TL:DR? See Conclusion
As an Early Access Review, this will be subjected to change and editing as newer updates are released.
Prison Architect is a 2D top down prison building and management simulation game made by Introversion Software being financed by crowd-funding, pre-orders and Steam Early Access. Since it's initial release on 2012, the game has undergone several major updates (an average of 4 weeks per update) and has raised nearly $10 Million in revenue.
The player takes on the role of a Prison owner, architect and governor who's objective is to create a prison from an expandable open world map. The player may choose the purpose of their prison either focused on reforming criminals, severe draconian punishment, or a mix of the two. Build the prison from scratch, hire guards and officers, staff and maintenance crew to keep it functioning, dog patrols to keep watch and many more. There is no end to the game, the player just needs to keep building and keep expanding until they decide to sell their prison and build a new one, or, have it burned to the ground because of a riot and find yourself in prison (seriously, your character can go to jail if you're grossly negligent in its management, ironically, in the same prison you built).
+ Great 2D Art Style
+ Good Tutorial: Comprehensive and easy to understand
+ Vast variety of Characters (Staff, Officers, Prisoners, Guards etc)
+ Expanding World Map: (Buy the adjacent lot to expand)
+ Detailed Micromanagement System (Prisoner Regime, Guard/Dog Patrols, lock downs etc.)
+ Detailed Construction System (Buildings, water systems, electrical wiring, computer controls etc.)
+ Easy to install and uninstall MODS (Steam Workshop)
+ Monthly major updates (YouTube Channel for Introversion Software provided at the comment section below)
+ Old Computer friendly
+ High Replayability
- Early Access (I will only remove this after full release)
- Severe Performance Drop when the prison becomes very large (in size, prisoner and staff)
- Lacking in Soundtracks
- Occasional path-finding problems
- No main menu (minor annoyance and not a deal breaker)
- No Steam Cloud Support
- Prisoners are released Naked sometimes
GREAT EARLY ACCESS GAME. Prison Architect is what all Early Access games should try to be; it has constant updates, great art style, solid core gameplay, stable & playable and most importantly, easy on the pocket even at full price.
MUST TRY, whether the game is at full price or sale, it's worth every penny and I fully RECOMMEND it specially if your a City Building / Simulation fan. To be honest, the game is technically finished in my opinion (just need a bit more bug fixing and performance improvements) and has more features than some of the other fully released games I've seen.
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