring realistic requirements for prisons and prisoners. This game could only be better if it was 3D. Oh wait, theyre working on that too! Its easy for anyone to hop right into the game and set up your own prison, however, it takes practice to make a prison that lasts a long time. It seems just as you think you've done everything in the game, more things just get added in. Hot water, 3D mode, deathrow, executions, supermax, weather, map settings, land expansions, prisoner jobs, escape mode and much, MUCH more! I cannot stress enough how much I love this game, and thats not going to change anytime soon. The cost is $30 USD, but its SOOOO worth it. Stop reading this review, and buy this game right now.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
4 of 5 people (80%) found this review helpful
122.5 hrs on record
Posted: May 2
BEST DEVS IN THE BUSINESS! I bought early acess years ago and they updated this game into a masterpiece. They listened to the fans and added what was missing. Is it perfect? No, but it's nothing out there even close compared to being a prison sim. It's worth every penny! If P.A.2. comes out then they already have my money. 9/10
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
5 of 7 people (71%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
92.1 hrs on record
Posted: May 14
Buyer Beware. You will get addicted very quickly to this one.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
6 of 9 people (67%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
111.4 hrs on record
Posted: May 9
Build ♥♥♥♥... 10/10 have my baby.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
5 of 8 people (63%) found this review helpful
4 people found this review funny
40.5 hrs on record
Posted: May 9
50 of my inmates dies in 6 days and I still didn't get fired.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
13 of 24 people (54%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Not Recommended
177.3 hrs on record
Posted: May 17
Without doubt the best alpha and 2D game that I have played.
I'd (have) rated this 10/10, if it didn't take the developers literally years (and more to come) to fix one of the most annoying issues with this otherwise fantastic game: the ♥♥♥♥♥♥ optimization.

If your prison gets bigger - which it always will at some point - your FPS will drop to such low values, that the game is simply unplayable. This is the only reason that I stopped playing this game.
Loved the monthly updates, with tons of new feautures every month. But what's the point if the game is unplayable?

The game has now been "officially" released, and I bet that this huge issue has still not been resolved.
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