Early access done right - Prison Architect is an early access game that is actually updating and has a team supporting it. There are consistent updates that actually add major features and improve the game, and this has been going on for a long time already. As it is an alpha, there are some bugs, which are actually being fixed. But aside from that, on to the game itself.
Players in Prison Architect are set to manage a prison, which as the name implies they get to design themselves. Once the facility is constructed, in part or completely - Your choice, the player can allow in prisoners and manage day to day operation. Arrange for the prisoner's schedules for when they work, eat, sleep and so on. But keep in mind, the prisoners don't want to stay in prison. Some may not try it unless you just plain allow them to walk out the front gate, but others are more active about their attempts to escape or make life suck less. They arrange for tools and drugs to be thrown in over your outer walls, they take knives from the kitchen if they can get to them, and they'll try to dig tunnels to get out.
Special attention is to be paid to the possibility of a riot. Prisoners can decide to start taking over, they can raid the armoury, knock down guards to take their stuff, or kill eachother. They aren't friendly people, most of the time.
And you need to make sure they don't fall right back into their criminal habits after they're released.
Teach them carpentry, send them to a basic education, treat their addictions...And make sure they don't think of your prison as a comfy hotel, it's not a vacation for them, it's a punishment.
Time for the sentences appears to pass at a rate of one year per ingame day, and while this may not sound like it will have prisoners last long enough to do anything, many of them are in for 20 or more years, and some may show up with part of their sentence already done.
Your income, as money does not grow on trees, comes from a few sources. A basic daily income, plus an income per prisoner, and income from the workshop. When you're teaching these prisoners a skill, you may as well profit from it, but of course, not all of them are bright enough to be able to learn workshop safety classes.
I have mentioned money does not grow on trees, but that was only partially correct. The trees are money, as the wood is cut into boards and sold, or taken to the advanced carpentry stations for prisoners to create furniture out of. While probably not intentional, you can play Logging Station Architect instead. You just never take any prisoners and just plant trees to sell the logs. It's a slow way of earning money, and it is not anywhere near as fast or satisfying as running a prison, but the option is there. You can also sell off a prison you already made and use the money to start a new one, which allows you to continue playing the sold prison as well, though you can only sell it once.
The graphics may take some getting used to, but they fit the game and make things easy enough to see what is going on and where things are. The graphics aren't bad, but they aren't shiny 3d models as most games use these days.
In the end, Prison Architect is a great management/prison simulation game with great support by a great developper, and I would recommend it for anyone who is interested in management or simulation style games