Alright let’s talk about Prison Tycoon, excuse me, Prison Architect. I love this game! It has all the functionality of any of your favorite simulator games (Roller Coaster Tycoon, Sim City, Surgeon Simulator, no wait not that one), and it introduces you into the style of play in a really clever campaign. Choose what kind of prison you want to run. Do you want to treat prisoners very well so that they don’t act out, or use excessive force to ensure that if they do act out they will be quickly dealt with. I tend to try and make their stay more enjoyable by adding TV’s in their cell, arcade machines in the yard, and pool tables as well. I’m still learning though, it takes some getting used to getting all of the necessities set up. All prisoners must be fed, showered, & rested.
The campaign was a very interesting way to teach you how the prison system functions. It shows you how to put out fires, how to deal with riots, and building your infirmary etc. It does this by having you play through small story based situations that integrate the mechanics, I feel like this makes it much more enjoyable and helps it stick with you better. For example there is one where the Mafia Don is hurt in a fire so you have to set up an infirmary after calling the firemen to extinguish the flames. So as you can see they take you through multiple facets of the game while entertaining you at the same time. After you finish all of the stages of the campaign you are off on your own! Time to start the journey into building and maintaining your very own prison.
To acces different abilities and objects you have to lobby with the Bureaucracy feature. This is where you gain acces to things like having armed guards, guards with dogs, or any kind of education program. You also have to make sure that the energy and water are all running and properly supplied. If there are not enough generators or capacitors the power can shut off. The prisoners have levels of satisfaction that you can check at any time. There are the basics such as food, or the more complex needs like spirituality and education. Not meeting your prisoners needs will definitely lead to a riot, but there are needs that are more necessary and important than others. Obviously letting your prisoners go without food is the fastest way to have them start a riot.
I am still having a great time with Prison Architect. It is one of those games that you can keep playing forever, building your Prison up, selling it off and starting over to build it bigger and bigger. I have really enjoyed the experience and highly recommend it to any fans of simulation games like this.
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