Metacritic: 83/100
Release: Oct 2015
Reviewed on: PC

Prison Architect

Site Score
Good: Tongue and cheek – Great community – Detailed and deep
Bad: Can be painfully slow
User Score
(15 votes)
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(User scores are recalculated daily)

Maximum security prisons aren’t an easy line of business but one you’ll become expert in by the end of Prison Architect, a game that takes the management simulation genre into the private construction business.


Prison Architect takes place in a top-down 2D environment and clearly draws from a number of classics in the genre. Every element of the prison is in your hand and the game is about much more than just throwing up some cells though with a level of depth that ensures you won’t be a master prison designer any time soon.

Buildings such as offices for your staff, utilities and countless amenities. Construction user interface is very solid in Prison Architect with players able to map out walls for each of their intended buildings and then mark the area with an appropriate tag (office, canteen, shower, holding cell, etc.) and put in any necessary objects (offices for example require a chair and desk along with linked up electricity). Staff are also a must have to occupy these rooms or perform other functions such as accountants, guards and cooks.

Ultimately your goal is manage the prison efficiently from both a prisoner and financial perspective. What this means for you is entirely in your hands as the game is a sandbox driven experience.


Maybe it means creating an efficient money printing prison where you opt for high security clients to bring in the most cash or maybe your focus is to reform prisons at the cost of your profit margin but for the good of society. Whichever approach you take you’ll have to consider just how devious your prisoners are, guaranteeing no shortage of issues that need your attention.

The wealth of paths to take in Prison Architect is its greatest asset, opt for order or chaos as you build every detail of your prison down to the smallest pipe.


  • Build your very own prison down to the small details.
  • Accept prisoners of varying security grades.
  • Hire staff and manage the books.
  • Play story mode, sandbox mode or escape mode.
  • Extremely deep and satisfying management game.

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Prison Architect, 9.4 out of 10 based on 15 ratings
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1 Comment

  1. Jasmine
    December 2, 2017

    I like building games, and this scenario gave me a new perspective. It’s satirical, and when you tweak the game play settings you can get an entirely different game experience. E.g: at the very beginning there’s a clock counting down to your new inmates, you can choose to play against that clock or turn it off for a more sandbox game.



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