Platform: PC, XBone
I have been playing Prison Architect on either the PC or XBone for a long time now. I was an early adopter of the game and it’s been neat to see the changes as it neared its release. The game has finally been officially released to both PC (Steam) and XBone. I’ve played both versions and I’ll discuss the differences. If this game has staying power, it may very well find its way on to my top 25.
In this game, you are the designer of a prison. The game now has a few different modes. I just finished story mode last night and it’s well worth the play through. The game doesn’t hold punches on issues such as death row and the philosophies behind solitary confinement. There were a couple of times that it actually stirred some emotion in me. That’s good writing.
There is also Prison Warden mode, where you play pre-made prisons and clean them up. I will be starting on this mode today, so I can’t comment on it much. There’s World of Wardens, which allows you to download and play prisons made by other players. I find most of these to be ridiculous and not fun. I could do without this mode. For me, the heart of the game is Prison Architect mode.
In this mode, you just design and build. There are objectives you can meet if you choose to, and they give you the funding necessary to build bigger and better. After you are satisfied with your prison, you can sell it and start a new one. You get to keep the cash from your sale and go even bigger.
This game is not for kids, though. The story mode is graphic and there’s quite a bit of blood and violence in the game. The game has a surprising amount of depth, however. You can schedule every hour of your prisoner’s day and there is a tech tree of sorts. You hire your staff and decide how many and what types of prisoners come in each day.
I preferred playing the game on PC. The mouse makes it a lot easier than trying to play with a controller. It’s also hard to read some things on my TV versus my monitor. The PC version has a workshop on Steam, where other players made modifications to the game and you can easily download them. I found some good ones there such as a garden. I would recommend playing on both, however. In fact, if you like building games, you are probably going to love this game.