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Review: Prison Architect

Prison Architect, made by Introversion Software, is a prison construction and management simulator. Kind of like The Sims, but in prison! You build yourself a prison and manage the prisoners. You build cells, a kitchen, workshops for the prisoners to work in, among other things. You can also build an execution chamber, which I assume you use to kill your prisoners, but I have yet to use it. My morgue is always full with prisoners who’ve been killed by other prisoners, so they don’t really need my help dying. If you leave them unattended for too long, riots can break out and then everybody dies.

Prison Architect | Oh, crap!

You hire guards to watch your prisoners, and you can eventually unlock guard dogs and armed guards. You’ll need cooks, janitors, and psychologists. You can run classes and programs to lower their chances of being repeat offenders. There’s really a lot you can do. You can even click on each prisoner and get their history, including their name, if they have children, and what they’re in prison for and how long they’re in for. Some profiles are normal; others are amusing.

Prison Architect | Prisoner Profile

I’ve logged over 50 hours in this game, so obviously I love it, but I can’t give it a full 10/10. While it’s fun, it also has some design flaws. It comes with no tutorial and no direction on how to play. It took several false starts and several hours spent googling and watching YouTube videos to even figure out how to do anything. It’s not intuitive at all. It loads up into a new prison rather than going to the main menu when you start up the game. An ongoing pet peeve is that there’s no deselect option. For example, let’s say I’m placing down some toilets when I see a prisoner that needs to be dealt with. I can’t deselect the toilet options; I have to click on one of the other menus to get it to go away. It’s pretty annoying.

Prison Architect | Workshop

Make those license plates, bitch!


Score | 8/10It also has some bugs that are really frustrating. It can take forever to get a toilet to hook up, sometimes people get stuck or won’t go where they’re told, and sometimes I have 55 dead bodies lying around, 10 hearses parked outside, and nobody takes the bodies away. However, it is currently in early access alpha mode, which means they’re still developing it and working out glitches and bugs and whatnot, so hopefully this will change. I bought this game for $5.99 during a Steam sale, which is a great deal for it. It’s normally $30, but they often have sales going on over at Steam, so check it out if you’re interested. You’ll love it.

Prison Architect

About Patti Matteucci (265 Articles)
Patti Matteucci plays in an imaginary band in Illinois where she rocks the mic like a vandal while simultaneously cooking MCs like a pound of bacon. She is into most nerdy things but doesn’t excel enough in any to be labeled a nerd. One of her top skillz is scouring the internet for recipes, printing out a big pile, and then throwing them away before ever trying them when she remembers that you can have food made and delivered to your front door by somebody else. She is a 14 year old trapped inside a 33 year old’s body (or maybe also a 14 year old’s body) with an unabashed love for Justin Bieber and far too much time spent marrying celebrities in Sims 3.
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