Build and Manage A Maximum Security Prison.
User reviews:
Very Positive (1,264 reviews) - 91% of the 1,264 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
Very Positive (20,484 reviews) - 94% of the 20,484 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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109 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.

68 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 (1,264 reviews)
Very Positive (20,484 reviews)
Recently Posted
Psycho Bike-O
( 9.7 hrs on record )
Posted: July 23
I have to be honest, this is a perfect game to sum up my skills at running a prison in the private sector

I'm not very good at it
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Mike Lowery
( 63.8 hrs on record )
Posted: July 23
This game is great! So much to do and build. Everything fits and works together really well. The customisation is great too! If you like building games and managing "communities" this game is great for you!
Helpful? Yes No Funny
( 7.4 hrs on record )
Posted: July 23
So I pretty much just started playing this game and I already love it. Without even realizing it, I had spent hours simply designing one prison! I then later on got bored of my super OP prison (i was on sandbox) and just fired all but a few armed guards and made a hole in the wall. Next thing you know, it says 35 deaths today! This game is so great because there are a few different gamemodes and infinite possibilities to build and design your own prison. I would definitely recommend this game, even for the $30 price!!!!
Helpful? Yes No Funny
( 11.6 hrs on record )
Posted: July 23
I think management game shouldn't be like "why the ♥♥♥♥ this won't work / happen?" Also, building a prison is more pain in the ♥♥♥ than fun and only in one layer. It feels like theres not enough control, it would need more options and info, like when and how particular prisoner has offended IN the prison and how to punish him. I also find items lacking: where is basketball field? Chessboards? It still feels very unfinished overall. Oh well..
Helpful? Yes No Funny
( 9.4 hrs on record )
Posted: July 23
Great game, can play for ages.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
( 41.7 hrs on record )
Posted: July 23
Still looking for a negative review...that's how good this game is
Helpful? Yes No Funny
( 28.6 hrs on record )
Posted: July 23
-*starts prison*
-*has riot*


Yep, that's it.
My prisoners rioted, killed all my guards with spoons, then escaped.

10/10 would lose to prisoners with spoons again.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
( 145.7 hrs on record )
Posted: July 22
This game is definately worth the money, it provides countless hours of enjoyment. A high reccomendation from me.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
( 90.3 hrs on record )
Posted: July 22
Build new prison

Hire 5 guards

hired 2 cooks

hired 1 extra sla- I mean worker

Saw a ♥♥♥♥♥♥

Sentenced ♥♥♥♥♥♥ to death

♥♥♥♥♥♥'s friends rioted

Death by many shotguns

Is this the UK or Texas?

11/10 IGN
Helpful? Yes No Funny
( 45.9 hrs on record )
Posted: July 22
I love this game, this is one of the best game's that I have played for a long time! I would love to see new things come to this game!
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
60 of 63 people (95%) found this review helpful
7 people found this review funny
8.9 hrs on record
Posted: June 29
I don't think anyone wakes up in the morning and goes "I want to build a prison today." Penitentiaries just don't have the same feel-good appeal as cultivating a city or a business, really. I think the developers behind Prison Architect had this in mind the whole way through development, because it never really dwells on the darker elements of incarceration. What it does do is give you a wealth of building options, so many that you won't even have time to question the ethics of your creations.

Prison Architect drops you off on a flat piece of land with a road running through it, and expects you to build a house of corrections. You're given an initial grant of money and some builders, and from that humble beginning you build cells, showers, kitchens, offices, power plants, laundry rooms, exercise yards, chapels, armories, morgues, classrooms... Honestly I don't have enough space to list out all the facilities you can place. The big selling point behind PA that will become immediately obvious is that you can build EVERYTHING. No detail is spared in how the prison is simulated, and every phone booth and ironing board must be accounted for.

This incredible level of detail extends to your prisoners and the handling of them, as well. Each of your little ne'er-do-wells has a detailed rap sheet and biography, specific incarceration needs including security level, moods and interests, and a laundry list of stats that can be tracked. Of course, you can't just throw such complex sims in a hole and call it a day (okay you can but it won't end well). Your prisoners have a schedule to stick to that includes eating, showering, working, playing, and sleeping. You can edit this schedule to your heart's content, even setting different schedules for different security levels.

There's still a boatload of systems I haven't even touched on like advanced security and visitation and work programs and research, but surely you get the point by now. Understand that while all this may sound daunting, Prison Architect handles it in a very gentle way. Early on, prisons don't need hardly any of the complex amenities, giving you time to unlock and familiarize yourself with them. You also have a huge list of options for customizing your difficulty, allowing you to even disable certain systems if you feel they make the game too complex. It's a consideration that more in-depth sims should adopt, because it means casual players and experienced managers can all find a pace they enjoy.

It's rare to find such a deep and detailed simulation that also allows you to dive just as far as you want, and at your own pace. You can tool along with a mostly functional prison just with the basic food and shelter services, explore additional systems at your pace, or go whole-hog in an attempt to build the perfect penitentiary. The 2D vector graphics might not be the most attractive but their simple lines and animations help keep the detailed interactions of your prison clear. Sound design is admittedly minimal, but it's not much of a drawback when there's so much more offered. No matter your skill or interest level, Prison Architect will find a way to capture your attention.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
60 of 74 people (81%) found this review helpful
88 people found this review funny
214.0 hrs on record
Posted: June 23
>Builds prison
>new prisoners arrive
>click on one prisoner
>says he's 18 but has served 25 years in prison...

