Are You the World’s Best Prison Architect?

The game Prison Architect provides a realistic simulation of running a prison. It comes with a short campaign to teach you how to play. They released it on Android, Playstation 4, Xbox One, Windows, macOS, IOS Linux, Xbox 360 and the Nintendo Switch. Introversion Software, Double Eleven, and Tag Games developed the game. Paradox Interactive published the game, which means they launched it using the standard Paradox launcher. Which is very similar to the Cities Skylines’ launcher.

What It Takes to Be a Prison Architect

Prison Architect has a very short campaign with only 4 levels. These levels introduce you to various features of the game at a leisurely pace. It is a significant entry point for the game and has an interesting story. I honestly wish it was longer as the characters were very interesting. During the last chapter, you can do whatever you like with the prison. Then you can move on to the main portion of the game. Building your own prison from scratch.

How to Be a Prison Architect

It will require you to complete different tasks depending on which game mode you choose. The Campaign will teach you how to play the game. In the New Prison mode, you have complete freedom. In order to create new rooms/buildings, you must lie down the foundations, add doors, specify the room type, and then place items such as beds. Different rooms cater to different needs. For instance, kitchens, cleaning cupboards, and inmate cells.

Once you’ve constructed the rooms, you can start welcoming prisoners. You manage the intake in two ways: maximum prisoners in your prison or a daily intake. If your prison cannot handle the needs of the prisoners, they will become unhappy. This can lead to illness, riots and even death.

You will need to manage your staff, such as guards, cooks and construction staff. They require a staff room to rest after completion of their duties. It becomes a balancing act of having enough staff to cover each duty and having enough income. You also set patrols of the guards. It is a great additional layer of the game to master.

To get additional functions, you need to create offices for high-level staff. They can then research their respective areas to bring more functions. Such as schooling or prisoners working in the kitchen.

Prison Architect’s Feel

It has very simple visuals that are very effective. That way, you can concentrate solely on building. This adds to the charm and personality of the game. I wish it could be rendered in 3D. In exchange for this, we can play the game on multiple platforms, thanks to its basic graphics.

The music is basic as well, which suits the graphics. Yet it feels interesting and there’s no reason to mute it. It reminds me of games like Minecraft and Stardew Valley.

This game’s sound effects are what you would expect. They are clear, concise, and easy to identify. You can hear visitors conversing with their loved ones in the visitation centre. This is just one example of the developer’s attention to detail.

Final Verdict

Prison Architect is an enjoyable experience. It isn’t overly difficult but offers some complexity to the strategy genre. If you are new to the genre, this would be worth giving a go before committing to other more intense strategy games. There is also plenty of DLC available which I have yet to try.

I would recommend this to anyone wanting a light strategy game with not too much to manage. Especially if they want to increase the difficulty once they have learned the ropes.

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  • Simple art style
  • Easy to learn mechanics but more fun to master.
  • Great story mode


  • Story mode is a little short

Rating 4/5

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