Hey you! Yes, you! Tired of the same old things seen in simulation games? Sick of restricted freedom and craving something unique and a bit different from the mainstream genres? How about you give Prison Architect a go and try your hand at running your very own prison? Welcome aboard prison warden!
Prison Architect is an innovative and immersive simulation game developed by Introversion Software. that puts players in the position of a prison warden, responsible for constructing and maintaining their very own correctional facility. It’s a unique blend of strategy, planning, and resource management that involves aspects of running a prison, from assigning food rations to managing the prisoner’s psychological needs. The attention to detail in this game is undoubtedly fantastic, you will be impressed by how realistic the game mechanics are, that captivates players from the outset. You will have to deal with inmates fighting, drugs, and one of the things I really enjoy is that you can have police officers who walk dogs around the prison to keep the inmates in order and sniff out drugs and tunnels. That’s right inmates will plan and try to escape in this game and it’s up to you to prevent this from happening. Easier said than done. Certain walls can be dug under and certain walls cannot. Normally the more expensive things offer the best resistance or protection from escape. Once the prisoners escape they flee like rats and it becomes an epidemic. The management simulation style of the game reminds me of the classic company Bullfrog. Responsible for such masterpieces as theme park, theme hospitals and dungeon keeper. All simulation management titles and I highly encourage you to take a look at them.
One of the main strategic elements of the game is the ability to state patrol routes for your offices this is especially helpful to cover large areas of ground and place the best units in specific places. You can also create choke holds using metal detectors at entrances these become invaluable later on when you have a very crowded prison and the inmate’s number is in the hundreds. Remember to have a show of force and have enough guards to deal with large brawls. The largest ones seem to happen in the mess hall so make sure you have that area well covered. For those of you who like to decorate, there is also a gardener who helps to keep things pretty. Janitors are made available to help clean up your prison after playing for a while it’s doing becomes important to make sure there are no weak points in your prison that the inmates could exploit. Creativity is something definitely not short in Prison Architect and you can micro-manage to the point where you can select any single character and find out what job they have and what they are currently doing or need. You can find out more closely what your staff and prison inmates needs are this way. It also gives you a little description that is very often amusing and sometimes refers to pop culture. Little details like this are appreciated since this is extra input that takes time yet adds a really nice touch to the game which is added entertainment to read the different stories about the lives of the staff and inmates. Something not often seen in simulation games.
The way you construct in Prison Architect has been made easy with a drag-and-drop interface as well the ability to save your own design which becomes helpful when building blocks of prison cells.
The straightforward and minimalistic graphics remind me of little caricatures floating around. The characters in the game are fairly static like little blobs with arms and facial features. Very cartoon-like and much appreciated by someone like me who enjoys this level of creativity makes Prison Architect surprisingly engaging. One of those engaging parts is the graphical actions each different type of character uses to do different things. It’s somewhat amusing and cute to just sit back and watch all the characters get on with their daily duties and routines. The simple graphics allow for an easy understanding of the intricacies involved in running a prison. The interface is intuitive, allowing you to quickly dive into constructing and customizing their prison facilities, it’s no wonder that it has earned itself a widespread fanbase.
Talking about construction, there are various buildings to build besides prison cells and mess halls. Some of these include a guard station for your officers to rest, and guard towers for snipers to maintain a good position on your more violent offenders. There are many facilities like the carpentry class which try to use woodwork as a way to rehabilitate inmates. This also gives you a workforce of labor which you can profit from. Prisoners too have responsibilities such as doing laundry and will often go around collecting it. As the prison warden you have to make sure each facility is large enough to sustain the requirements for not only your prisons but the guards too. Guards also need a place to relax and unwind. Another way to keep prisoners happy(and you want that or otherwise they fight and to be sent to the medical ward along with any guards they assisted too) is by giving them outside windows, TV, radio, a good bed, toilet, and shower. Though you can have a communal shower but this can lead to large fights so you are going to want to keep your more troublesome offenders separate.
Another aspect that gives this game more emersion is that cells have grades depending on what you place in them and this can greatly effect the moods of inmates. If conditions are too poor they become restless and more prone to having fights. These are some of the things that make it one of the best simulation games available.
Prison Architect offers several modes to cater to various playstyles. The campaign mode provides a narrative-driven experience, teaching players the basics of prison construction and successful prison management while also presenting challenging scenarios to tackle. Sandbox mode, also known as “free play”, lets players create their dream correctional facility from scratch, setting their own goals and conditions.
Have you ever wanted to run your prison with a friend? Now you can! There is a wonderful online multiplayer option in Prison Architect that allows you to build a prison with up to 4 other players. This is great fun and since there are more eyes on the prison it becomes easier to manage so I suggest you up the skill level. You can even have your friends each assigned different roles. The customization options in the game are nearly endless. This, coupled with the game’s complexity, ensures that every playthrough will offer a unique and challenging experience.
One outstanding aspect of the game is the level of detail in the simulation. Players must strike a balance between monetary constraints, inmate demands, and structural requirements. The consequences of decisions made are borne out by the game’s sophisticated AI, giving real weight to your choices.
The active modding community is also a major boon to the game, continually providing new content, scenarios, and gameplay features that keep the game fresh and exciting, further extending the game’s longevity.
In conclusion, Prison Architect is a highly engaging, challenging, and rewarding experience. It is a fascinating and addicting well-crafted simulation game that offers hours of entertainment that’s perfect for players who enjoy management sims and strategic planning. The balanced intricacies and simplicity of prison management are expertly woven together to create an engaging and rewarding gaming experience that’s a great game to get lost in, truly one-of-a-kind.