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Prison Architect

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8.3

Great

Game Reviews from around the web

100

Playing will probably mean thinking about issues that you probably didn’t think about. This is something that should be valued in a videogame. I’m as content as the next guy to mindlessly shoot a hundred dudes in a Call of Duty. But I also value games that make me think about something I wasn’t thinking about yesterday. Games that make me feel a way I don’t usually feel. Games that aren’t afraid to present complex subjects in all their complexity, wrangling gameplay into a thought-provoking exercise that is both entertainment and edification. Games like Prison Architect.

100

Once you’re in, you will – unlike many of my own early inmates – find it very difficult to escape.

95

Prison Architect is a triumphant simulator that almost perfectly captures the world of prison building and administration.

92

Prison Architect is arguably one of the most important and disturbing games I’ve ever played.

90

PA is an entertaining, comprehensive and accessible simulator of prison complex management. If you find this genre at least a little bit interesting, don’t hesitate buying it.

90

After five years of development, Introversion Software brings us an amazing game where we can build and manage a maximum security prison.

88

Prison Architect is one of the more unique game releases in years. What would seem daunting at first, with building and managing a prison, quickly reveals to be both an addictive and entertaining gameplay experience.

87

A complex, challenging, and grimly satisfying simulator.

87

Plan, build, fail, sell and try again. Behind the functional graphics of Prison Architect there’s a complex, motivating and very good prison simulation.

85

An excellent management simulation that will be a shining example of this genre for years to come.

85

In many ways, Prison Architect feels like the ‘Theme Prison’ game from Bullfrog’s golden years that we never actually got.

85

Prison Architect is simply one of the very best management games on sale at the moment.

85

It’s a unique sandbox game that has all the necessary ingredients to hook you, if you let it.

83

Not only did it successfully complete the early access phase, but it came out as a great gestional experience, set in an unusual environment. If you like the genre, you should really consider this one.

83

When we played Prison Architect for the first time, we could hardly keep our hands off it. Once you started playing it, you can’t stop. The quests are challenging and interchangeably, which keeps you busy the whole time. The charming Comic-Look gives no indication of how complex and earnest Prison Architect actually is.

83

After a poorly handled start, Prison Architect becomes one of the most in-depth, satisfying builder games in a long time.

82

Complex, but easily accessible prison builder with an interesting campaign structure, but also a few bugs here and there, while the micro management can get out of hand sometimes.

81

A rare gem that was polished to near-perfection during its time in Steam’s Early Access. [Issue#203, p.87]

Game World Navigator Magazine

80

A surprisingly complex and enjoyable simulation of a correctional facility. [03/2016, p.64]

CD-Action

80

Prison Architect’s genius is in translating a real-world debate into video game terms, forcing players to make tough choices with no good solutions.

80

Learn its quirks, however, and Prison Architect’s sandbox permits a dizzying breadth of options for establishing for-profit penal facilities. [Christmas 2015, p.120]

Edge Magazine

80

As I end this review, I’m reminded of a phrase attributed to Oscar Wilde: “The bureaucracy is expanding to meet the needs of the expanding bureaucracy.” That sentence perfectly describes Prison Architect—as it is with many sims like it, it’s growth for the sake of growth, and when I was done with the game and had my prison and had every little detail perfectly in place, I let it burn to the ground again.

80

It was worth the wait – Prison Architect is a solid, engaging game with enormous number of options, presented in a well-thought-out way. Managing a virtual prison has never been so enjoyable.

80

Prison Architect is a genuinely fun game that makes you think in unexpected ways. Apart from some slight campaign fatigue and an Escape Mode with plenty of potential but poor execution, it’s hard to put it down.

80

The game doesn’t judge you for the type of warden you choose to be.

80

A great simulation game that recalls the glory days of Theme Hospital et al. Although at times it almost feels like a psychology study of the player rather than the inmates.

80

Although it is weighed down by some questionable development choices, Prison Architect is a break-out success due to its sandbox alone.

80

Prison Architect has a very weak single player campaign and is plagued with minor issues. But even if we don’t forget about these things this game is one of the best tycoons in recent years. It has an excellent sandbox mode, good AI, is very complex, offers lots of possibilities and can make you forget about time passing by.

80

Prison Architect is an incredibly detail-oriented game that’s an easy pick for fans of the genre. While the level of detail and difficulty may push away outsiders looking to test the waters, it’s not an insurmountable feat.

80

If you’re a die-hard strategy fan looking for something different, or if you thought Theme Hospital was fun but lacked shivving and power drill-wielding inmates, then this game is definitely worth a look.

80

Even if Prison Architect didn’t come with a thought provoking, if short, campaign, it’d be easy to recommend to anyone with an interest in management sims. That addition not only brings some depth to the game, but it also serves as one of the most enjoyable and comprehensive tutorials I’ve ever played in a game.

80

Despite its rough edges, Prison Architect provides enough depth and customization to make it compelling. Every riot, escape attempt, and execution brings you a step closer to building the perfect prison – all accompanied by the amusing (and sometimes horrifying) moments that emerge naturally in any good simulation.

78

A world of grim opportunity – but you need to suffer before earning the glory of your own Alcatraz. [Dec 2015, p.79]

Games Master UK

75

Even though Prison Architect has its share of flaws and limitations, it’s still a fun experience I’m sure fans of the genre will enjoy.

70

The loss of humanity Prison Architect breeds in its players could be its greatest strength, but without even an acknowledgement of that loss, the game stumbles instead of teaches.

55

Simulations can distort for good, and so help us resist, or ill, and obscure the forces that corral hearts and minds. Every system locks us up. But sims like Prison Architect throw away the keys.

Game Reviews from around the web

Even if it doesn’t fully satisfy my desire for followable characters, it is still an excellent story-making game.

Summary

A great simulation game that recalls the glory days of Theme Hospital et al. Although at times it almost feels like a psychology study of the player rather than the inmates.
8.3

Great

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