Prison Architect is a full blown sandbox sim where you can build prisons from scratch and do pretty much whatever you want with them! If sims are your thing and building a prison has been your dream, then come read our Prison Architect review!
There are two main modes in the game, The first is Prison Architect mode, where you can choose to build any prison you want. You can choose to build a county prison which is the easiest or you can go and build a super maximum security prison which is the hardest prison to maintain and will pose a great challenge. For a super prison, you have a lower budget, and you will need to build lots of wire fencing, a death row chamber as well as some of the basics.
For any prison to function, you’ll require an office for the warden, a kitchen to make food, a canteen for prisoners to sit and eat their meals, a holding cell for newly arrived prisoners. Most importantly, you will need to assign some guards, not to mention create water and power supplies – you can’t run a prison without water and electricity! You can add other things to make the prison more comfortable for the prisoners. Your budget is tight, and you have to pay your staff and make essential repairs and general housekeeping of the prison, and that costs money on a daily basis.
There is a multitude of things you can do, depending on what kind of warden you want to beñ. Do you want to be a good, kind-hearted warden who trusts and believes in prisoner rehabilitation? Then you could build workshops and allow the prisoners to learn a trade or build classrooms so they can gain qualifications and become better people once they’re released! Or do you want to be a sadistic warden and keep the criminals locked up day in and day out without any recreation privileges? Maybe something in the middle? The possibilities and the freedom you have is just incredible!
If designing something is not your bag, you can, of course, pick a pre-existing prison. You have a choice of 26 pre-existing designs to choose from with varying degrees of difficulty, The bigger the prison is, the more prisoners it can house so the greater the difficulty it is as your budget will be lower. If you like the sound of that, then Prison Warden mode is for you. You can customize the prison to suit your playing style and pick a warden of your choice, and you can just jump right in!
Once you have built a prison or chosen a pre-existing one, you will need to maintain it on a daily basis. You need to decide how many guards you want and where to place them. What kind of routine you want your prisoners to have and how you will look after your staff, so they don’t get overtired. How are you going to combat or prevent contraband problems? What to do with escaping prisoners or how do you prevent escapes?
Depending on what your budget is there is a whole range of things you could add to the prison to keep the prisoners happy. For example, you could add better floors! Who wouldn’t want to be in a prison with marble flooring? Maybe some fancy cellblocks with a TV and a radio could do the trick, or you could invest in some armed guards to pacify troublesome prisoners. You know, variety.
If that is not enough for you, Prison Architect offers you five stories in the Prison Stories mode, which serves as the game’s campaign mode. This one sees you playing five different stories and in the process teaches you about basic prison design. It is probably best to play Prison Stories mode first to get an understanding of how to build a prison, but it is not necessary if you are good at this type of game. Each chapter offers a story and a small tutorial about basic prison design. It is about 20 minutes per chapter – very short but informative.
That is not all, You can browse, download and play prisons designed by other plays around the world, but first you have to sign up for a Double ID account.
I have enjoyed the game, and every hour spent playing for my Prison Architect review was certainly worth it. It is very addictive, with tons of content to enjoy across all its modes. You can play the game as you see fit, and the amount of freedom you have is incredible.
|Fun sim game.|
Plenty of content.
This review is based on a PS4 copy of Prison Architect provided by Double Eleven.
Written by: Tracey
- Contributing Editor