Build and Manage A Maximum Security Prison.
User reviews: Very Positive (14,615 reviews) - 94% of the 14,615 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.

212 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.”

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
1,446 of 1,580 people (92%) found this review helpful
753 people found this review funny
6.5 hrs on record
Posted: October 6
Pre-Release Review
I received a low-threat prisoner, so I didn't pay much attention to him.
How wrong I was..

It was a normal, average day. The prisoners were eating their lunch.. then it happened.

He attacked from the shadows.
Prisoner "Leeroy jenkins" viciously started stabbing my guards with his plastic fork. It was 5 against one.
He'll never win, I thought.
He'll never escape, I thought.
He'll never survive, I thought.

I thought wrong.

He managed to start a full-scale riot, him and his army of offenders. They broke all 7 of my steel doors with their bare fists, escaping into the yard. They were almost out. I quickly hired God-knows-how-many dog handlers, in a valiant effort to hold them back until the authorities get here. I managed to keep the tsunami of prisoners back, put the prison on lockdown and finally the armed police got here.

I did it, I stopped the riot.

But then I saw that one particular cell was empty. Then I realized..


54/11 would plastic fork again.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
687 of 849 people (81%) found this review helpful
219 people found this review funny
13.8 hrs on record
Posted: October 6
It got out of Early Access.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
142 of 152 people (93%) found this review helpful
4 people found this review funny
218.0 hrs on record
Posted: October 6
Early Access Review
Where do I begin with a game like this. Well for starters this game was made by an indie company, no big publisher backing Introversion, they have done an amazing job getting this game to where it is at this time. In short, buy this game it is an amazing experience.

For those who wish to read, I will now go over the pros and cons of this game in detail.


Build just the way you want:

There are very few contraints when building. I'd liken it to Sims 3 from a top down perspective in terms of building. It's great fun.

Cartoony but realistic at the same time:
The game has a very distinctive art style that is unique to the game, but it deals with serious topics such as if you will execute a death row prisoner or not, or if you will keep a prisoner locked up for virtually all of his day. This game makes you think.

It's tough, but only if you want it to be/You can go at your own pace:
The aim of the game is not to amass one billion dollars, but to have the lowest reoffending rate for released prisoners, and every in game day can be marginally relaxing if you want it to. For instance you can run a low-security, generally free environment where the aim is to rehabilitate your prisoners through the use of classes you can run, or you can run a max-sec environment punishing the most hardcore of criminals. It's all up to you.

A dedicated team:
I have watched nearly every alpha video that has been published, and I can clearly see that Introversion software is very passionate about the project. There were (As of writing this it's about a day off offical release) new features each month, and it was a pleasure to watch each and every video.

If you enjoyed Sim City you'll love this. There are features very soon to be released I haven't gone over yet, as well as features I missed,but you'll see for yourself.


Somewhat gruelling at the start:

After putting a good 200 hours into the game as a whole, this is probably my most major complaint with the game, is that in the beginning you start with 30K and the only way you can make money is via grants, but selling your first prison is practically the only way to make cash when you're still learning the ropes.

Overall a solid 8.5/9 out of 10, certainly one of the best sim and strategy/managment games I have ever played. For $30 you will get a lot of fun out of this. Strongly recommended.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
120 of 163 people (74%) found this review helpful
93 people found this review funny
8.3 hrs on record
Posted: October 6
Pre-Release Review
>10 low sec prisoners
>things running well
>lets step it up
>changes intake to all max sec prisoners
>prisoners come arrive in bus
>they exit bus
>all run
>all escape
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
74 of 100 people (74%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
230.1 hrs on record
Posted: October 6
Early Access Review
Been followng and playing this for over 2 years and so glad it finally released! Great game! Lots of fun! And the new modes look like great added fun to an already great game!
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny