Prison Architect – a Surprising Story

Released relatively recently, Prison Architect is a game in which you control the construction and management of a prison complex in a quasi godlike fashion.

The game looks a lot better when played than in screenshots. Seeing the prisoners sliding around your carefully constructed prison like robots adds a visual charm that can only be enjoyed when playing the game.

But one thing that was surprising was its fantastic story mode. It acts as the tutorial for the game, explaining how each facet of the prison works over several missions. But running alongside it was a story that tackled the ethics of prison life, the consequences of crime and the cold efficiency of bureaucracy. Deep topics, all of which were explained in a way that actually worked well with the simple little robot prisoners. Adding a sense of purpose to their lives.

The game is paced much like the old Bullfrog games, but doesn’t feel like a simple homage. It feels like a continuation of that tycoon management spirit that those games had.