Prison Architect is a top-down, prison building game that pretty much does exactly what its name entails – the player is the architect of a prison and can pretty much build it and run it however they see fit. Developed by Introversion Software on PC for the 6th October 2015, the game was also released on PS4, Xbox One, Xbox 360, mobile devices, and Nintendo Switch. Using simple controls, players can have a giant, maximum-security prison or design a small shed for a singular inmate to live out their life – the choice is up to the player.
How to Download Prison Architect
You can download the game from Steam and GOG. There are also two DLCs which you can enjoy called Prison Architect Aficionado DLC and Prison Architect Name in Game DLC. To start your download, click on the Download button down below. If you like prison-themed games you should also download and check out The Escapists, The Escapists 2 and A Way Out – in all of these three titles your main goal is to escape from prison.
The Game Review
The Game Modes
Surprisingly enough, there is actually a campaign in the game, but it is designed to be used as a tutorial, more than a story. While there are brief stints of story, they’re played through brief polaroid pictures that give small ideas to the player on what that inmate is paying their dues for and why the player is there in the first place to deal with the prison’s issues. Other than acting as nothing more than a glorified tutorial, the campaign isn’t something that’s going to get a lot of play out of the average player.
Outside of the campaign, the real meat of the game comes in the form of sandbox mode. In sandbox mode, the player is free to take a vast, open space and do whatever they like with it. Using the game’s mechanics, players can go into three different stages of building.
First of all is the planning phase, where the player can create a detailed blueprint of their prison before building it, so they’re free to mess around with its design, without affecting anything.
Next up is the building stage, which is where walls, items, and general objects can be placed – along with staff – to start to get the prison finally up and running and ready for some prisoners to join. Lastly, there’s the electrical and water planning, where wires and pipes need to run through the prison to ensure it has electricity and running water at all times.
The Economy of the Game
Everything in the game costs money to set up: staff, objects, piping, and everything else on offer. To earn money, the player can either accept grants which will give them a set amount of cash upon accepting the grant and completing the grant, with each grant having its own set of requirements to be fulfilled.
The other option is to house more inmates. The more prisoners that the prison holds at any one time is how much money the prison will bring in each day. But on the other hand, having high amounts of prisoners with varied crimes and backgrounds can cause more problems. With this in mind, it’s best to try and find a nice balance for the two to make sure nothing serious happens, as the player will be paying the price for it, literally.
Any Other Games Like Prison Architect?
In terms of comparisons, the game takes a lot of ideas from the classic tycoon games, which were all around making decisions for that particular business or company, building it up from nothing to make it a 5-star establishment. Mix in some ideas from The Sims and Dungeon Master and this is how Prison Architect is created.
The Bottom Line
For anyone that wants a great building game that takes a little bit of time to learn, but not nearly to the same extent as other games out there, then this is the game for them. Prison Architect has strong gameplay, without ever overcomplicating its gameplay and mechanics and it makes for a nice, casual game to pick up for a few hours once everything’s been tinkered with or figured out.