10/10 makes sense
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
31 of 34 people (91%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
39.3 hrs on record
Posted: July 4
" 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. "

Prison Architect is a sandbox game where you're building and managing your own Maximum Security Prison. That's the whole point of the game, actually.


  • Build your own Prison - Is it gonna be male, female specific? Strict Punishing or completely peaceful prison? Up to you!

  • Endless Replayability - Get creative! With lots of features implemented in that game, you can create hundreds of different prisons. No matter how ridiculous they look!

  • Story Mode - A Huge in-game tutorial where you meet yourself with various objectives. From building the rooms, to choking the riots. You will be facing with the emotional cutscenes at some time, too.

  • Simulation - Your prisoners can be either happy, supressed, addictive (to common additions), or even suicidal depending on your Policy, Regime and many other actions.

  • Escape Mode - An intense gamemode if the prison meets the criterias of High Security. Have you got what it takes to escape your own prison?

  • Workshop - Try out other player's creations. Not just prisons, by the way!

  • Name In Game [DLC] - With additional content, you could, for example, add your family members, friends, or even your enemies in your prison,


  • Lots of Minor, yet noticable Bugs - During it's 2 year Early Access, the Prison Architect was in unstable shape. Even out of the beta state, the game still has some major bugs to fix.

  • The Collectibles - It's not a major thing, but the game features the collection of Polaroids and Bible Pages that are somewhat rare thing to find. It can become stressful for Collectors to find every single rare piece of Bible Page.

I, honestly, never thought that I would find this sandbox game that entertaining.
Recommending this game to anyone! Even with low creativity.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
23 of 24 people (96%) found this review helpful
37 people found this review funny
13.4 hrs on record
Posted: July 6
When I first started playing I only did sandbox. I had no idea you could adjust when you wanted your prisoners to start arriving so they all automaticly came on the second day, so the game went like this.

-The prisoners have arrived: QUICK BUILD SOME CELLS
-The prisoners need food: HURRY BUILD A CANTEEN
-The prisoners are escaping; HIRE SOME GUARDS!!!

It took me 20 tries before I learned you were meant to build a prison then add prisoners.

That made the game slightly more easy.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
17 of 19 people (89%) found this review helpful
6 people found this review funny
16.6 hrs on record
Posted: July 12
what a game!! well this game in a 3d model ... jesus christ my dream, nice gameplay, have a few bugs but in overall is just amazing
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
13 of 14 people (93%) found this review helpful
7 people found this review funny
35.4 hrs on record
Posted: June 24
Don't let the art fool you, it's not an easy game! You have to build a prison, there is a story, they have needs!
- Own cell, or dormitory.
- Food.
- Work.
- AA meetings.
- Visits.
- Chapel.
- Extra security.

If you don't please them they will riot and kill all of your guards. They can smuggle in drugs, steal key's, dig holes, everything! Make sure they don't smuggle out any spoons out of the cafeteria, they will dig a hole with it.
I've been playing this game for some time now but still ill trying to get the hang of it, they keep adding more stuff!
Seriously, be prepared because hell will break loose!

Now they even got introduced a female prison and they even seem to be more aggressive then males, they killed quite a few guards already.. @_@ Heck, the female even need special treatment while pregnant!

Oh man.. I love this game.. 12/10 will let my guards get killed again just for the thrill.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
14 of 16 people (88%) found this review helpful
14 people found this review funny
46.3 hrs on record
Posted: July 3
I bought this game blind hoping to find a sim game where I can shut off my brain and maybe torture some inmates for ♥♥♥♥ and giggles.
No, you had to put in a storyline. You had to make the inmates have their own stories and life and I just wanted to see them get out a reformed man.


Good game, I imprisoned myself just by buying this.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
13 of 15 people (87%) found this review helpful
19 people found this review funny
36.7 hrs on record
Posted: July 3
I accidentally clicked "FreeFire" and now all that is left is ashes.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
11 of 13 people (85%) found this review helpful
7 people found this review funny
538.8 hrs on record
Posted: June 23
Prison Architect, a game made by an indie company (I think), where you build... A prison. And run it. Oddly, not as the Warden, because he's someone you can hire.

You start off with about 30k, take a few grants, you have about 100k. You build up some cells, a yard, and a canteen, you bring in your first 8 prisoners or so, and you continue upgrading. It's as simple as that. Eventually, you sell your prison, and make an even larger one. Then, you make that one into a well-oiled machine, you start up another prison. Occassionally you go back into the old one to update it to the newer updates, and you continue on.

As you can see, I've played it a fair bit. Would recommend.

Also, I had the water-pump area catch on fire once. 10/10
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
7 of 7 people (100%) found this review helpful
7 people found this review funny
33.4 hrs on record
Posted: July 20
I had to keep Activision's and EA's CEOs along with Gabe in protective custody because all other prisoners wanted to ♥♥♥♥ and kill them but a good game Though
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